J.K. Rowling may not be happy to have been outed as the true author behind pseudonym Robert Galbraith and his detective novel debut The Cuckoo’s Calling. But with increased sales and a barrage of media attention, Rowling decided to speak out about her latest work, releasing a new Frequently Asked Questions section on Robert Galbraith’s official website.
Here are five of the most interesting tidbits to come out of Rowling/Galbraith’s FAQ answers:
1. The Harry Potter author states that she “was yearning to go back to the beginning of a writing career in this new genre, to work without hype or expectation and to receive totally unvarnished feedback.” Although this is her first dive into the world of detective fiction, she claims, “most of the Harry Potter stories are whodunits at heart (Order of the Phoenix is more of a why-did-he).” But as a fan of reading detective novels she adds, “I’ve wanted to try the real thing for a long time.”
2. Rowling chose the name Robert because “it is one of my favourite men’s names,” “Robert F Kennedy is my hero,” and “because, mercifully, I hadn’t used it for any of the characters in the Potter series or The Casual Vacancy.”
3. Galbraith, on the other hand, stems from an early childhood love of the name. Rowling explains, “When I was a child, I really wanted to be called ‘Ella Galbraith’, and I’ve no idea why. I don’t even know how I knew that the surname existed, because I can’t remember ever meeting anyone with it. Be that as it may, the name had a fascination for me.”
4. Rather than just a reference to the plot, the title, The Cuckoo’s Calling, according to Rowling, is also “taken from the mournful poem by Christina Rossetti called, simply, A Dirge, which is a lament for one who died too young.”
5. Prior to being outed as Galbraith, Rowling had already “received two offers from television production companies.”
The FAQs go on to answer other questions about her research process. She even addresses her decision to set the plot in London as opposed to her current home of — known as a popular setting for the detective subgenre Tartan noir — and her characterization choices of the protagonist Comoran Strike and his assistant Robin as well as Galbraith himself. Rowling has already finished a sequel, which she expects to be published next year. (Freeing her up to finally produce that rumored Harry Potter encyclopedia? And no, Pottermore does not count.)