Saturday, December 12, 2009

In Japanese

I am in Japanese.
This is so wonderful.

I do hope this is a good translation. It's not just that I want Spymaster's Lady to be available to readers in Japan.
It's ...
(Ok. I'll admit it.)
I want somebody to read it
and say -- Manga!!
Yes. I want Annique to be a manga.
I have many unrealized dreams.
This is a particularly intelligent cover. Look at those wonderfully symbolic white cliffs of Dover. The scene where Annique comes ashore at Dover is not just a random point in the book. It's the division between dark and light. The turning of the action.
And the cliffs give a sense of the 'fortress' England presented to any invasion from France.

As to Annique . . .
This is not the face I picture for her,
but it's somebody I like the looks of.
It is here, at Amazon Japan, ready for all your Japanese Christmas shopping needs.
And see Spymaster's Lady visiting the Mejiro Gardens in Tokyo. Here.
Sherry Thomas tells me the title translates as The White Cliffs of Dover on the Other Side.
This, I like. Oh yes.


  1. Congratulations! Not how I picture Annique either, but still a Very Nice Cover. So, how many languages does this make? You are becoming quite the international author. :)

  2. Lovely cover, Joanna. I understand your manga-lust. I actually have a manga of one of my historicals, in Japanese and Thai (same pics, different language), but alas, I can't seem to get a copy of either one. Tragic!

  3. Anonymous11:18 PM

    Boy, I wonder how the translators handle your wonderful, subtle, french phrasing for Annique...

  4. Hi Linda --

    I'm trying to remember. I think it's French, Spanish, Japanese, Thai, Chinese, Russian, and Italian. I think these are the big markets for English language fiction.

    I DIDN'T get translated into German, which is a big disappointment. (sniff) But maybe if I work very hard I will be, someday.

    You will be looking at your own foreign language rights one of these days. *g*

  5. *knocks wood* If it ever gets published, and then gets published in Swedish, I will actually be able to read it.* Which would be a special brand of awesome. :)

    *Not that I can't read it English. But you know what I mean.

  6. @ Anon --

    I do not actually know, but I suspect translators are like everyone else in the book business lately -- too much work to do and too little time.

    Seems to me it'd take great skill for a translator to identify and gauge the extent of a Boston, Louisiana or Mexican accent in English and then create an equivalent in, say, Swedish.
    ... while all the while making it sound like the character.

    Fr'instance . . . Forbidden Rose takes place in France. In a way, you could say I am 'translating' dialog and some internals from French to English.

    Doyle speaks educated Parisian French when he wants to. He also speaks a Breton-accented, lower-class Parisian French. I 'translate' his normal French to educated British English. His lower caste French, into a Countryman's Cockney, that moves up and down a gradient of dialect strength, depending on who he's speaking to.

    His internals remain the educated-but-figurative-and-folksy British that is the everyday inhabitant of his brain.

    Each of his French voices is represented by an English voice he uses back in London.
    He always sounds like himself.

    Adrian is thinking entirely in English at this point in his life. And the English he speaks in London is the English of Bow bells. So his internals are Cockney thieves cant.

    His spoken French, however, is educated, upper-crust, Gascon. Bit of an ironic contrast between what comes out of his mouth and what's inside his head. (He learned his French from a young aristo girl in London.)

    This internal/external split is going to decrease as Adrian gets older and his English improves. Then his English voice will get to sound more like his French voice.

    He's also learning a lower-caste Parisian accent from Doyle at this time, but I don't think we get any examples of it in the story much. It would sound Cockney if I used it.

    I have folks in the story talk about Adrian's 'Gascon accent', which would have been VERY different from Parisian in 1790. Almost mutually unintelligible languages, in fact.

    But I don't REPRESENT this Gascon-speak. I just use educated British English.

    Doyle's accents pass unnoticed because he always sounds like himself. If I tried to show Adrian's Gascon-ity with some off-the-wall accent that 'represented Gascon' French -- Cajun or Scots or something -- it wouldn't sound like Adrian. That's not how he would ever sound in his English.

    What it comes down to is I don't have the least idea how the translator is going to manage a 'French' accent in Japanese or Spanish.

    Or French.
    Yes. Bit of a hard row to hoe, the French accent in French.

    This is where my little pea brain starts hurting and I go in and cook chicken and dumplings and just try not to think about it.

  7. Hi Anne --

    YES! You have beautiful Japanese language editions. And lovely covers. The faces on your Japanese books are so hauntingly elegant.

    Is the manga recent? Criminy, there has to be some way to find it.

  8. His spoken French, however, is educated, upper-crust, Gascon. Bit of an ironic contrast between what comes out of his mouth and what's inside his head. (He learned his French from a young aristo girl in London.)

    I'll just bet he did. *g*

    Love the cover and love your explanation of how you convey each character's voice.

  9. Hi Annie --

    I know a lot about the girl. I don't know if she'll ever walk on stage or even get talked about.

    Maybe we'll run into her in the ADRIAN manuscript. I'll be starting that in a couple weeks.

  10. I don't read Japanese, but the Chinese characters in the title say "The White Cliffs of the Other Shore."

    Which is so poetic. Sigh. Wish we didn't need to punch up the sexy part of romance so much in the marketing of romances here. Cuz there is so much more, isn't it?

  11. Elisa Beatty12:30 AM

    Oh, yes... a manga version would be so perfect! Here's hoping!

  12. Hi Sherry -

    That is such a great title from the Japanese.

    And the physical book -- I love the strange of it.

    It's the same width as a mass market paperback, but an inch shorter, and fairly thick. The paper is thinner than your average mass market book, all silky smooth and tough with crisp, clear printing. Just a pleasure to hold.

    The cover is actually separate. It's a cover like a hardback would have. Thick, slick paper. The print quality, as with all Japanese printing I've run across, is perfectly splendid.

    And we got a spine with a number on it. #23. It's a series book. I have broken into 'category'.

    Yes! about the delight of this title.

    Why, why, why does Marketing insist Romance titles must be completly forgetable? Do they think readers will get all confused if titles don't sound properly 'Romance-y'?

  13. Hi Elisa --

    They do Romance manga -- see Anne Gracie above. And they apparently do e-text of the manga. So cool.

    I don't know whether the translation right I sold include manga rights.
    But I can dream.