The writer was behind one of the world’s biggest selling series of books, which captured the hearts and imaginations of generations of novel lovers who fell in love with Harry Potter‘s escapades during his time at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Little was known of Rowling before she released ‘Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone’ back in 1997, but after releasing a further six books, which would go on to make eight major blockbuster films, she has become one of the most profitable authors in history. And despite earning millions from her work, Rowling’s thirst for writing continued and even saw her branch out into crime novels – but under a secret name.
In 2013, it emerged that Rowling was the author of ‘The Cuckoo’s Calling’, released under the name of Robert Galbraith.
The guise was pushed further as even her publisher – Mulholland Books – got in on the act by describing Galbraith as an ex-member of the Special Investigative Branch of the Royal Military Police.
According to a CNN report at the time, the publisher said: “He left the military in 2003 and has been working since then in the civilian security industry.
“The idea for (protagonist) Cormoran Strike grew directly out of his own experiences and those of his military friends who returned to the civilian world.
“‘Robert Galbraith’ is a pseudonym.”
But after the Sunday Times delved further into the myth of Galbraith, it soon transpired who was really behind the book.
Rowling owned up to being the author and admitted that not having the past associations with her most famous pen name allowed her to get true criticism of her work, while not attracting the same levels of intensities her previous novel launches have enjoyed.
In a statement at the time, she said: “I 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 from publishers and readers under a different name.
“The upside of being rumbled is that I can publicly thank my editor David Shelley, who has been a true partner in crime, all those people at Little, Brown who have been working so hard on ‘The Cuckoo’s Calling’ without realising that I wrote it, and the writers and reviewers, both in the newspapers and online, who have been so generous to the novel.
“And to those who have asked for a sequel, Robert fully intends to keep writing the series, although he will probably continue to turn down personal appearances.”
Ahead of the big reveal, ‘The Cuckoo Calling’ earned literary praise and following Rowling’s name being associated with it, the book saw a major uplift in sales.
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Rowling continues to remain in the public eye by speaking out on a variety of issues including on whether Scotland should remain as part of the UK.
But more recently, Rowling has become embroiled in a heated debate after she sparked fury from members of the LGBT+ community for tweets she posted that were allegedly transphobic.
The comments were posted on Twitter and were in response to an opinion piece on global development site Devex.
The article carried a headline which included how we should be “creating a more equal post-COVID-19 world for people who menstruate.
Earlier this month in response, Rowling posted: “’People who menstruate’. I’m sure there used to be a word for those people.
“Someone help me out. Wumben? Wimpund? Woomud?”