Robert Galbraith in Conversation with Mark Billingham

On 8th October 2020, the official Robert Galbraith Facebook page uploaded a video of Robert Galbraith answering questions about Troubled Blood, with crime writer Mark Billingham as host.

The interview begins with a short introduction from Mark Billingham while at the Duke of York (where the Tottenham was filmed), which is then followed by a reading of the second chapter of Troubled Blood by Rowling herself, and then the questions begin. You can watch the interview from Robert Galbraith’s Facebook page below.



Here are some highlights from the interview. Some of the major themes in Troubled Blood, according to Rowling, include¬†the changing nature of feminism and different takes on femininity (Robin starts asking herself “will I ever have children?”); the involvement of a serial killer active in the ’60s and ’70s based on real-life serial killer Jerry Brudos; and woman hate/misogyny. She also mentions how Strike places certain expectations on Robin because she’s a woman. She is then asked what makes Robin so courageous, to which she answers that “it’s not bravery unless you’re scared” and that Robin is fighting to become the person she should have been, that she has lost five years of her life due to a traumatic experience at uni. Rowling says she puts her own personal need to overcome what is frightening into Robin. When asked if Robin and Strike will get together, she answers by saying both Robin and Strike are damaged and that there needs to be a degree of healing to be fit for it. She is asked about the inspiration for Shanker and tells us that he was actually created in 2010 – three years before The Cuckoo’s Calling was published. “A little of Shanker goes a long way.” She says that one of the things she loves about Shanker is that he always wants to be paid. She is then asked what comes first: the crime, the motive or the characters, to which she answers that how the crime was committed comes first. With Lethal White, the idea for the Lethal White foal came first and then everything else was built around that. When asked about music, Rowling states that including Joni Mitchell in Troubled Blood was the first time that writing a novel has ever caused a passion for something. She now owns everything Joni Mitchell has ever done. She then goes on to give nothing but praise to Tom Burke and Holliday Grainger for portraying Strike and Robin so well in the TV adaptation, and that, overall, the adaptation has been very faithful. On London, Jo tells us that she got to know Clerkenwell like the back of her hand. When asked about book 6 she reveals that, unlike Troubled Blood, which involves a lot of elderly characters sat on their sofas, the next book will involve a much younger demographic and will be a very different kind of investigation.


From Robert Galbraith’s Facebook