Who let the bird out of the cage?

By Melissa Platero, CCNN Writer

Alternate cover for The Cuckoo’s Calling.

When you hear the name J.K. Rowling (JKR), you may be immediately reminded of witches, wizards, and broomsticks whizzing over your head. When you hear the name Robert Galbraith, you might start scratching your head… is he a singer, an actor, or a crazy rockstar? Well, the answer to that question is probably the one you’d least expect; “he” is actually J.K. Rowling! Earlier in the year, fans of JKR were shocked to find out their beloved author had written a new novel and kept it a complete secret. Titled The Cuckoo’s Calling, the book’s plot strays away from the magical world of Harry Potter to focus on a different kind of hero: a war veteran by the name of Cormoran Strike who lost a leg in Afghanistan.

The book was published in April of 2013 to good reviews and modest sales, which then sparked the belief that JKR had leaked the information about being the author to boost the book’s profile. In reality, however, the law firm Russells (that had worked for JKR) accidentally let the information slip to a worker that passed the news to his wife’s best friend. The best friend then tweeted the information to a Sunday Times columnist. Talk about a crazy mess!

Most recently, Rowling sued the lawyer and her friend. When asked about the situation, JKR’s lawyer, Jenny Afia, said, “As a reflection of their regret for breach of the claimant’s confidence, including frustrating the claimant’s ability to continue to write anonymously under the name Robert Galbraith, the defendants are here today to apologize publicly to the claimant.”

Russells agreed to reimburse Rowling’s legal costs and to make a mega donation to The Soldiers’ Charity, which helps former military personnel and their families. Rowling also said she is donating all profits from the book for the next three years to the charity.

Images courtesy of J.K. Rowling.