5 Things We Learned When J.K. Rowling Opened Up About Her Pseudonym Robert Galbraith


By now the whole world knows that crime novelist Robert Galbraith is the pseudonym of J.K. Rowling, but the Harry Potter writer admitted that, in the beginning, not even her editor knew. (Talk about the best surprise ever.) In interviews with NPR's Morning Edition and Pop Culture Happy Hour, Rowling opened up about her pseudonym Robert Galbraith — and what it was like writing her new book as someone else entirely.

When Rowling published the first book under the Robert Galbraith name, The Cuckoo's Calling, only a few select people knew that the mystery novel was secretly penned by Rowling — and that was just how she wanted it. However, the wife of one of Rowling's lawyers let the information slip to a friend who then told the press, and the rest is history.

Rowling has since published two more novels in the Cormoran Strike series, The Silkworm and now Career of Evil. The novels focus on the investigations of ex-military man-turned-private detective Cormoran Strike, and Career of Evil, which was released in October, is the darkest in the series so far.

For Rowling, writing as Robert Galbraith was a chance to be just another first-time author again. She told NPR that she was sorry that she didn't get to enjoy the feeling of relative anonymity for longer, and she shared more details about the new book and about being "Robert."

Here are five exciting new things we learned from the interviews.

Her Editor Didn't Know Who She Was When He Accepted The Manuscript

Rowling submitted the manuscript to publishers without revealing her true name, only using the pseudonym — and once someone accepted the book, Rowling apparently told the unsuspecting new editor who she really was by surprising him at lunch. As Rowling recalls:

Robert Is A Real Person To Her

As she told NPR:

And apparently, that person still lives on in her head.

Writing The New Book Gave Her Nightmares

If this is any indication of readers will feel, we should probably not read this one while we're home alone at night. Here's her account of writing the book:

She later explained that much of the book was inspired by real-life serial killers, such as Ted Bundy — which is enough to give anyone nightmares. She adds:

She Does See Some Of Herself In Cormoran Strike

As it turns out, Rowling isn't all that different from her male character.

Will There Be Another Book?

When asked when Robert Galbraith might start writing again, Rowling replied, "He is actually back to work already." Yes!

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