J.K. Rowling plans more than seven “Cormoran Strike” novels, halfway done with third

J.K. Rowling revealed new details about her Cormoran Strike crime series, under the pen name Robert Galbraith, while at the Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival.

At the festival, which serves as Rowling’s only public appearance as Galbraith for The Silkworm‘s release, the author talked about the future of the already very successful series.

Rowling has more than seven Cormoran Strike novels planned, meaning it will run longer than the Harry Potter series, reports the Crime Vault. She also says she is halfway done writing the third novel, which will reportedly focus on “the experience of returning soldiers.” Rowling also has the fourth novel already planned out.

The author showed up to the festival in a full jacket, shirt, and tie, proving that she can look good in just about anything. You can read the full press release below.


[toggle title=”Press Release” state=”close” ]

18 July 2014

Robert Galbraith in Sell-out Exclusive UK Appearance

J.K. Rowling writing as Robert Galbraith appeared exclusively at the Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival tonight at 7.30pm (18 July) in Harrogate, in conversation with fellow crime writer, Val McDermid. 

The event marked J.K. Rowling’s first and only UK appearance this year as Robert Galbraith.  It was the fastest selling event in Harrogate International Festival’s 50-year history with a sell-out 978-strong audience.  Demand for tickets came from all over the world and sold out in just 90 minutes with some fans camping overnight for tickets.  A live streaming room was created at the Festival’s hotel partner, the Old Swan Hotel, to accommodate the unprecedented demand.

Rowling was on stage to talk about her second crime novel – The Silkworm – featuring the compelling detective, Cormoran Strike. Published last month, the book went straight to the top of the Sunday Times bestseller list and has received huge critical acclaim.  Val McDermid previously said of the first book, before the true identity of Robert Galbraith was revealed, “The Cuckoo’s Calling reminds me why I fell in love with crime fiction in the first place.”

J.K. Rowling said: “I’m thrilled to have appeared at the Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival for many reasons, foremost of which is to have shared a stage with a true master of the genre, Val McDermid.  It is a particularly fitting venue for Robert’s first appearance because part of The Silkworm is set in Harrogate and its environs.” 

The Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival, which was established in 2003 by Val McDermid and Harrogate International Festivals, has grown into the world’s biggest celebration of the crime genre.  It is ranked as one of the top three literary festivals in the UK by The Guardian, and featured in The Independent’s ‘The 50 Best Festivals’.

Val McDermid said: “It’s always been part of our aim at the festival to bring new writers to the attention of the reading public — even when they turn out to be not quite as new as we thought! It was a real treat to share the stage with Jo and I think the audience enjoyed the experience as much as I did.”

Simon Theakston, Executive Director of T&R Theakston, said: “It is a mark of the dedication and hard work of the Harrogate International Festivals and the constant support of several world renowned authors including Val McDermid and Mark Billingham that our crime writing festival has reached the status sufficient to attract world renowned authors such as J.K. Rowling/Robert Galbraith. We remain delighted to be the headline sponsor of the festival and to be associated with its growing success.”

Other Special Guests at the Festival include Lynda La Plante, Ann Cleeves, Mark Billingham, Sophie Hannah, SJ Watson, Belinda Bauer, Laura Lippman, John Harvey, Peter May and Denise Mina.


For further media enquiries about Harrogate International Festivals or the Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival, please contact Ann on 07534892715 or ann@causeuk.com

J.K. Rowling is not available for interview, but for queries about The Silkworm, please contact Tamsin Kitson at Little Brown Book Group:tamsin.kitson@littlebrown.co.uk


Notes to Editors


When novelist Owen Quine goes missing, his wife calls in private detective Cormoran Strike. At first, she just thinks he has gone off by himself for a few days – as he has done before – and she wants Strike to find him and bring him home.


But as Strike investigates, it becomes clear that there is more to Quine’s disappearance than his wife realises. The novelist has just completed a manuscript featuring poisonous pen-portraits of almost everyone he knows. If the novel were published it would ruin lives – so there are a lot of people who might want to silence him.


And when Quine is found brutally murdered in bizarre circumstances, it becomes a race against time to understand the motivation of a ruthless killer, a killer unlike any he has encountered before…


A compulsively readable crime novel with twists at every turn, The Silkworm is the second in the highly acclaimed series featuring Cormoran Strike and his determined young assistant Robin Ellacott.


