Sunday, July 21, 2013

I Am Robert Galbraith ... Or Maybe Just Cuckoo

by Leann

The biggest author joke on social media sites this past week was authors who claimed their pen name was Robert Galbraith. See, that's JK
Rowling's new pseudonym (complete with fake bio). She claimed in the bio to be a soldier. Then some reporter researched this writer named Robert Galbraith and decided he described women's clothing too well. Had to be a woman. And so it all came out. Now, this book that had sold between 500 and 1500 copies since its release, is a mega bestseller.

When this story broke, we also heard about the "embarrassed" publisher who rejected the Galbraith crime novel who offered what so many writers have heard in their rejection letters over and over--the writing is competent but it just didn't stand out in a competitive market. How many times did I hear
that in the decade it took me to get published? I don't remember the number because it was A LOT. It is standard rejection letter verbiage.

I am sure Rowling had her own reasons for taking this path. Does it mean she wrote an average novel at best that will now make a gazillion dollars because of who she is? Some may think so considering the poor sales of the book before people knew who really wrote the book. I don't think so. What it means to my way of thinking is that she is a good writer who had to deal with what we as writers all deal with--a tough playing field where standing out among the crowd is extremely difficult. Hearts are broken every day in this business and not many people realize it.

When I submitted my work to agents and editors over and over and over, I hoped someone, anyone, would see that I could be trusted to write a good book--and write a good book more than once. No matter how much I knew in my heart that I was more than capable, I had to get the right person to believe in me. And believing in strangers is difficult at best. I am grateful I found that one person in the industry (my current editor), but I am still bothered it took so long.

And another thing that bothers me? I won't be making a million dollars anytime soon because I am NOT Robert Galbraith/JK Rowling. I am just a writer who had a dream. Don't get me wrong. She worked hard to get where she is today. But I think all published writers work just as hard.

Any thoughts? Will you be buying this book that you might never have heard of prior to the revelation? And do you think her real identity might have been leaked by someone other than an investigative journalist?