Tag Archives: Casual Vacancy

What’s in a name?

Candice:  So it seems JK Rowling wasn’t just happy to publish a book that was different to Harry Potter, under her own name, just to see how that went.  She wanted to add more money to here ever growing coffers by publishing one under a pseudonym.

JK was outed by the Sunday Times, apparently a few weeks before originally planned, as the writer of a new crime fiction novel. ‘ The Cuckoo’s Calling’ was published a few months ago with no real fanfare, and sold 1500 copies before its famous author was discovered.  To quote the conversations on twitter – this is how it is in the real world, books are published all the time but without a big plug they never really come to light.  It seems shops have been struggling to keep up with demand since the announcement, as they had only bought one or two copies.

So what’s the big deal about keeping the name a secret?  I suppose part of it is the back lash that happened after A Casual Vacancy came out.  Not my favourite book by any means, I think that was the general feeling of book critics too.  However was that influenced by the name of the author or the quality of the story, its hard to tell when you are so famous.  British critics are famously good at bringing people up and then, when they peak, knocking them back down again.  So, when you have got to where JK has, how to do you get genuine feedback on what you have written?

I suppose it is like being a celeb.  Famous people, like Michael Jackson for example, surround themselves with ‘YES’ people, and therefore they can do no wrong.  But, these people don’t tell them that the plastic surgery looks crap, they are spending too much money, or that the new record sounds just like the last one.  The more famous you get, the harder it is to get true feedback.  So, this is a chance to step back into the guise of an unknown, of course with pots of cash and an agent on tap, to test out what it feels like.

So, when I get rich and famous from the KOD series, who’s going to keep me in check?  Well, its Phil of course, and if not my Sister, who will have no problem telling me to get off my high horse.

We all need some critical appraisal some times, some of us more than others especially in  a world we can broadcast our every thought to everyone  (take note all those people who have verbal diarrhea on facebook) but we are all too frightened to be critical of others.  Perhaps it would be good to hear the corridor conversation slagging you off, it might help put things in perspective.

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