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The Secrets Behind Pop Culture's Most Mysterious Pseudonyms
J. K. Rowling, Stephen King and other covert authors

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The Secrets Behind Pop Culture's Most Mysterious Pseudonyms | David Gemmell
David Gemmell

Pseudonym: ‘Ross Harding’

The much-missed Gemmell, author of gloriously thick-headed heroic fantasy classics like Legend and Waylander, penned a solitary crime novel under the name ‘Ross Harding’. Originally conceived to some extent as a work for television, White Knight Black Swan is a gritty urban gangland thriller featuring a protagonist called Bimbo Jardine: described by the blurb as “a giant leg-breaker with a heart of gold”. He had a type, did Gemmell. The novel received a single paperback printing in 1993 and has been unavailable ever since. A decent copy will set you back a grand on Amazon. Or at least, there’s one listed there: whether anyone has ever actually paid that is another matter.

The lesson Gemmell seemed to take from the Harding experience was to stick to what he was known for. He did later stray into the realms of historical fiction, with series’s revolving around King Arthur, the Spartans and Alexander the Great, but was careful to bleed fantasy elements into them for that particular Gemmell thang. Only his final trilogy, based around the legend of Troy, plays relatively straight.

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