"JK Rowling publishes crime novel under false name"
. . . "I had hoped to keep this secret a little longer because being Robert Galbraith has been such a liberating experience," she said. "It has been wonderful to publish without hype or expectation, and pure pleasure to get feedback under a different name."
The book, about a war veteran turned private investigator called Cormoran Strike, and described by the publisher as based on [the author's] "own experiences and those of his military colleagues", has sold 1,500 copies in hardback since it was released in April.
Also showering praise on the book was another crime writer, Mark Billingham, who described Strike as "one of the most compelling detectives I've come across in years". . . .The NY Times provides some fairly sympathetic treatment for Rowling do this here:
. . . In one of the great publishing coups in recent years, “The Cuckoo’s Calling,” which has sold just 1,500 copies in Britain so far, turns out to have been written not by an ex-British Army officer, or by a new writer, or even by a man. Instead, its author is J. K. Rowling, whose Harry Potter novels have made her one of the world’s best-selling, and best-known, authors.Ms. Rowling was unmasked by The Sunday Times of London, which, acting on an anonymous tip, embarked on a sleuthing mission of its own and published the result on Sunday. In the article, Ms. Rowling confessed to the ruse and spoke somewhat wistfully of her brief, happy foray into anonymous authorship. . . .
Many best-selling authors like to write under pseudonyms, particularly when they venture into new genres. The Irish novelist John Banville, a Man Booker Prize winner, publishes detective novels under the name Benjamin Black. Anne Rice has written erotic fiction as A. N. Roquelaure. Early in his career, Stephen King published several novels using the name Richard Bachman. . . .
First he did some Internet detective work, finding many similarities between “The Casual Vacancy” and “The Cuckoo’s Calling.” Both books shared the same agent, publisher and editor in Britain, for example. It seemed particularly odd, he said, that the editor, David Shelley, would be in charge of both someone as important as J. K. Rowling — a very big job, indeed — and someone as seemingly unimportant as Robert Galbraith.He then started reading the book. “I said, ‘Nobody who was in the Army and now works in civilian security could write a book as good as this,’ ” he said. Next, he sent copies of “The Cuckoo’s Calling,” “The Casual Vacancy” and the last Harry Potter novel, “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows,” to a pair of computer linguistic experts, who found significant similarities among them.Mr. Brooks, too, noted that “The Cuckoo’s Calling” contained some Latin phrases, as the Harry Potter books do, and that it had scenes of drug taking, as “The Casual Vacancy” does. . . .