J.K. Rowling's birthday is coming up on July 31, but readers have already given her a present: a new bestseller.
"The Cuckoo's Calling" is a mystery published in April by Mulholland Books. It leapt to the top of Amazon's bestseller list this weekend when it was revealed that the author, Robert Galbraith, was, in fact, Rowling. The book remains the top-selling book on Amazon.
Rowling had talked openly about the pressures of following up her Harry Potter success. After the final boy-wizard novel, she wrote her first book for adults, "The Casual Vacancy," which received a chilly critical reception. Her mystery "The Cuckoo's Calling" wasn't given the same kind of scrutiny -- because no one knew it was hers.
Almost everyone, including the reviewer who called it a "stellar debut," thought it was the first book from new, unknown author Robert Galbraith.
Acknowledging the pseudonym on her website, Rowling wrote, "Being Robert Galbraith has been such a liberating experience! It has been wonderful to publish without hype or expectation and pure pleasure to get feedback from publishers and readers under a different name."
Stephen King agrees. "Jo is right about one big thing -- what a pleasure, what a blessed relief, to write in anonymity, just for the joy of it," he told USA Today. King published a handful of books as Richard Bachman in the late 1970s and early '80s before being found out as the author.
"Now that I know," King added, "I can't wait to read the book."