You might remember that last week I wrote a post asking the above question and listed a few reasons why authors might consider translating their books. (In case you missed it, here it is. As I translate from English to Spanish and vice versa I had prepared a talk about the subject and it occurred to me that I could sample some points of it here). I found the discussion that followed the post interesting, and Teagan Geneviene (I recommend her blog if you love great stories and recipes, check it here) reminded me of a story I had told her about some of my experiences when using Fiberead to get my book translated for the Chinese market. And I thought you might find it interesting. I surely did.
It brought to mind how I had started originally the presentation about translations…
Here it is:
What does the word ‘translation’ bring to your mind?
In my case, it always makes me think of a scene in Sofia Coppola’s Lost in Translation. Bill Murray plays an actor filming a spirits’ advert in Japan (I think it was brandy) and the director is giving him instructions. As he doesn’t understand Japanese, there is an interpreter. The director talks for several minutes, gesticulating, quite intensely. He eventually stops talking and the interpreter just tells him that he wants him to say the lines looking at the camera. ‘Is that all he said?’ Yes, we’re never quite sure. (By the way, you can watch the scene that goes on, here:
Of course, that’s interpreting (rendering live and orally a conversation, conference, speech…) whilst translation implies a written piece of work, but there are connections.
It also makes me think of the risks of mistranslating texts. In the case of the Bible mistranslating a Hebrew word and instead of rendering it as ‘beam of light’ it ended up becoming ‘horn’ and we have poor Moses depicted with horns (and not only in Michelangelo’s famous sculpture, that judging by the small size of the horns, makes me think that he wasn’t that convinced about the translation). Oh yes, if you’ve used Google Translate (that seems to be improving, to be fair) you know all about that.
And now, I wanted to tell you a bit about my experiences with Fiberead, that is a website that offers you to get your books translated for the Chinese market. If they are interested, you give them the rights to the translation for a number of years, and you spilt the earning with them and with the translating. Yes, team…
What happens is that a team leader or manager decides that your book is worth translating, and then they set about getting a team of translators to translate the book. I’m not sure how the division of work is made, but I know you get notifications when evidently translators provide a sample translation and the team leader decides if it’s good enough. Once they think they have a big enough team, they start the process. The beauty of it is that they contact you with questions if they have them. In general in my case it’s been mostly the team managers but sometimes also other members of the team.
I realised when they started to ask me about my YA novella Twin Evils?, asking me if Lucifer and Satan were the same, and asking for the meaning of references to angels playing harps or being dressed in white, that of course, although the novella is not religious, such content would not be understood in a mostly non-Christian country. And although I tried to send them links to images of angels playing the harp, I am also aware that some links to websites might not work there. We might assume that certain things are common knowledge, but the world is huge and people’ s beliefs and lifestyles very different to ours.
Some of the other questions showed extreme literalness. It might be to do with the language, but when I tried to explain that I prefered to allow the readers to make up their minds as to why characters might say or do certain things (whatever I thought the reason was) they wanted a full explanation. I suspect ambiguity is not a well-received quality.
I had some interesting and curious exchanges too, like a policeman who told me he was translating one of my thrillers (so far, although not published yet as they’re still in production, they are working on both of my Escaping Psychiatry stories and have also translated Family, Lust and Cameras, so they seem intrigued by my thrillers) and really enjoying it, and I had the manager for the translation of one of my books asking me for help understanding a couple of pages she was trying to translate for a different project.
Ah, and to give them their due, they caught a mistake that neither I, nor quite a few readers and editors of both my Spanish and my English book had seen, so, kudos to them.
Here I leave you the cover of the other one of my books available so far (and that although it hasn’t been out very long, it seems to be doing much better than Twin Evils? and for sure much better in the Chinese version than in Spanish and English).
Thanks very much for reading, and if you’ve found it interesting, please, like, share, comment, and CLICK!
*The author provided me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review, which follows.*
From the Future…
Enjoying the day in Tel Aviv, Kat, a known Mossad assassin, and her two young daughters are brutally killed by a car bomb placed there by an unknown assassin. Kat’s husband, Pantera, identifies the bodies of his wife and daughters. Vowing revenge on the killers, Pantera takes you on a journey back in time to when he first met Kat in 1989. Hang on to your hat! It’s about to get good!
…And Into the Past
This story tells the tale of a tragic romance between Kat and Pantera that is filled with necessary lies wrapped in half-truths and subterfuge. At the first meeting, Pantera and Kat do not know the shadowy truth of each other’s employers. Kat pretends to be a model while Pantera’s cover is that of a medic in the Special UN Forces. Nothing could be further from the truth.
