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I grew up in Colorado at the foot of the Rocky Mountains, then lived in Denmark and traveled throughout Europe before coming back to Colorado. I have two adult sons, whom I cherish. I started my writing career as a columnist and investigative reporter and eventually became the first woman editor of two different papers. Along the way, my team and I won numerous state and several national awards, including the National Journalism Award for Public Service. In 2011, I was awarded the Keeper of the Flame Lifetime Achievement Award for Journalism. Now I write historical romance and contemporary romantic suspense.

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Friday, July 15, 2011

Fun with Foreign Covers

Every once in a while, I find it fun to share with you the covers of my books as they appear in translations. Often the concepts are very different. Sometimes they’re very old school, using images that seem to belong to the ’80s or even earlier. And the translations of the titles are fun to learn, too.

As some of you know, I love language. Period. I love learning new languages and have never felt shy about trying to pronounce things I cannot yet say. To me, it’s just fun. It’s been interesting to me to try to interact with readers from around the world, despite the language barriers we face. In the age of Google translate, it’s not impossible for me to communicate with readers whose languages are utterly foreign to me. Right now, my books are in Spanish, French, German, Italian, Turkish, Thai, Japanese, Portuguese and Norwegian.

At the top is the Norwegian cover for Untamed, titled Svikefulle Hjerte, or Deceitful Heart, in Norwegian. I speak fluent Danish, and Norwegian is kind of like misspelled Danish with some words that are strange to me. So I can pretty much read the Norwegian translations.



The same cannot be said for Thai, which must be one of the prettiest written languages in the world. I looks like a bunch of artful loops and curves. I can’t read a word of it, but it’s fun to post messages to my Thai readers on Facebook using Google translate.

Here’s an example:

ฉันชอบที่จะเยือนประเทศไทย

That says, “I would love to visit Thailand.” Is that just freaking cool or what? It’s art.

The Thai publisher has done a fantastic job with these stories, which seem to be fairly popular in Thailand. They can’t have the sexy covers that they have here in the U.S., but the series has a unique look to it that’s a bit mysterious and culturally appropriate. And all the books come with plastic covers.

I have learned that they take books very seriously throughout Asia. Books are shown great respect and are treated like important property. As an author, I like that.



Here is the Japanese cover for Untamed, titled Loyalty to the Maiden’s Prayer, in Japanese. I’ve learned to recognize my name in Japanese — that’s something, anyway — but I need to learn more than that, as I hope to travel there one day. I have two good friends who live there — one a journalist from the Dream Team days and one a journalist who worked with me until Monday. (Not sure what it is about journalists who work for me, then go to Japan...)

Apparently, my books are fairly popular there, too, especially my MacKinnon’s Rangers series. Readers are reportedly waiting desperately for Lord William’s story. Yes, he is the fan fave. Apparently, Japanese readers enjoy characters with more shades of gray.

I was very fortunate to connect with Kyoko Nakai, the talented Japanese writer who translated my Ranger series into Japanese. Warm and gracious, she contacted me to ask if I’d like to write a special message to my Japanese readers for the release of Untamed earlier this month, which I was delighted to do. And she translated that, as well, sending me a copy of the published book when it came out. It hit No. 2 on Amazon.jp for mass market paperback.

(Incidentally, Nakai is a surname in Navajo, too. I find that interesting.)

One of these days, I plan to visit Thailand, Japan, Hong Kong, New Zealand and Australia to meet my readers and fellow authors there, as well as catching up with two wayward reporters and meeting Kyoko. Can’t wait!

In the meantime, I’m back to working on Connor’s book. I’ll be finishing Chapter 12 today. I thought I was working on Chapter 13 last weekend. Then I discovered it was actually Chapter 12 — and that half of a chapter had already been written weeks ago and that it was completely different from what I’d just written.

This was frustrating, as both versions had things I liked and didn’t want to lose. After much swearing — I was so angry at myself — I finally took the stuff I absolutely had to keep out of the first version and put it in the second version. I’m finishing that today if it kills me. And then on to Chapter 13 for real.

That’s what happens when you don’t have an outline and just write from the heart. One day I write it this way; a month later, I write a completely different chapter, although the gist is the same.

On to other things...

We had some big rain pass through here that set off flash flood sirens, as a four-foot wall of water moved down one of the canyons. Kind of exciting for an adrenaline junkie like me. Fortunately, damage has been fairly minimal, and all that free water falling from the sky has done wonders for our veggie garden and lawn. We’ve harvested lots of greens, broccoli, tomatoes and squash already. Much, much more to come. I love cooking and eating food that we grow ourselves. I’ll share some photos soon!

