The author said her plans for writing crime fiction under the pen name of Galbraith were ‘pretty open ended’ and that the novels would outnumber the seven Harry Potter novels she wrote.
The author’s true identity was revealed last July, three months after Galbraith’s debut novel ‘The Cuckoo’s Calling’ was published.
‘While it lasted, it was a lot of fun,’ she said of the pen name. The follow-up, The Silkworm, was published last month. Asked why she chose to write crime stories after the Harry Potter series, she replied: ‘I love crime fiction.
I’ve always loved it. I read a lot of it and I think, in many ways, that the Harry Potter books are whodunnits in disguise. ‘I enjoy, I suppose, the ‘golden age’ book. That’s very much what I was trying to do in these books – to take that finite number of suspects, the genuine whodunnit style, but make it very contemporary, bring it up to date, and make sure this is a credible person with a credible back story for nowadays.’
Silkworm, the second novel under Galbraith’s name was published in June, and Rowling said she was half-way through writing the third.
Galbraith’s novels follow private detective Cormoran Strike, a former military police investigator in the Special Investigation Branch. Rowling, who began using the pseudonym for her crime writing career after completing the Harry Potter series, said the third Robert Galbraith novel would centre on returning military personnel.
‘One of the things I absolutely love about this genre is that, unlike Harry, where there was an overarching story, a beginning and an end, you’re talking about discrete stories. So while a detective lives, you can keep giving him cases.’ She added: ‘I’m about half-way through the third [novel] and I’ve just started plotting the fourth.’ Wearing a grey suit and pink tie, which she described as ‘my Robert suit’, Rowling told the audience that she started writing under a pseudonym because ‘I wanted to prove to myself that I could get a book published on the merits of the book’.
She was speaking at a rare public talk at Harrogate’s Crime Writing Festival.