JD. Wallace, the author says,
“Deadly Dance is based on the life of the youngest Kidon Katsa agent in the history of Mossad and her husband, the fabled Chief Black Site Interrogator, who worked under such special access programs as the Operation Copper Green (created under Donald Rumsfeld), the United Nations Security Council – Special Operations Group (UN-SOG), and Task Forces 88 and 121.”
This is the perfect book for men and women! It offers a deep relationship type romance for the ladies and enough mystery and suspense to satisfy the men in your life. I was hooked from the first chapter! It was a longer read than my usual fare which I am glad to say transported me into a world of which I had no true knowledge of. Talk about exciting! Wait until you read it!
The characters are written with such a depth of understanding and knowledge that you simply realize the author had to be involved in military special forces himself or served with one of our own spy agencies. This background knowledge propels the story along taking the reader on a rollercoaster of events, romantic interludes, torture, combat, and death. Some of these scenes will boggle your mind. Some will make you question your own core beliefs.
It is worth mentioning that there are sexual and violent scenes. In other words, this is not a book for children or teenagers.
I really loved the idea that neither character really knew what the other was doing as their true profession but accepted their love for each for what it was – a gift. Rarely, do you read about the lives of those serving in the capacity of assassins or interrogators where they seem like real human beings with wants and needs just like everyone else. The fact that this story is based on real-life events and people heightened my enjoyment even more.
However, Kat is a genius, the product of a genetic program in Israel while Pantera is a sociopath who says he cannot feel empathy for his fellow man. His flaws make him a skillful interrogator. It was striking then that he held such a deep love for Kat and their children. I liked the fact that he wasn’t perfect, it made him seem more lifelike and real.
J. D. Wallace employs a unique storytelling technique in this tale. He takes the time for the characters to speak to one another but allows them to share their feelings and emotional reactions to the other character’s words. The reader gets to see and feel first hand with the characters.
For a debut novel, I would say J. D. Wallace has the makings for an excellent series. If you are looking for excitement on a dull evening at home, step into the world of Kat and Pantera. I know I can hardly wait to find out what happens next since this first book seems to be in large part dedicated to Kat and her life with Pantera. From what I now know of Pantera, his revenge should know no bounds!
Character Believability: 5 Flow and Pace: 4 Reader Engagement: 5 Reader Enrichment: 5 Reader Enjoyment: 5 Overall Rate: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Author, J. D. Wallace
About J. D. Wallace:
After spending the first ten years of his career with a US-based intelligence agency, Mr. Wallace went on to work for foreign intelligence agencies, law firms, political figures, royals, sovereigns and private corporations for the next twenty years.
He is considered one of the top corporate infiltrators in the world.
Between various spy contracts, JD became a student of Robert McKee (Story) and has spent nearly a decade working as a subject matter expert (SME) and technical advisor (TA) for several large movie and TV production companies (several Oscar and Emmy winners). He has also had the pleasure of functioning as a Script Reader, Script Synopsis Writer (aka, Coverage) and Consulting Writer under a number of aliases.
Mr. Wallace holds bachelor’s degrees in Mammalian Physiology and Environmental Chemistry, a master’s degree in Physiology/Biochemical Nutrition and an MBA in Finance. Currently, the widower and his Welsh Border Collie, Kelly, split time between San Diego, California, and Montreux, Switzerland.
SILENT CATS: Deadly Dance is his first novel of a possible six book series. Book two is currently under construction. Stay tuned.
I promised I’d bring you another interview with an author who’s well known for his books in Spanish. Although to tell you the truth, our guest today, Enrique Laso, is well-known everywhere, as he’ll explain himself. He’s a very driven author and when I met him I was sure he’d be a fascinating subject for an interview. I also asked him to talk to us about his most recent novel available in English. So here he is.
I was born in Badajoz in 1972.
I have lived in Badajoz, Murcia, Valencia, Barcelona and Madrid. Thanks to my profession and to an eagerness to travel that has been a part of me since my childhood I have had the chance to visit more than thirty countries in the five continents.
After a break of 10 years, having won several awards as a teenager and having published three books then, in 2005 I resumed my literary career. That year I published a novella ‘Desde el Infierno’ (From Hell), adapted for the cinema in 2014 by Luís Endera, I wrote some special collaborations sporadically for newspapers and several magazines, and I created my first blog (http://www.owachy.com/).
