Please welcome Shira Anthony!

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“Blood and Ghosts” Blog Tour: Wibbly Wobbly Timey Wimey Stuff

Thanks, Kim, for hosting the Blood and Ghosts blog tour today! I’m so excited to share the second book in the Blood Series from Dreamspinner Press with everyone. Be sure to read down about how to enter the blog tour giveaway for a cool Dr. Who “Wibbly Wobbly Timey Wimey” pendant.

timetravelimageHave you ever dreamed you could go back in time and do things differently?  There are many different concepts of time and how the choices we make affect our future. Speculative fiction is hot right now, and there are some great books out there that delve into what might have happened if, for example, Germany had won World War II, or the South had won the United States Civil War and slavery had never been abolish. These sorts of stories utilize a view of time as linear, but with many twists and turns based on events and choices. This diagram demonstrates that concept. Each green dot is a choice that leads to a different outcome. Decide you’re going to have dinner with Jim, and maybe you don’t meet John. Each choice becomes a fork in the road.

BloodandGhostsFSThe Blood Series was inspired by a Japanese anime, Noein, which utilizes precisely this concept of time (and yes, I’m a total anime geek, for those who may not already know!). The series features three MM pairings, but the main focus is on immortal vampire hunter Adrien Gilbert and the ancient vampire (born a vampire, not created from a human) he loves, Nicolas Lambert. Through Nicolas’s powerful blood, Adrien not only becomes immortal, but he gains powers beyond those of vampires or hunters. In book 2 in the series, Blood and Ghosts, Adrien discovers he has the ability to travel through time. Unfortunately for Adrien, controlling that power is something just beyond his grasp.

Blood and Ghosts features three timelines, or “timestreams”: the original timestream Adrien lives in which is chronicled in Blood and Rain (Blood #1), the timestream Adrien inadvertently changes when he’s sent back to a time before he ever met Nicolas, and finally, a confusing new future I won’t spoil in which he finds himself at the end of the second book (a where he finally gets a happily-for-now with his beloved Nicolas!). Keeping all of these straight, and keeping them understandable for the reader, was a monumental task. How did I do it? With a lot of input from my wonderful beta readers and my Dreamspinner Press editors. Oh, and a crap ton of rewriting!

BloodandRainFSAdrien meets three versions of Nicolas in the series: the Nicolas he originally fell in love with, the Nicolas whose life he changes when Adrien finds himself in his teenaged past, and a Nicolas of the future who has never met Adrien. Writing each Nicolas was a great deal of fun. At his heart (or soul, as the vampires would say), each Nicolas is the same. But events and choices can change and shape a person, for better or worse.

Adrien wants to spend his immortal life at Nicolas’s side. But which Nicolas he’ll end up with is far from clear. Finding Nicolas isn’t the only challenge Adrien must face—he must also repair the damage created by Verel Pelletier, another immortal hunter bent on reigniting a war between vampires and hunters. And Adrien must fix both past and present before he loses everything he ever cared about.

Blood and Ghosts ends with a happily-for-now for Nicolas and Adrien, and with a question: what would you sacrifice for your own happiness? That question will be answered in the final book in the series, Blood and Eternity, which will be published in early 2016. -Shira

Blood and Ghosts (Blood #2) Blog Tour

April 20th – May 1st

Shira Anthony

 

Thank you so much for being part of my blog tour! Below is all the basic information you’ll need to add to the exclusive post. I’ve also attached the artwork for you to use as you wish to dress up the post. If you have any questions, please email me at: shiraanthony@hotmail.com. Thanks again! -Shira

Blood and Ghosts Blog Tour Giveaway:

Enter to win a Blood Series prize basket including a Dr. Who Wibbly Wobbly Timey Wimey Pendant, a paperback copy of Blood and Rain, and a Blood Series pen.

Link to Rafflecopter giveaway: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/cf0ba94911/?

 

Blurb: Sequel to Blood and Rain/Blood: Book Two

With vampire Nicolas Lambert’s marriage to a rival clanswoman only weeks away, Adrien Gilbert struggles to come to terms with his defeat at the hands of Verel Pelletier, a vampire hunter and an immortal like himself. Adrien and his former teacher, Roland Günter, begin to explore his newly acquired abilities. But without his soul’s sword, Adrien flounders.

