It was one of the publishing world’s biggest secrets: Robert Galbraith, the so-called retired military policeman-turned-author of the surprise detective novel hit, “The Cuckoo’s Calling,” was a pseudonym for none other than JK Rowling.
Now, Chris Gossage, the lawyer who represented the author and who leaked the news last July, has been reprimanded with a fine and a warning. Recent reports reveal Gossage has been fined 1,000 pounds ($1,650) and reprimanded with a written warning.
Rowling has said she was “very angry” and “disappointed” by the betrayal. "I feel very angry that my trust turned out to be misplaced," Rowling said in a statement in July. "To say that I am disappointed is an understatement."
The novel, released last April, is about a war veteran turned detective who investigates the mysterious death of a model.
Though it garnered strong reviews, it struggled with sales, having originally sold just 1,500 copies. That is, until Gossage leaked Rowling’s identity last July and the book surged more than 5,000 places to the top of Amazon’s bestseller list.
“At the time, Rowling, 48, said it had been "wonderful" to publish without hype or expectation and to get feedback under a different name even if that meant some publishers rejected her work as they had when she first touted her Harry Potter books,” The Chicago Tribune reported.
According to reports, Gossage revealed pseudonymous Galbraith’s real identity to his wife, who then told her friend Judith Callegari, who in turn tweeted the leak to journalist India Knight at the Sunday Times of London.
Gossage has since apologized and has made a donation to the Soldiers’ Charity, the group to which Rowling has said all proceeds from her book will be donated.
Fortunately for Rowling – er, Galbraith – fans, that’s not the end of the story.
On her website, Rowling said, “To those who have asked for a sequel, Robert fully intends to keep writing the series, although he will probably continue to turn down personal appearances.”
A fine ending to this real-life literary whodunit.