At the moment I’m busy with several projects, of which the most important are the novels, Cataclismo, The Tesla Mystery and Heaven of Happiness. My latest novels have been published under several pseudonyms, the majority unknown to the big public. The only one I’ve revealed to this date, and therefore I don’t mind mentioning, is Henry Osal, whose writing is focused on self-help manuals and personal development.
My most successful novel, El Rumor de los Muertos (The Rumour of the Dead), with more than 130000 digital copies sold, is available in paperback in all big bookshops since the autumn of 2014, published by MR (Planeta). It has been recommended by writers such as Juan Gómez Jurado, Bruno Nievas or Blanca Miosi (yes, our guest last week!).
I have sold, to this date, more than 300000 books, many of them available in Spanish, English, French, Italian and Portuguese (I’ve been translated to 12 languages, including the books written under pseudonym), I’ve won a large number of literary contests and I’ve published over fifty newspaper articles.
How and when did you start writing?
When I was eight years old. I was an avid reader, and a slightly introverted boy. I wrote a novella called ROCA (Rock) about a young lad who wasn’t able to communicate and ended up becoming a rock. It was a way of expressing myself and communicating my feelings better.
Describe briefly your experience as an independent writer.
Fantastic. The truth is that although I’ve published with four different publishing companies, I carry on publishing independently. I have received many offers to sign long-term writing contracts, but I think I’m better off free. Nowadays an author has many more possibilities and more strength when it comes to negotiating.
What’s the moment you remember more fondly (so far) of your experience as a writer?
There are many. But I think the day when I found myself number 1 in Amazon.com for the first time it was the most emotive, because of what it meant (and, in truth, from that moment on my life changed for the better).
What made you decide to get your work translated?
Amazon encouraged me, and also many of my readers from the USA did the same. They thought my novels would be very successful in other languages and they weren’t wrong. I’ve been N.1 in several categories in Amazon, iTunes, Google Books, and Barnes and Noble, in English, French, Italian, German and Greek!
Tell us something about your book
THE BLUE CRIMES is a thriller, police procedural story, full of intrigue. From its inception I thought about the American market, and in just a month I’ve sold hundreds of copies and it has received 7 reviews (all very positive), among them one by one of the TOP-100 reviewers. Set in the ‘deep America’ it tells the story of the investigation of the murders of two girls, who are found near a lakeside by a promising agent of the Unit of Behavioural Analysis of the FBI. It has been compared with successful TV series such as CSI, Criminal Minds, Twin Peaks or True Detective, and that’s fantastic.
Andy advice for your fellow writers (and especially for new writers)
They are very typical, but the truth is that they work.
-To trust in themselves
-To persist, persist, persist
-To never stop reading and learning
-To accept the help and advice of professionals
-To not dismiss marketing or think it is not part of the job.
Don’t forget to check his blog (see link above) and here I leave you his Amazon page:
A SUPERB CRIME NOVEL. GRIPPING FROM START TO FINISH.
‘And so proceeds Enrique’s THE BLUE CRIMES and the manner in which he places Ethan Bush and team in the resolution of crime is tense, suspenseful, and at all times involving. This is quality mystery writing by a voice new to most of us – a welcome addition to the thriller genre’
Grady Harp, TOP-100 Reviewer/ Hall of Fame/ Vine Voice
_________________________________________________________ Two bodies found in a lagoon.
A promising FBI special agent.
A crime that occurred almost twenty years ago.
A convoluted mystery novel that grabs you.
If you enjoyed novels like ‘The Silence of the Lambs‘ or TV series as ‘Twin Peaks‘ or ‘True Detective‘… this is the story that you have been waiting for.
_________________________________________________________ FROM CHAPTER I By the time they called me, a whole week had passed since the second body had been discovered. This was a setback as much of the evidence would have disappeared by now and I’d have to work with what little evidence the local police, unaccustomed to these types of crimes, would have been able to collect. Luckily I had been allocated a competent enough CSI unit and as we flew from Washington to Kansas City International Airport, we imagined, quite rightly as it turned out, that the crime scene will have been spoiled by dozens of well-meaning but clumsy Deputies.
Liz, who I already knew professionally from the only case that I’d worked on up to then, handed me a folder containing photos; the cyanotic bodies of two naked girls, abandoned in a lagoon, like the unimportant remnants of a quiet morning picnic. I was staring into the open eyes of one of the young girls, who could not have been more than twenty years old, when I was struck by her plea: “You must find who did this to me.”