On Nicolas’s wedding day, a two-hundred-year old secret is revealed, sending the wedding party into a blazing battle between hunters and vampires. Once again Adrien finds himself facing Pelletier’s superior strength. Just as Adrien believes all hope of a future with Nicolas is lost, he finally learns his true gift—he can turn back time. But time travel comes with a high cost. To save Nicolas, Adrien must become strong enough to use his power without descending into madness.

 

 

You can purchase the Blood Series here:

Dreamspinner Press

Amazon

AllRomanceEbooks

 

Bio: Shira Anthony is a complete sucker for a happily-ever-after, and rarely reads or writes a story without one. Never a fan of instalove, Shira likes to write stories about real men with real issues making real relationships work. In her last incarnation, Shira was a professional opera singer, performing roles in such operas as “Tosca,” “Pagliacci,” and “La Traviata,” among others. Her Blue Notes Series is loosely based upon her own experiences as a professional musician. Shira is married with two children and two insane dogs and when she’s not writing, she is usually in a courtroom trying to make the world safer for children. When she’s not working, she can be found aboard a 36’ catamaran at the Carolina coast with her favorite sexy captain at the wheel. She’s given up TV for evenings spent with her laptop, and she never goes anywhere without a pile of unread M/M romance on her Kindle. Interested in hearing Shira sing? Here’s a link to a live performance of Shira singing an aria from Puccini’s “Tosca”: http://www.shiraanthony.com/wp-conten… You can subscribe to Shira’s monthly newsletter for updates, free fiction, and subscriber-only contests here: http://www.shiraanthony.com/newsletter/

Shira can be found on Facebook, Goodreads, Twitter (@WriterShira) or on her web site, http://www.shiraanthony.com. You can also contact her at shiraanthony@hotmail.com. You can find all of Shira’s books at Dreamspinner Press, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and All Romance Ebooks.

 

Blood and Ghosts Blog Tour Participants:

April 20th – Prism Book Alliance

April 21st – Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

April 22nd – My Fiction Nook

April 23rd – Love Bytes

April 24th – MM Good Book Reviews

April 25th – Andrew Q. Gordon (The Land of Make Believe)

April 26th – Aisling Mancy

April 27th – Bike Book Reviews

April 28th – Charlie Cochet

April 29th – Hearts on Fire Book Reviews

April 30th – Kim Fielding

Ooh! That’s Interesting!: Saura on Spanish translations

Today is the third installment in my series of interviews about Dreamspinner Press’s translations program. I am delighted to present to you Saura, who coordinates the Spanish translations.

Si quieren leer la entrevista en español, pueden hacerlo aquí.

Tell us a little about yourself.

Hello! My name is Saura Underscore and I’m the Spanish Language coordinator and Social Manager for Dreamspinner Press Spanish. I was born in Madrid, Spain, and I’m old enough to have lived under a dictatorial regime for a very little bit. I am one of those who grew up with a new democracy and liberties, but that still had to fight for our rights. I’m married with the love of my life, who is very supportive with every madness I come up with, and I have a small hyperactive kid.

I have a degree in English that allows me to teach in primary schools, and they were crazy enough to give me a bilingual certificate that allows me to give classes only in English. I’m actually pretending to study to get a permanent position at a public school, and right now I’m teaching English to 5 years old children.

What are some of the things you have to worry about when doing translations?

The most important thing to worry about is that all our translations must follow the RAE rules of writing, grammar and spelling. RAE is an official institution that is dedicated to create Spanish dictionaries and Spanish grammar rules that everybody must follow. During these two and a half years, for example, our first books have a tilde (the small dash on top of some vocals) in some words that RAE decided they don’t have it anymore, and we have to make sure they don’t have it now!

After that, we need to make sure that our books use standard (neutral) Spanish. We sell both in Spain and everywhere in Latin America. Even though the foundation of the language is the same and we all follow RAE rules, the kind of Spanish we speak is very different. The way to use “you” in plural comes to mind right now  (I know Ariel already spoke of the fact that we have to ways of saying “you”, one formal that we use for meetings, when we don’t know the person or they are old, and one informal for friends and family). In most of Spain they use the informal “you” form in plural. Everywhere in Latin America and the Canary Islands, for example, they use the formal “you” form in plural. You can tell if the translator is from Spain or not just for this!

