JK Rowling tells story of alter ego Robert Galbraith

per the UK Daily Guardian:


JK Rowling

Pottering no more … JK Rowling has revealed more about her pseudonymous detective novel. Photograph: Ian West/PA

JK Rowling chose her alter ego of Robert Galbraith by conflating the name of her political hero Robert F Kennedy and her childhood fantasy name “Ella Galbraith”, the Harry Potter writer has explained on her alternative persona’s official author website.


The author, who was outed last week as the writer of detective novel The Cuckoo’s Calling, also confirmed that she has “just finished the sequel” – the first of a projected series featuring sleuth Cormoran Strike – which is to be published in 2014.


Amid the FAQs on the official Robert Galbraith author website, Rowling declared “I successfully channelled my inner bloke!” when editor David Shelley, who first read the novel without knowing who its true author was, said, “I never would have thought a woman wrote that.”


The Cuckoo’s Calling, shot to No 1 in the hardback fiction charts last week, selling 17,662 copies after Rowling was revealed to be its author, charting above Dan Brown’s Inferno at number two, and Second Honeymoon by James Patterson at number three. In the overall UK book charts, it reached third place, behind paperbacks of John Grisham’s The Racketeer at No 1, and Rowling’s previous adult novel The Casual Vacancy, which also climbed rapidly following the news, at number two.


Writing on the Galbraith website, Rowling reaffirmed the line that the pseudonymous story “was not a leak or marketing ploy by me, my publisher or agent, both of whom have been completely supportive of my desire to fly under the radar. If sales were what mattered to me most, I would have written under my own name from the start, and with the greatest fanfare.”


The decision to choose a male pseudonym was driven by a desire to “take my writing persona as far away as possible from me”, Rowling said. By choosing as her hero a military man working in national security – taking a lead from former SAS solider and bestselling author Andy McNab – she created an “excuse not to make personal appearances or to provide a photograph”.


“When I was a child, I really wanted to be called Ella Galbraith, I’ve no idea why. The name had a fascination for me. I actually considered calling myself LA Galbraith for the Strike series, but for fairly obvious reasons decided that initials were a bad idea,” Rowling said.

“I know a number of soldiers and I’m close to two people in particular who were incredibly generous as I researched my hero’s background,” Rowling wrote. Her military contacts also helped to construct a fake CV for Robert Galbraith. “One of these friends is from the Special Investigations Bureau. So while Strike himself is entirely fictional, his career and the experiences he’s had are based on factual accounts of real soldiers.”


Rowling also reveals that lead character’s first name “was a gift from his flaky groupie of a mother, is unusual and a recurring irritation to him as people normally get it wrong; we sense that he would much rather be called Bob.”


The character of Strike’s assistant, Robin, a temporary secretary, grew “largely out of my own experiences as a temp, long ago in London where I could always make rent between jobs because I could type 100 words a minute due to writing fiction in my spare time.”


The book’s title is taken from A Dirge, the mournful poem by Christina Rossetti which is a lament for one who died too young.


Rowling was “yearning to go back to the beginning of a writing career in this new genre, to work without hype or expectation and to receive totally unvarnished feedback. It was a fantastic experience and I only wish it could have gone on a little longer,” she said. Most of the Harry Potter books are “whodunits at heart”, she added, saying that she “loves detective fiction”.


Its London setting was chosen above Scotland, where Rowling lives, because “you could write about London all your life and not exhaust the plots, settings or history,” she said.


Rowling’s identity as the author of The Cuckoo’s Calling was leaked last week by a friend of one of her lawyers. At that point, the book had sold 8,500 English-language copies across all formats (hardback, eBook, library and audiobook), and received two offers from television production companies.


“The situation was becoming increasingly complicated,” Rowling admitted, “largely because Robert was doing rather better than we had expected … but we all still hoped to keep the secret a little longer. Robert’s success during his first three months as a published writer (discounting sales made after I was found out) actually compares favourably with JK Rowling’s success over the equivalent period of her career.”



‘Cuckoo’s Calling’ Gets 300K Print Run as Booksellers, Fans Scramble for Copies

By Rachel Deahl with additional reporting by Judith Rosen |
Jul 16, 2013

The Cuckoo’s Calling, a mystery by an unknown British author, which became one of the most talked-about books in the country over the weekend, is getting a hefty new print run. After theSunday Times revealed that the book was written under a pseudonym by J.K. Rowling, other media outlets pounced on the story and booksellers started taking orders for a title they did not have in stock. Now, Rowling’s U.S. publisher, Hachette’s Mulholland Books imprint, which currenlty has 10,000 copies of the title available in all formats, is going back to press for another 300,000 copies, which it will begin to ship later this week.

On Monday, many independent booksellers across the U.S. were deling with interest in the book, but not closing any sales. Dale Szczeblowski, manager of Porter Square Books in Cambridge, Mass., said he had sold the store’s last copy of Cuckoo’s Calling when news hit that Rowling had written it. “Obviously, we’ve ordered more since,” he said.

A number of stores, though, did not have any copies of the book on hand. At places like Malaprop’s Bookstore/Cafe in Asheville, N.C., and Books & Books in Westhampton Beach, N.Y., the scramble began once the Times‘s story broke. “We have it on order just because of the news,” explained a bookseller named Mike at Books & Books.

Both Barnes & Noble and Amazon said late Monday afternoon that they were working with the publisher to get more copies, but weren’t sure when more books would arrive. Amazon noted that the novel is available as an e-book, something that bothered some indie booksellers who wondered how much business they may lose to e-books before the print editon arrives.

Other booksellers noted that those who already bought the book could be sitting on a valuable collector’s item. Cathy Langer, head buyer at Denver’s Tattered Cover, said those first sales, which happened on Sunday, were made by “smart people” who will have first editions.

So just how much could a first edition be worth? Already at least one seller has taken to eBay to find out. A U.K., signed first edition of The Cuckoo’s Calling is currently being auctioned off and, as of this writing, the price had hit 885P (a little over $1,300). A press representative for Rowling, Nicky Stonehill at StonehillSalt PR, confirmed that the author did sign “a few copies” of The Cuckoo’s Calling as Galbraith and that those books were put on sale.

But Stonehill couldn’t speak to the authenticity of the particular book fetching such a hefty sum on the auction Web site, saying she could not “verify whether any particular book currently on eBay is genuine.” She did say, though, that “any future books signed in this way will be authenticated.” The eBay seller of The Cuckoo’s Calling said the title came from London’s Specialist bookshop which “obtained the signed book straight from the publishers.”

What is it with new writers and fantasy?



That’s been a post covered on one of the writing forums for the past couple days. And this determines the price of tea in China?? Fantasy is what most of the people from 18-25 grew up on. Between Harry Potter and Twilight, that’s what they’ve been exposed to, which means that’s what they’re going to write about. Is this such a complex thing to understand?

Sometimes I think people spend more time on boards complaining about something and making a mountain out of a mole hill. If the dumb asses just sat down and WROTE then they might create the next Harry Potty, Hunger Games or be the next Rowling, King or Grisham.

The moral of the story? Quit wondering about things and just write. You’ll be better off for it.

Happy writing.