This past Saturday, a truth was revealed that took many by surprise: J.K. Rowling had a new book out, actually it came out in April, and of course you hadn't heard about it because that was the whole point. Because on paper, the woman born Joanne Rowling and the mind behind the legendary Harry Potter series didn't have a book out. Robert Galbraith did.
Oh the joy of pseudonyms!
While her first novel under her name, The Casual Vacancy, was met with mixed reviews, it was still an instant best-seller. Why? Because she wrote it and everyone knew it. On the other hand, Robert Galbraith's 'debut', The Cuckoo's Calling, had a modest opening in terms of sales (only about 1500 sold), but garnered much higher praise from the literary world. It got several starred reviews and Library Journal even declared it their Mystery Debut of the Month. Of course once the story got out on who exactly Galbraith is, the novel became an instant best seller.
It's refreshing in this day and age to me that the secret was kept as long as it was, and I almost wish it could have stayed a secret longer. Rowling herself said that she liked being anonymous again and getting feedback that was purely based on the writing. Of course now her future writings as Galbraith ('his' novels are intended to be a series with the second installment due out next year) will be looked at through rose-colored Rowling glasses. I actually hope she's able to stump us all again sometime. How fantastic would it be if every time she has a new project/series it came out under a different name? I mean, she shouldn't have to resort to that just to get honest feedback and criticisms, but I think we deserve to be fooled time and again by this master story teller.
Comments welcome, and, as always, happy reading!