This week, I thought I would explore a few books that involve pseudonyms in some way.
The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith. The Silkworm is the second in a series about Cormoran Strike, a private detective. A novelist goes missing and his wife calls in Strike to find him. Turns out the novelist has been murdered. Critics call it absorbing, fast-paced, and entertaining. The Silkworm and The Cuckoo’s Calling (the first novel in the series) were written by J.K. Rowling. Rowling said by writing as Robert Galbraith, she hoped to “go back to the beginning of a writing career in this new genre, to work without hype or expectation and to receive totally unvarnished feedback.”
Apprentice in Death by J.D. Robb. This is about the 40th book in a series about Eve Dallas, a New York police lieutenant, and set in the mid-twenty-first century. J.D Robb is actually Nora Roberts (who is actually Eleanor Robertson!), and she writes two of these Eve Dallas books a year, along with the novels she does without the pen name. It seems she started using the pen name because she just writes too fast to fall into line with the publishing world. This is similar to how Stephen King explains using the pen name Richard Bachman, “I did that because back in the early days of my career there was a feeling in the publishing business that one book a year was all the public would accept.” In Apprentice in Death, Dallas is fighting the clock to find two killers who murder from a distance with long-distance, laser rifles. (That sounds really dumb when I write it.)
Star Flight by Andre Norton. Star Flight is actually two novels from the sci-fi/fantasy master—The Stars Are Ours! and Star Born. In the first, a group of scientists that have been ordered put to death by a global dictatorship are building a space ship to escape to the stars. The second novel is set centuries later when another ship reaches the planet where the scientists settled, unaware that their colony is there. Andre Norton was born Alice Mary Norton and adopted the masculine name to better appeal to her target audience, boys. She legally changed her name to Andre in the 1930s. Though many of her books are classified as young adult, they appeal to readers of all ages.