In April, The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith, was published. The book focused on private investigator, Cormoran Strike, who lost a leg in Afghanistan, his girlfriend left him and he is down to one client. Strike ends up investigating the case of famed supermodel, Lula Landry (known as the Cuckoo to friends). Landry’s brother, John Bristow, doesn’t believe that Landry’s death was a suicide and Strike is sucked into the glamorous world that Landry inhabited to find out what really happened.
The novel has been critically acclaimed but sold no more than 500 copies. It was Galbraith’s, a former soldier, debut novel.
Many editors said they turned down the book because while it was well-written, it was too quiet or that it didn’t stand out.
For many critics, Galbraith’s confident writing, excellence at describing aesthetics led many to believe that someone else not a first timer had written the novel. After much snooping, it was discovered that Galbraith and Harry Potter creator J.K. Rowling shared the same publisher and editor. Then the secret was out.
On Sunday, J.K. Rowling announced that she had in fact written The Cuckoo’s Calling.
I had hoped to keep this secret a little longer because being Robert Galbraith has been such a liberating experience. It has been wonderful to publish
without hype or expectation, and pure pleasure to get feedback under a different name.
Unsurprisingly, since Rowling’s announcement sales of the book have skyrocketed. But let’s also remember that J.K. Rowling is used to hiding her name and gender. Her publisher told her she should publish Potter under her initials so that boys wouldn’t have to make that awful decision about reading a book about a teen wizard, by a woman.