Praise for The Silkworm:


‘Terrific narrative pace… this almost preposterously compulsive page-turner

is irresistible summer reading’

Sunday Times


‘Strike’s innate humanity, his dislike of unfair play, his unshowy eccentricity and his idiosyncratic charm make him a hero of our times… [Rowling/Galbraith] is one of the modern mistresses of crime writing’

Daily Mail


‘A damn good read… a book to gulp down’ 5 stars

The Daily Telegraph


‘A pacey detective story… compelling… moreish’

The Independent


‘The novel teems with sly humour, witty asides and intelligence… a pleasure to read’

The Times


‘An atmospheric, propulsive narrative… taut and believable’



‘Pacey, unputdownable… I can’t wait for the next one’ 5 stars

Daily Express


‘Crammed with memorable characters that make irresistible reading’

The Guardian


‘A superb and polished thriller’
Sunday Mirror


‘Deliciously wicked descriptions and dialogue… profound insights too’ 5 stars

Sunday Express


‘Even more beguiling than its predecessor’

Financial Times


Robert Galbraith is a pseudonym for J.K. Rowling, bestselling author of the Harry Potter series and The Casual VacancyThe Silkworm is the second book in the highly acclaimed Cormoran Strike crime fiction series. The first novel in the series, The Cuckoo’s Calling, was published in 2013.



The Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival is Europe’s largest event dedicated to the celebration of crime fiction. Taking place annually over four days each July (this year: 17-20 July), the Festival programmes over 80 best-selling UK and international crime authors and over 20 events. It is organised and promoted by the north of England’s leading arts festival organisation, Harrogate International Festivals. Ranked in the top three literary festivals in the UK by The Guardian, it is also featured in the Independent ‘50 Best Festivals’.

This first ever Festival was in 2003; the Awards are now in their tenth year.


Title sponsor of the Festival since 2005, Theakstons Old Peculier ale is produced by T & R Theakston Ltd. It is one of the country’s most famous and highly regarded traditional ale brewers. Theakstons was established in Masham, North Yorkshire in 1827 by Robert Theakston. After a brief period in the 1980s when the company was acquired by Scottish & Newcastle plc, the company has been back under family ownership since autumn 2003.  It now operates as an independent family brewer producing a range of renowned cask and bottled ales including the iconic Old Peculier – its best-known beer with a rich, dark flavour, celebrated by ale enthusiasts all over Britain and around the world. Theakstons Old Peculier is available in the United States and 20 countries across the world.


We’re quite excited to hear that Rowling is very committed to her new crime series, promising readers even more new and exciting cases for Strike to try and solve. The soldier-focused subject of the third novel isn’t too surprising, and it should bring an interesting connection to Strike’s own backstory.

What do you think of the Cormoran Strike news? How many books do you think she might end up writing?

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  • Silverdoe25

    Very excited! I have loved the first 2 books so far. Dressing in the suit was cheeky and brilliant!

  • Jim Walton

    Dumbledore: “And the Champion for Hogwarts is… Cedric Diggory!”
    Hufflepuffs: “Yeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeesssssssssssssssssssssssss” *Lots of cheering, clapping and stamping feet*
    Ron: “NNNNNNNNNNNNNNOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” *Drowned out by the Hufflepuffs*

    That’s how I’m feeling right now. I’m sorry but can JK get any more pretentious? Is she trying to prove something? I think we get the message now with 3 Adult novels.

    Literary pseudonyms never work unless you use them from the very start of your career. For instance who ever thinks of Lewis Carroll as Charles Dodgson or George Orwell as Eric Blair?

    One more question. What happened to the 2 books for younger children she said would be published after the Casual Vacancy at the end of the Scholastic video in 2012?
    Who knows they won’t be good?

    CS Lewis once said “a childrens book that cannot be also enjoyed by adults isn’t one” There are always going to be subtle messages aimed at adult readers that most kids wouldn’t get – the Picture books of Beatrix Potter and Kipling’s Just So Stories prove that.

    • victoria

      Are you implying she’s pretentious for writing adult novels?? Or for trying to write said adult novels without the pressure and expectations of her now famous name?? Because neither of those things sound pretentious at all to me. She can write whatever she wants. Just because she wrote the best children’s series pretty much ever that had an insanely awesome amount of adult crossover and could probably get away with not even being called “children’s literature” in the years to come (I do agree with what you said there about children’s literature having adult appeal), that doesn’t mean she’s pretentious or it’s wrong of her to want to write for adult as well. They are completely different kinds of storytelling and writing.
      And it completely makes sense for her to publish under a pseudonym. She knew she’d be found out eventually, but until then, she could enjoy writing as Robert Galbraith without all the pressure of being the famous JK Rowling. I know a lot of people were shocked and disappointed in Casual Vacancy in large part because, though she warned us and warned us that it was completely unlike HP, many people still read it anyway hoping to find hints of Harry, or at least a similar-ish story or style. She never expected or really wanted to be super famous like this (not that she doesn’t necessarily appreciate all she has now), so I can imagine that writing as Robert brought some peace and quiet and calmness to her writing.
      And Jo has said many times that she’s writing how and what she wants, and she’s taking her time now that she’s finished Harry and isn’t being bombarded for release dates. She could easily be still working on the kids stuff, and she probably is

    • charbison

      Is Rowling forbidden to venture into the realm of adult literature? Or is she strictly confined to penning children’s books?