And then you have the wording. There are words that you can say in Spain that means another thing completely in Mexico, for example!! “Coger” (take, catch, pick up, ride) is one of them. In Mexican, for example, “coger” means “to have sex”. You must be careful not to “coger” the bus!!

Finally you have the slang, the accents, the phrasing and the titles from the English versions. Just like Ariel explained some of them are impossible to translate to Spanish (how can we convey the Southern accent so that it makes sense for a Bolivian reader?). Some cultural jokes don’t make sense for us either and they have to be explained in a foot note or translated to one that makes sense to all of us in a lot of different countries. About the titles: sometimes we needed to speak with authors to change them completely. They are especially difficult when they play with words that have a lot of different meanings in Spanish, but not the same word to be able to translate it. Dex in Blue for example. There were four possible different translations for it, and I can tell you none could cover the whole meaning of the title!

What are some of the exciting things about translating?

For me, the most exciting is to read a book I really liked in English, read it in my own language and see that the translator and proofreader made it justice: that they managed to give a voice in Spanish to the author and the characters, and that it’s the correct one.

Also the possibility of chatting with authors and helping them to speak with their Spanish readers, speak in Spanish. That’s fantastic.

How do you find translators?

 

We used the word of mouth at first. Those who applied were made to translate a complete small story that used difficult phrasing and slang, as well as a very particular and located festivity that doesn’t exist in Europe or Latin America, to check just how well they could transform those into readable, with sense Spanish. Unfortunately for us there are no positions open right now.

Are there any special challenges with the Spanish language?

I think we would love to sound “local”. We would love our readers not to know if the translator is from Chile or Venezuela or Spain, and to sound as the reader would love us to sound. That’s why we use the international expressions. But I fear that it’s impossible.

What genres are popular for Spanish readers?

It depends on where you want to focus your attention. Contemporary novel is probably our best seller, along with Changeling and Vampire histories in most of the Latin American countries. There’s a lot of interest in Wresters there too. In Spain the readers go more for both Contemporary and Historical. I think we all agree on the interest for Crime Fiction thrillers and mysteries.

The trickiest challenge we have as a project is to meet everybody’s tastes. We are probably the hugest potential market, but our tastes differ from one country to the next, and even from one city to the next! Making everybody happy is extremely difficult, even though we try.

What can you tell us about the Spanish market for m/m romance?

It’s a difficult market, especially considering it all as a whole thing, instead of independent markets divided in countries.

I think the worst part comes for promotion: even though in Spain, for example, gay marriage is legal and we are supposed to be open minded enough to be able to say we are reading m/m romance, it’s not true. Gay editorials, even those that have been on the market for long like our partner “Complices”, have a lot of trouble going to book fairs and find a clear spot to sell. Big book stores don’t sell gay romance, or have it hidden in dark shelves or unable to find in their websites. Don’t get me started with countries where being gay is still a punishable crime!

In Latin America we found trouble with payments specially. Not all countries allow their people to have a credit card easily and having access to a paypal-account, something that apparently is so easy, is not when your money is being controlled. The new tax that has set in Europe is not helping us either.

However, the Spanish is a market that devours books and love to comment on them and to their writers. When doing a chat with an author, you can feel that love!

Spanish is so widely spoken! What countries do most of Dreamspinner’s Spanish readers live in?

According to our numbers Perú is the country were DSP has more fans. Then Venezuela is the second country and Spain comes on the third place. We even have US citizens buying us in Spanish!

One last question: What places are on your travel bucket list?

We are planning to make a family trip to France this summer, but everything is on the air for now. I’d love to visit Italy and Greece, which are the only two countries in Europe I haven’t visited yet. And we have a lot of friends in Germany, UK and USA, and even we’ve been there already, a visit is always something we are ready to do plan.

 

Extra author’s bonus: Experiences! (this time with a porn studio)

I’ve dreamed of being an author as long as I could remember. I’ve always had stories in my head, and sharing them with other people has been my goal since I was in preschool. So of course I’m thrilled that my 12th and 13th novels will be published this summer, and I practically swoon over fan mail and good reviews. I’m also extremely grateful for all the friends I’ve made via writing.

