We had posed the question in an earlier article as to whether or not the Harry Potter author’s publisher’s had leaked her secret identity as Robert Galbraith, the pseudonym that she wrote her first crime thriller as. It turns out that a jealous female fan was the culprit who “rumbled” J K Rowling’s secret!
On Thursday, a British law firm admitted that one of their partners “inadvertently” revealed that J K Rowling had actually written the mystery novel, The Cuckoo’s Calling.
United Kingdom newspaper, The Sunday Times let the cat out of the bag over the weekend that the bestselling author of the Harry Potter series was the real scribe behind pseudonym Robert Galbraith.
The paper revealed that it had gotten a tip-off via Twitter. Apparently we were not the only other newspaper in the world who suspected that Rowling’s publisher had leaked the information in an effort to improve the books sales figures. It all made a certain amount of sense, especially when the English book retailer Waterstones revealed that the book had “flown” off the shelves the moment the public found out who really wrote it.
But, on Thursday, the British law firm Russells claimed that one of their partner’s, Chis Gossage, had let his wife’s best friend, one Judith Callegari in on the secret. She was the person behind the “anonymous” tweet. Her Twitter account has since been deleted.
It is not known if the account was, in fact, deleted by Ms Callegari or if Twitter suspended the account. Attempts have been made to contact Ms Callegari for comment, but so far, she has not returned any attempts to reach her.
The law firm Russells, released a statement where the firm said, “we apologize unreservedly” to Rowling. It goes on to say that while Gossage was the culprit who passed on the “secret information,” that he did so believing that he could trust the person completely. The statement said that “the disclosure was made in confidence to someone he trusted implicitly.”
The Russells law firm specializes in entertainment law and claimed that it had informed Rowling and her agent the moment it learned what had happened. But despite the firm’s attempt to pour oil over the trouble waters stirred up by a partner’s “friend” who turned out to be jealous female fan that apparently couldn’t wait to expose Rowling’s secret, the disappointment felt by the writer must be immense.
The firm’s statement went on to say that, “We can confirm that this leak was not part of any marketing plan and that neither J.K. Rowling, her agent nor publishers were in any way involved.”
The book written by Rowling under her pseudonym, had received excellent reviews but had not sold many copies since it was first published in April. As a “debut” novel, however, it was doing very well. But the moment the public learned that J K Rowling was really the author, sales shot up and it is now topping the bestseller list. Her publishers have ordered another 300,000 copies to be run off to meet demand.
The Sunday Times had followed up on the tip-off by having two language experts compare the style of The Cuckoo’s Calling to work by Rowling and other leading crime writers. One of them, Patrick Juoma, who is a computer science professor at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania used a specialist “style-comparison” software to correctly pinpoint the Harry Potter writer as the likely author.
The author herself was crushed. Rowling said that “only a tiny number of people knew my pseudonym and it has not been pleasant to wonder for days how a woman whom I had never heard of prior to Sunday night could have found out something that many of my oldest friends did not know.”
J K Rowling finished by saying that, “To say that I am disappointed is an understatement. I had assumed that I could expect total confidentiality from Russells, a reputable professional firm, and I feel very angry that my trust turned out to be misplaced.” To us, it looks as though a female fan was jealous of Rowling’s success and exposed her secret out of misplaced envy. The Harry Potter author has our sympathy.
By Michael Smith