    • Pam

      I’m not sure what exactly you mean by pretentious. For what perceived offense is this?

      But anyway, it doesn’t matter. Because, dude, did you just complain about a writer writing more novels? It doesn’t matter if it’s J.K. Rowling or not. Writers write. That’s what they do. The more genres they write in, the better (and more challenging and exciting) for them.

      As Jo once said, if she weren’t writing, she’d be okay but she won’t be as happy. So ultimately, she’s doing this for herself. It’s the same way artists just can’t help but want to draw things.

      If you don’t like that she’s doing crime novels. DON’T. READ. IT. She is not answerable to you. No writer is answerable to anyone unless what they’re writing is offensive — that is sexist, racist, full of bigotry, etc.

      So leave her alone and just wait for the political fairy tale book like the rest of us. Maybe not patiently, but at least respectfully.

  • Ebudae

    I like the Strike novels and I’m glad there’s more to come. I loved Al in the last one, though we only saw him briefly. Strike’s imaginative understanding of insane criminal minds reminds me of Will Graham from Red Dragon. I hope he doesn’t end up the same way (or worse – back with Charlotte). Rowling seems to be enjoying herself too, which is great.

  • Allyce

    I actually really like the first two so I am quite excited. I don’t think she’s doing it pretentiously, I simply think she is a writer and most writer’s have an unquenchable yearning to write. Obviously I’d prefer more Potter-verse though 😉

  • declan casey

    Why are people getting so riled up about Jo writing adult novels? To me, Rowling never really wrote to a young audience. I always saw Harry Potter as young adult, with a lot of adult leanings and world views. The majority of the series was riddled with violence, terror, sexual tension, and other messy, quite mature life issues, and how one goes about handling them. The loss of innocence is a major theme in the series, and it’s a theme that is told in an abrupt, upfront, often disturbing/unsettling manner as the series progresses. The only reason that people falsely categorize the series as children’s novels is because of the comparatively tame way in which the series started off, and it wasn’t even devoid of violence and darkness then, either. But when you look at darkness and violence in Jo Rowling’s works, the Harry Potter series is still an extravagant qualifier, even in the face of her three new adult novels. The themes throughout her novels have remained more or less the same, and each novel is just as dark as the last. As someone who despises the ridiculous patronization of Harry Potter, a series that couldn’t be childish if it tried, I don’t see why people are so upset and ready to segregate between her adult books and Harry Potter, a series that is incredibly deserving of the title “Young Adult literature.” As Jo herself has said, (in reference to her new adult novels,) “people who’ve read Harry Potter know I can do dark.” In the violence category, many of the Harry Potter novels reign supreme along with The Silkworm amongst her 10 works. Therefore, I really don’t see why people are making such a case about her ‘adult’ works. At least to me, her ‘adult’ novels don’t seem darker, more oppressive, or more disturbing than Harry Potter. Even though each of them is a completely different story, they have the same aura of darkness and wit, heavy themes and delicious description and emotion that are characteristic of Jo’s work, Harry Potter very much included. Jo writing more should be a cause to celebrate.

    • Mirko Beetschen

      You are so right, Declan! I enjoyed the HP-Books as an adult – enjoyed them tremendously, moving me from shock to laughter to tears. And above all inspiring me and creating a literary world unlike any other I’ve ever read…

  • junny

    why she doesnt write more wizarding world books 🙁 hogwarts a history for example or more 🙁 okay we dont want potter but at least about the magical world. pleaseee 🙁

    • Jim Walton

      That’s the point I was trying to make. Ms Rowling said nearly 7 years ago that she might write another fantasy series that had nothing to do with HP.

  • hermioneg

    I don’t mind that she’s writing adult novels; I just am not into crime at all, so I probably won’t read it. I haven’t read the casual vacancy or the other cormoran strike books….I miss Harry and the magical world and wish she would write something similar…or something less depressing than the other novels seem they would be. but it’s not my life, and she can bloody well do whatever she pleases….because she is J.K. Rowling. for now i’ll live through pottermore and re reading the Harry Potter series as well as exploring other authors. I just can’t do the whole crime thing.