“The Cuckoo’s Calling” was sold to publishers before “The Casual Vacancy” was even announced!

Although The Casual Vacancy was J.K. Rowling’s first post-Potter book to be released, new sources say that The Cuckoo’s Calling actually sold to publishers first.

Apparently, after Rowling’s agent Neil Blair submitted The Cuckoo’s Calling manuscript to Little Brown’s David Shelley, and Shelley showed interest in the manuscript, the two arranged to meet for lunch. Upon arriving at the appointed restaurant, Shelley found Blair accompanied by J.K. Rowling.

I was expecting to find just Neil, but there was a blonde woman sitting with him. When she turned around I had the surprise of my life. She said, ‘I’m Jo.’ I said, ‘I know who you are.’

As their conversation continued, Shelley learned that Rowling wasn’t there just as an acquaintance of Neil’s, or as a friend of Mr. Galbraith, but was in fact Robert Galbraith himself, as a manner of speaking – and all of this took place before The Casual Vacancy was even announced in February 2012!

The revelation of the true author of The Cuckoo’s Calling has been a captivating news story to follow, and we’re always excited to learn new tidbits about how Rowling pulled off keeping the pseudonym a secret for so long – now even longer than we previously expected.

Why do you think Rowling decided to publish The Casual Vacancy under her own name rather than The Cuckoo’s Calling, even though her mystery novel was the first one she sold to publishers? Why didn’t she choose to publish them the other way around and write The Casual Vacancy under a pseudonym? Let us know your theories in the comments!

Jessica J.

I've been making magic at MuggleNet since 2012, when I first joined the staff as a News intern. I've never wavered from the declaration in my childhood journal, circa October 2000: "I LOVE Harry Potter! If I clean my room, my mom says she'll make me a dinner a wizard would love!" Proud Gryffindor; don't hate.