This review is from:THE BLUE CRIMES (Kindle Edition)
Enrique Laso was born in Badajoz, the capital of the Province of Badajoz in the autonomous community of Extremadura, Spain, situated close to the Portuguese border, on the left bank of the river Guadiana, in 1972. Although professionally he has always been linked to the world of marketing and communication, literature is his true passion. He began writing in his teens and in 1994 won the Murcia youth national prize for his poetry collection ‘Lost children’. In 2005 he published the short novel ‘from hell’, adapted to film in 2014. He has published several novels under pseudonyms, the only one revealed by the author is Henry Osal who has signed several self-help manuals. ‘The sound of the dead’ is the novel with which he has had more success. It has sold more than 250,000 books and has been translated into 12 languages. He has won numerous literary competitions throughout his extensive literary career. For personal reasons, he did not write for almost ten years, until in 2005, when he revived his passion, and since then he has dedicated himself to writing whole-heartedly.
Enrique knows his way around mystery thrillers and of interest this Spanish author has placed his current story in the heartland of the American Midwest. He opens his story with a rather gruesome setting: `By the time they called me, a whole week had passed since the second body had been discovered. This was a setback as much of the evidence would have disappeared by now and I’d have to work with what little evidence the local police, unaccustomed to these types of crimes, would have been able to collect. Luckily I had been allocated a competent enough CSI unit and as we flew from Washington to Kansas City International Airport, we imagined, quite rightly as it turned out, that the crime scene will have been spoiled by dozens of well-meaning but clumsy Deputies. Liz, who I already knew professionally from the only case that I’d worked on up to then, handed me a folder containing photos; the cyanotic bodies of two naked girls, abandoned in a lagoon, like the unimportant remnants of a quiet morning picnic. I was staring into the open eyes of one of the young girls, who could not have been more than twenty years old, when I was struck by her plea: “You must find who did this to me.” Horrified, I turned the photos over and looked out the window of the small Gulfstream III; we were already over the state of Illinois.’
We meet Ethan Bush, and FBI agent, haunted by the fear that his initial success with the FBI may not be reproducible and that he may be destined to fail. But he is assigned a cold case – in addition to the two cyanotic girls mentioned earlier, there is Sharon Nichols who was not exactly killed yesterday. Her lifeless body appeared in the same place as the other two unfortunates, but in 1998, that is … almost 17 years ago. It was a case that went unsolved and was eventually shelved, like many others. This is the reason we needed you. We fear that we are facing a serial murderer who has returned to the area … Who can tell how many victims he might have claimed during the last nearly twenty years!’
And so proceeds Enrique’s THE BLUE CRIMES and the manner in which he places Ethan Bush and team in the resolution of crime is tense, suspenseful, and at all times involving. This is quality mystery writing by a voice new to most of us – a welcome addition to the thriller genre. Grady Harp, March 15
Thanks to Enrique for agreeing to come and be interviewed, thanks to all of you for reading, and you know what to do, like, share, comment and CLICK!
Seumas Gallacher is a writer with a large on-line following. In this book, Mr. Gallacher shares his experiences of self-publishing. From his discovery that this was indeed a possibility, to now having thousands of books sold to his name.
This is not a detailed manual on how to format your book, or how to create you cover. There are plenty of posts, books, etc, that share that type of information. This book offers general advice on the topic, and it is concise and to the point. Moreover, it emphasises the author’s personal experience, that is, of course not fully replicable by anybody else. If you have not read Mr Gallacher’s posts in the various social media, you don’t know how personal his style is. His advice is sound and has to be adapted and transformed by every author. One of the points Mr Gallacher emphasises is the business aspect of writing. Although you might see it as an expression of your inner being or as a need to inform people of something, or as a deep felt vocation, if you plan on making a living out of writing, or trying to, you must approach it professionally as a business, the same you would any other. Of course, your reasons for writing could be others than to make money out of it. In that case you would be well advised to create your own definition of success and not worry too much about rankings or sales, although this book would still provide a useful general guide.
Personally, I found the book clear, easy to follow and a quick read. Mr Seumas’s personal style shines through. I particularly enjoyed the non-internet part of his experience that demonstrates the importance of making connections, knowing the area you work in, and not being shy. Try it. If they say no, you’re no further back that when you started, but if they say yes…the sky could be the limit.
I recommend this book to new authors and also to those who have a number of publications to their name. You might be reassured you’re doing the right things, you might wonder about a change of strategy, and you will enjoy the style of writing and discover plenty about the business. And also a few things about this great and generous author.
Ratings: Realistic Characterization: NA Made Me Think: 5/5 Overall enjoyment: 5/5 Readability: 5/5 Recommended: 5/5 Overall Rating: 5/5