I do plan to get Tina Lewis Rowe, the former U.S. Marshal for Colorado, in here for an interview soon, as promised. She and I keep missing each other. Not sure what’s up with that. You think maybe we’re busy? We almost pulled off lunch and window shopping just prior to Christmas. And then...

Also, I’m inviting the dessert columnist from our paper — known as Dessert Diva — to join Natalie Benoit from Breaking Point here on my blog for a post devoted to baking pies and sharing pie recipes. I think the title of that blog post will be, “How to bake good pies for your husband.” (That really cracks me up — it made the entire all-male staff of the newsroom laugh out loud — but if you don’t get the joke, don’t worry about it.)

Benjy says he still has some of each of my five historicals in case anyone is interested in buying an autographed copy straight from him via eBay. These are the original versions. Once they’re gone, they’re gone. Sweet Release and Carnal Gift are not being rereleased in print in any version, and I think he said he has about a dozen of each remaining.

And one last bit...

The new cover for Surrender is up on Amazon, and the book is now available for pre-order. This is the “author’s cut” of the book, what I’ve been calling Surrender 2.0. I need to find a way to let readers know that it’s not a brand-new book. I’m hoping the gold medallion on the front that says,“Includes New Material,” will be enough to tip them off. Inevitably, someone will send me an angry email accusing me of trying personally to dupe them into buying a book they already have. But you can serve as my witnesses that I am 100 percent open and honest about these things.

Have a lovely weekend, everyone!

Now, back to Connor...

7 comments:

CMD said...

Not like I'm biased or anything because I essentially grew up there... but Hong Kong is legend! Japan & Thailand are pretty great too (mmm... brilliant food & the best technology around = heaven). Hope you get out there at some point. I want to move back & go from being 2.5-lingual to trilingual again :)

Those foreign covers are looking good!

I'll have to hope you're there when I'm there, CMD. Then I can have the expert tour of the city. I have another friend who does live there, so I expect it will be a great deal of fun.

landipan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
landipan said...

Wow,it's so cool to see all the different languages and covers! And you're right, Thai is is so pretty looking!

I wish to visit Japan too one day,the culture and beauty of that country is amazing and so very interesing!

they do love a character filled with shades of grey,back in my manga reading days there were so many heros that would be called in the 'romance world' the Gamma heros I think,sometimes you thought they are bad/mean but then they'd show a soft,sweet,vulnerable side and made you want to cuddle up with them, lol.

I think that's where I started liking that kind of hero alot though,and I know if Lord William ever get's his own book I think I'll just die of excitement lol! He is totally right up my ally!

Can't wait for the dessert post,I love baking!

CMD said...

It'll be the 鬼佬 power tour :). I grew up outside of the typical HK expat enclaves (which are mainly in very specific parts of the Island and in the Outlying Islands), so we were one of the few Westerners around. I've been stared at in amazement by many an older Hong Konger. In Beijing, people kept stopping me on the street to take pictures... and I'm not particularly "exotic" looking: I'm petite & dark-haired, like most everyone else. Except, you know, Caucasian :-)

When/if you end up over there, you have to engage in the four most popular pastimes: 卡拉OK (going to karaoke... we used to do this all the time), 飲茶 (the proper term for what here is known as "going to eat dim sum"), 鋤大D (Big Two, similar to Asshole [the card game] here), and 麻將 (mahjong, played everywhere on the streets). And, of course, walk along the harbourfront and check out the world's most beautiful skyline.

Hmm... I should brush up on my Cantonese. Right now all I remember is 唔該‘廁所喺邊度呀?, which, while useful (because being able to ask for the loo is always great), will not get me very far. Thankfully my Mandarin is much better :P

All joking aside: get out to HK if you can! Definitely worth the ~15 hour flight from the West Coast. The rest of Southeast Asia is pretty excellent as well.

I love languages too. I wish I had more time to study them.

It's always interesting to have a look at foreign covers. Especially when you see how they are dressed for the cover of Untamed. (!)
There's a whole culture thing around book covers and things that work in a country would never work in another. Especially when it comes to romance, at least in France.

I like Thai too. It's a work of art. It could say something really nasty and still look pretty.

Baking pie...Eating pie...... I did get the joke. I should be ashamed of myself. I guess I studied English too much... ;-P

Have a lovely weekend.

Stéphanie

Kathrine69 said...

I have to agree with the Japanese. Would love to read a book about Lord William (because he's so grey :-))!! Asia is great, hope you make a trip out there. I lived in Thailand, Malaysia and the Phillippines as a child.

Din danske fan, Kathrine

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