#Interviews-in-Translation. Today Jonás Cobos (@JonasCobos).

Hi all:

As you know, I’ve been introducing you to some authors who write in Spanish but whose work has become so popular that is now being translated to English and other languages. Today, I bring you somebody who loves adventures. Jonás Cobos. I’ve found his replies very inspiring and they highlight the wonders a books can achieve.

Author Jonás Cobos
Author Jonás Cobos

Biography:

Jonas Cobos (1967) was born in the Balearic Islands, Spain, grew up in Minorca. At 12 years old he discovered a book by Agatha Christie, and that turned him into a bookworm. In 2010 he studied Creative Writing with the writer Holly Lisle. In 2012 he published “Susurros en la Oscuridad” (Whispers in the Darkness) that quickly became a best seller in the terror genre in Amazon Spain. He is one of the first Spanish authors to write in the Steampunk genre. And his book LA CARACOLA DE NEPTUNO (KRAKEN, Steampunk) has become a best seller in that genre. Now his book has been translated to English and Italian.

What got you into writing?

I started writing when I was twelve years old, with the intention of creating new adventures for Hercules Poirot and Captain Hastings, the characters created by Agatha Christie that made me discover the world of books and writing. These were followed by the works of Poe, Verne and H.G. Wells.

Tell us about your experience as an indie writer:

I started to seriously consider the possibility of becoming an independent writer about five years ago. Following the death of my mother I understood that if I wanted to get into writing and become a writer I couldn’t postpone it any longer, or I would never do it.

If you had to choose a single moment from your experience as a writer, which one would it be?

During a chat with a reader who worked as a support teacher for children aged 11 and 12, she told me that she used my book ‘Kraken’ to help them read out loud. When I was their same age I also had the same problem and with the help of a teacher I practiced my reading. That was how I first discovered Agatha Christie’s novels. I think that has been my greatest satisfaction, knowing that one of my books is helping children with the same problem I had.

What made you think about getting your book translated?

Kraken (the previous title in Spanish was La Caracola de Neptuno, Neptune’s Conch Shell) falls within the genre of Steampunk and that genre is much more appreciated and followed in the Anglo-Saxon world than in the Spanish speaking market, so it seemed logical that it would be my first book translated to English.

Tell us something about your book:

Kraken is an adventure story in the purest Jules Verne and steampunk style. It takes place in an alternative Victorian era where historical events are different from our reality. The Spanish Armada was never defeated and the Spanish Empire spreads across both sides of the Atlantic Ocean. In the novel there are conspiracies, secret societies and submarine travels in search for lost civilizations.

Any advice for your fellow writers (in particular for new writers)?

It’s very important to take care of the final result. An eye-catching cover, a good description, and, especially regarding translations, it’s necessary to be very careful. I think it’s very important that afterwards the text is checked by native readers who can offer an opinion on the final result.

Links:

Author page:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Jonas-Cobos/e/B009BTWC9I/

The Kraken (Chapters 1&2)   viewbook.at/B00PT1EQAK

The Kraken (Chapters 3&4)  viewBook.at/B00R3LS47U

The Kraken (Chapters 5&6)  Coming Soon

And to give you an idea of what readers think, an opinion of Kraken (Chapter 1 and 2).

Steampunk with a Spanish Twist 25 de diciembre de 2014

Por Ralph E. Vaughan – Published in Amazon.com

This book, originally published in the author’s native Spanish but now available in English, immerses the reader in a steampunk themed alternate history where the Spanish Armada was much more successful than it was in our timeline, and also raises the possibility that our timeline owes its existence to the interference of time saboteurs. Where other authors give us the trappings of steampunk without real substance, Jonas Cobos infuses his world thoroughly with the substance and spirit of the genre, 110% full of steampunk ideas and motivations. And he did something few other writers have done…made steampunk goggles actually functional tools rather than mere fashion statements.

The story follows the exploits of a Spanish secret service agent as he trails a group trying to change the past and destroy the timeline of his own world. Although the book sets up for a larger continuing story, the reader is treated to two self-contained episodes that are fun and satisfying in themselves, as well as an ending that raises expectations for more adventures to come while not leaving the reader dangling.

I am looking forward to reading more by this talented and imaginative writer, and in following the continuing adventures of this secret agent as he wends his way through a milieu that has an interesting non-Anglo twist.

Thanks so much to Jonás for being our guest today, thanks to all of you for reading, and please feel free to share, like, comment and click to learn more things about the author and his books.

Olga Núñez Miret

@OlgaNM7

http://OlgaNM.wordpress.com

http://www.OlgaNM.com

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19 thoughts on “#Interviews-in-Translation. Today Jonás Cobos (@JonasCobos).”

  1. Olga, your interview definitely added to the appeal of the book — having that background made it sound more interesting. I like what Jonas said about getting books translated. I have thought the same would be needed… but the extra work of finding “native readers” is quite daunting. Great interview. Hugs to you and Jonas. 🙂

    Like

    1. Thanks Teagan. Yes, that could be a challenge. Of course there are groups of readers in a variety of places, but approaching them if you don’t know them, especially in a language you don’t know that well (or at all)… Something worth thinking about.

      Like

  2. A fabulous introduction to Jonás Cobos and his books. I can’t imagine how exciting it must be–as well as nerve wracking to get it right–to have a translation of his novel. Steampunk is not something I’m familiar with, but I plan to find out. 🙂

    Like

    1. Thanks Tess. I didn’t know much about steampunk until recently but it’s an interesting world. Full if imagination, and some great contraption… I don’t know if you visit Pinterest very often but there are some real treasures on the subject there…

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        1. Tess, think of all the contraptions in Jules Verne’s novels but more up-to-date, secret societies, gadgets, Victoriana… It should work very well for movies…

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  3. Olga, I hope you will consider writing a post on how to find a translator. I am sure that my novel “Secrets & Lies in El Salvador” will be very popular in Spanish, but I want a Salvadoran to do the translation because I want it to be written in Salvadoran Spanish or what they call Salvadorismos. I would prefer a female translator, but if the male understand female sensibilities, I would consider him.
    So far, I have been unable to find the right person despite having many connections to Latinos and Latin America.
    My guess is that many authors would love to have their novel translated. Although it is claimed that English is the most spoken language in the world, I suspect that it isn’t actually true. At least not if they are talking about people’s first language.
    Thanks for the interview. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

    Like

    1. Thanks Sherrie. I see your reasons for a specific translator. It’s a good suggestion for a post. I’m looking at it from the other perspective, trying to find clients as a translator. I know of agencies and places where freelancers advertise, LinkedIn groups (there is a group of English-Spanish translators that you might want to check, although I don’t remember having seen anybody from Salvador, but I might have missed posts), etc, but I will think about adding a question about the process to find a translator. Although I belong to several groups of writers writing in Spanish, I haven’t come across anybody from Salvador yet, but I’ll keep it in mind. My only thought would be, that if you can’t find anybody to do the translation from Salvador but you know people from there, you might want to try some standard Spanish translation and have somebody from there edit it or correct it, if they feel up to it.
      The book sounds fascinating (I did a course in Central American Politics and Economics quite a few years back when I was at Mount Holyoke and it was one of the most interesting courses I’ve ever taken).
      Very good luck and I’ll try and get a post together.

      Like

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