In what some regard as an embarrassing revelation, Robert Galbraith, the author of the unbelievably successful crime novel The Cuckoo’s Calling, is believed to have written a series of wizard novels over an 11-year period beginning in the late 1990s.
Galbraith, whose The Cuckoo’s Calling has sold upwards of 1,500 copies, is said to have penned the “Harry Potter” novels, centering around an orphaned boy who realizes that he is a powerful wizard. Galbraith wrote the books in his spare time while working as a researcher at Amnesty International.
“I knew that if I kept writing under my own name, it would be impossible for people to do anything other than compare my books to The Cuckoo’s Calling, no matter how different the subject matter,” said Galbraith. Though many of Galbraith’s fans, known colloquially as “Strikers” after the novel’s dashing protagonist Cormoran Strike, have expressed disappointment that their favorite novelist wrote a series of children’s books, Galbraith is not apologizing. “It was truly liberating to become J.K. Rowling,” said Galbraith, adding “It was the ’90s. Everyone wrote a wizard series.”
The revelation has sparked renewed interest in the long-forgotten “Harry Potter” series, with sales spiking as Galbraith fanatics flocked to bookstores to learn about the critically acclaimed, but commercially unsuccessful series. “I rejected it,” said Kensington Whitley of Penguin Books. “What we’re usually looking for in young adult books is understated stories of quiet desperation, where the action is mostly about a character coming to terms with his regrets and mistakes,” a possible reference to beloved tween novels such as Revolutionary Road and The Remains of the Day.
“The “Potter” series, while well-written, just had too many fantastical elements and action sequences. Children just aren’t into that stuff.”
The fictitious J.K. Rowling was supposedly brought up in some of London’s notoriously dreary orphanages and channeled this experience into allegorical bedtime stories for her children set at the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Rowling eventually compiled some of these stories into a 7-book, 4100-page series of novels.