After The Cuckoo’s Calling, JK Rowling’s second novel writing as Robert Galbraith will be released this year, and the Harry Potter author is enjoying the freedom of writing as a middle-aged army veteran.
“There’s a line in As Good as it Gets,” she said about the 1997 Jack Nicholson film, “where a woman asks him how he writes such wonderful female characters and he says, and I’m paraphrasing, ‘I think of a man, and I take out the logic’, or the sense.
"That made me laugh, as misogynistic as it is, because when I write a man I take certain things out and give free rein to aspects of me that would not be acceptable. To be honest, I think I’m quite blokey — at least I’m told I am, and I like writing both.”
Rowling was speaking at Oxford’s Sheldonian Theatre yesterday as part of Exeter College’s 700th anniversary. Rowling actually went to Exeter University but her Oxford interviewer Jeri Johnson had offered advice in a successful legal battle Rowling had over the Harry Potter Lexicon, hence the connection.
The Cuckoo’s Calling was written under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith, only for the secret to be revealed by a solicitor who had been party to private discussions. “You were never supposed to know that it was my eviscerating pen,” she told guests. In fact, she said, failure was part of the pleasure. “It was fun, from the first rejection letter. You have no idea.”
Last week Rowling said she wished she had allowed Hermione to end up with Harry Potter rather than Ron at the end. Yesterday she added, by way of excuse: “Harry did love Ginny.”