JK Rowling has revealed that she didn’t publish the Harry Potter books under her full name as she was scared of her abusive ex-husband.
The author, 55, said she was a ‘bit paranoid’ using her full name ‘Joanne Rowling’, so opted for her initials following her ‘difficult marriage’ to Jorge Arantes.
Miss Rowling has previously said that she was persuaded to use her initials so that the books appealed to both boys and girls.
The novelist, who is now happily married to Neil Murray, had to get a restraining order against her first husband.
She was married to Arantes for just 18 months and they split up in 1993.
The author (pictured), 55, said she was a ‘bit paranoid’ using her full name ‘Joanne Rowling’, so opted for her initials following her ‘difficult marriage’ to Jorge Arantes
The novelist, who is now happily married to Neil Murray, had to get a restraining order against her first husband (pictured)
Asked by author Simon Armitage if using her initials was a recommendation from the publisher, Miss Rowling said: ‘Partly right, I’ve actually never said part of this before, it is true that my publisher felt that this was a book that boys would also like and they were definitely keen to ‘unisex’ me a bit.
‘This is the bit I’ve never actually said before: I actually wanted to be published under a completely different name because I’d come out of this very difficult marriage and I was a little bit paranoid.
‘It was silly really because my ex-husband knew what I’d been writing, he never read it but we had talked about it so if he ever heard about it I suppose he would know it was me.
‘But I didn’t imagine it was going to be a success, I didn’t imagine it was going to be in Portugal, but I was a little bit paranoid at the time…’ Miss Rowling said it ‘suited’ her to have a pen name.
She added: ‘I actually had a restraining order out against my ex-husband so as we got nearer to publication I thought maybe I will just publish this under a different name, I’ll have a pen name, that’ll be great.
Asked by author Simon Armitage if using her initials was a recommendation from the publisher, Miss Rowling said: ‘Partly right, I’ve actually never said part of this before, it is true that my publisher felt that this was a book that boys would also like and they were definitely keen to ‘unisex’ me a bit.’ Pictured: With husband Mr Murray
‘So JK actually suited me a bit, to not have my name on [the book] somehow, although of course it is my surname, but I don’t really feel like ‘JK’.’
In the last year Miss Rowling has faced an onslaught of accusations of transphobia since publishing an essay on her website last July in which she argued that biological sex is real, and expressed her concerns about single-sex spaces.
She makes the revelation on Radio 4’s The Poet Laureate Has Gone to His Shed which is available to listen to at 7.15pm tonight (SAT).
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