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J.K. Rowling Fooled Even Her Publishers with Robert Galbraith Pseudonym

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Carl Court/AFP/Getty

Even J.K. Rowling‘s publishers didn’t know the true identity of Robert Galbraith when she submitted a crime novel under his name.

The Cuckoo’s Calling was published in 2013 to rave reviews for the “new” author. However, it didn’t take long before the Harry Potter writer was unceremoniously revealed to be the real person behind the hit book.

“My publisher didn’t know who I was when they first saw [The Cuckoo’s Calling],” she revealed of the first book during an interview with NPR’s Morning Edition.

Rowling has just published her third mystery book (titled Career of Evil) under the Galbraith pseudonym – a pen name she intended to keep secret.

“For a long time I’d had this idea of writing under a pseudonym,” she told NPR. “The idea for a male pseudonym was kind of a basic desire to distance this persona as far as possible from myself.”

Rowling said writing under anonymity felt like “a very private pleasure.”

“I think that Potter was incredible, and I am so grateful for what happened with Harry Potter, and that needs to be said,” she said. “The relationship I had with those readers, and still have with those readers is so valuable to me. Having said that, there was a phenomenal amount of pressure that went with being the writer of Harry Potter, and that aspect of publishing those books I do not particularly miss.”

The Brit, 50, said the appeal of creating “something very different” and “letting it stand” on its own merits was obvious.

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The author also dished on why she’s fiercely private in regard to her own family (Rowling has three children).

“Some readers and commentators really want to scrape your insides out to make sense of your work. Others say, ‘There’s the work it speaks for itself.’ Personally, I fall somewhere in the middle,” she revealed. “I think that it’s difficult to be honest about certain aspects of my work without acknowledging that I have experienced, or felt, or questioned certain of the themes in the books, but at the same time I don’t feel I owe my readers details of my family’s private life, for example.”