J.K. Rowling’s Cormoran Strike series may be seven novels; third already in progress

In the wake of the revelation earlier this week that the sequel to J.K. Rowling’s surprise pseudonymous novel The Cuckoo’s Calling, entitled The Silkworm, will be released this June, The Sunday Times has published an article with further details on the development of the series.

According to the Times, Rowling has already mapped out a series of “up to” seven adventures for Cormoran Strike and Robin Ellacott. What’s more, she’s already hard at work on the third book in the series and has been since last year.

J.K. Rowling has mapped out a series of up to seven crime novels featuring her private investigator Cormoran Strike – in a repeat of the approach she took with her Harry Potter books. […] The Silkworm, the second in the series, was written before the first was published and will be released in June. Publishing sources say Rowling has been working on the third since last year.

It is interesting to note that the article specifies that Rowling has planned “a series of up to seven crime novels,” suggesting that there will possibly be fewer – we’ll have to wait for confirmation from Jo herself, or her publisher, before we know for sure.

The article goes on to comment on Rowling’s post-Potter endeavors, noting the stunning success of The Cuckoo’s Calling and the mixed reaction to The Casual Vacancy. The latter is still slated to become a three-part mini-series later this year, a fate that the Times hints may also be possible for her mystery novels:

Both the BBC and ITV have also held preliminary discussions with Rowling’s team about adapting the Cormoran Strike series for television.

The article ends by drawing a comparison to the last time Jo planned out seven novels in advance, quoting a statement she made in 2006 about her initial vision for the Potter series:

I think they thought it was very arrogant of me to write the end of my seven-book series when I didn’t have a publisher and no one had heard of me.

It’s unlikely that any publisher will think that now! The world has already witnessed Jo’s remarkable talent to weave plot points together over a series of multiple books, and her fans have full faith that she will do so flawlessly once again.

UPDATE: Since the Sunday Times article was released on Sunday, the Bookseller is now reporting that Little, Brown, J.K. Rowling’s publisher, has responded to these claims. Little, Brown dispute the claim that J.K. Rowling has planned seven novels. A spokesman for Little, Brown said,

Richard Brooks has written this without foundation, and there aren’t seven books planned in the series.

The claim that The Cuckoo’s Calling would be adapted for television has also been disputed by the Blair Partnership, which looks after film and TV rights for the books. They said that they have…

received a number of notes of interest in the film/TV rights for the Galbraith novels, but it is early days, and nothing has been confirmed yet.

What’s your reaction to this news? Did you like Cuckoo’s Calling enough to stick with Cormoran for potentially six more books? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!