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Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Lost In Translation?

Yesterday the postman brought me something utterly thrilling - a contract to publish SOMEONE ELSE'S LIFE in Brazil - BRAZIL! How cool is that?!

If they keep my title and translate it it'll be

Alguém a Vida de Else!

(English to Portuguese translation c/o

How utterly mind-blowing.

This possibility did not even cross my mind while I was writing the book - all those long lonely hours just hoping that someday, someone, somewhere would like it - and now it is just the absolute juicy red cherry on the cake.

To imagine that my book will be translated into a whole other language and sold in a country on the other side of the world that I've never even been to - in vibrant Brazil!

Land of fiestas and carnivals, excessive waxing and incredible football players (till they move abroad to play for Real Madrid or somewhere) - perhaps I'll even get to go there to do book events...? (note to editors: pretty please...?)
In the meantime, I can dream :)

But it got me to thinking - if English-language fiction is translated and published all over the world, how come we don't have more international translated teen fiction over here? I'm struggling to think of many - Stieg Larsson, Cornelia Funke, and a few others I've probably missed, but why aren't there more? Why don't we have many novels from Brazil, Spain, France, India, China, Japan?

Is it that they just don't sell? Do English-speaking teens just find it easier to identify with characters in the culture they're familiar with? If so, why don't we have more European fiction? And why are dystopian and fantasy books so popular at the moment?

Teens love to travel - Gap years are becoming more and more popular, precisely because there is a hunger to see the world, to experience other cultures - why don't we offer a glimpse of this in teen fiction?

Isn't YA fiction about broadening our horizons, after all...?

What do you think? Why do you think our YA literature is so dominated by English-speaking authors, and do you think this should change? Would you like to read more foreign fiction?
Or do you prefer familiar characters and locations?

Thursday, 5 May 2011

My Cover...Revealed!!

Ok, so there are a lot of *Squeal!* moments that come with getting your first book published.
Here are mine (so far)...

1)  Being announced a winner of the SCBWI/Working Partners Undiscovered Voices Competition 
*Squeal!* Someone out there actually likes my writing!
(For your chance to get your children's/YA fiction read by top agents, editors and scouts I simply CANNOT recommend Undiscovered Voices 2012 highly enough - click HERE)

2)  Getting signed by a fabulous agent 
*Squeal!* Someone who knows what they're talking about actually wants to sign me up! 
(btw my lovely agent Jenny Savill is one of the judges of UV 2012)

3)  Getting my first publishing contract 
*SQUEAL!!* My writing's actually going to become an ACTUAL book? In bookshops? And someone wants to PAY me, too?! Pinch me, quick! Utter dream come true moment!

4) Seeing my book FOR SALE on Amazon!! 
*SQUEAL!!* This is really happening!! People are actually pre-ordering!!

And now? Now comes number 5)....


Click here for the synopsis

I have to tell you, I was both extremely nervous and incredibly excited when the attachment finally arrived in my inbox - they say don't judge a book by its cover, but this is the first thing that everyone will see when they pick up my book, if they pick up my book - it could actually make the difference between them picking up the book or going 'meh' and passing by so to me it's absolutely completely vitally important...

So when it came in I actually closed my eyes and crossed my fingers, clicked the attachment, peeked a little bit - and then I (yes, you guessed it!)


I am completely thrilled to bits, and send a huge thank you to everyone at Simon and Schuster - you are utterly fab.

Now please excuse me while I go away and squeal some more!!

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