J.K. Rowling, author of the Harry Potter novels, admitted she published as a man and a first-time author when releasing her second novel outside of the Potter series.
Rowling’s publisher confirmed on Sunday that Rowling was the actually the writer of the crime novel, “The Cuckoo’s Calling,” instead of her pseudonym, Robert Galbraith, who was supposedly a married father-of-two and a former policeman.
"It has been wonderful to publish without hype or expectation, and pure pleasure to get feedback under a different name," Rowling said.
However, Rowling’s secret was made public by Britain’s Sunday Times newspaper in a story published Sunday.
Rowling’s authorship was discovered by the newspaper after it investigated how a first-time author “with a background in the army and the civilian security industry” could write such an assured debut novel, ABC reports. The paper noted that both authors shared the same agent, editor, and publisher, and its style and subject matter resembled Rowling’s work.
After Rowling’s connection to the book was made on Sunday, it hit Amazon’s best-selling list.
"I had hoped to keep this secret a little longer because being Robert Galbraith has been such a liberating experience," Rowling said in a statement confirmed by her publisher, Little Brown.
While Rowling first novel after the Harry Potter series, “The Casual Vacancy,” received mixed reviews, “The Cuckoo’s Calling” has delighted both critics, readers, and top crimes writers who did not know it was Rowling’s work.
"I read the novel, loved it, and wrote an enthusiastic blurb in early January," said Duane Sierczynski, a crime novelist. "Galbraith sounded like someone I'd love to have a beer with. This is still the case, mind you."
"The Cuckoo’s Calling" is a detective novel that follows the story of Cormoran Strike, a war veteran turned private investigator. Since its publication in April, it has sold more than 1,500 copies in hardback. The next novel in the series will be published next summer.
Sources: NBC News, The Sunday Times, ABC