What I didn’t expect, however, was one of the big side benefits of being an author: it gives me the impetus for new adventures. In the last year, among other things, I’ve taken a falconry class, slept on a 19th century ferry that’s been converted to a houseboat, toured cemeteries (okay, I’d have done that one anyway), and shot a handgun at a shooting range. And this last weekend? I took a tour of a BDSM porn studio.

It’s Armory Studios in San Francisco, where the kink.com stuff is filmed. They don’t film on Saturdays, so we didn’t see that, but we did get to see a few minutes of a spanking workshop. *g* And the sets:

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I wish I had a cage under my stairs. Could come in handy.

The tour was really fun and I learned a bit about the business. I’d definitely recommend going if you’re in the area. But I don’t know if I’d ever have thought of it if I didn’t feel the need for research. 🙂

Incidentally, here are the wifi networks my phone detected while I was not too far away from the Armory:

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I love this.

What have you done or would you like to do in the name of research?

Blast from the Past: Sounds of Love by Susan Laine

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Book Blurb:
“A Senses and Sensations Story
What does love sound like? If you hear it, will you heed its call?
Police officer Jordan Waters is recovering from a shooting by moving to a new apartment in a new town and taking a new job. In other words, he’s lonely. His first instinct is to relieve his anxiety through uncomplicated sex—until he meets a man so far out of his league and experience that he stumbles for the first time.
Police volunteer Sebastian Sumner may be deaf, but his spirit, openness, and sense of humor give him the strength to get through anything—even the emotional defenses of Jordan Waters. But it’s his own family history that poses the biggest challenge. Can he learn to trust Jordan with his heart, or will his upbringing blind him to the sounds of love?”
Buy Links:
Bio:
“Susan Laine is an award-winning, multi-published author of LGBT erotic romance. Susan lives in Finland, where summers are wet and winters long. Thankfully, the spark for writing, which kindled when Susan discovered the sizzling hot gay erotic romance genre, keeps her plenty warm.
Trained as an anthropologist, Susan’s long-term plan is to become a full-time writer. Susan enjoys hanging out with her sister, two nieces and friends in movie theaters, bookstores, and parks. Her favorite pastimes include listening to music, watching action flicks, eating chocolate, and doing the dishes while pondering the meaning of life.
Visit Susan’s website at http://www.susan-laine-author.fi/ or join her newsletter or write her an e-mail at susan.laine@hotmail.com.”

New pretties

I have new trading cards! The lovely and extremely talented Catherine Dair drew my beloved Ennek and Miner, and didn’t she do an outstanding job?

Ennek card Miner card

I love the colors, the outfits, the expressions on their faces….

How can you get your hands on these beautiful men? Or on the trading cards Catherine made featuring Drew and Travis? Well, I’ll have them with me at events this year–so far, GRNW and GRL. I also be giving them away in future contests.

***

It’s been a busy few weeks for me. I have four (FOUR!) new releases due in June and one in July, which means I’ve been going through a lot of edits. I have lots of other things in the works as well. You can see a detailed list here.

This weekend, though, my husband and I will be abandoning the children with my in-laws while we have a grown-up weekend in San Francisco. Among the planned activities are a tour of a BDSM porn studio, as well as meals in places that do not have children’s menus and crayons. I will share pics when we return. Man, I’m always so happy when I can escape to the city for a little while!

Ooh! That’s Interesting!: Emanuela Piasentini on Italian translations

 

078As you might know, my book Brute came out in Italian this month. Although I unfortunately don’t speak Italian, this translation is especially exciting for me because my grandfather immigrated from Italy. So this week I have another special treat for you. When I was in Orlando last month, the lovely Emanuela Piasentini agreed to sit down with me for an interview. Emanuela is the Italian translations coordinator for Dreamspinner Press.

 

Me: Tell us a little about yourself.

Emanuela: I’m a tax accountant. By night I check translations and coordinate social media and translations in Italian. I studied languages in school. I was one of the first people to buy a Kindle in Italy. I was recommended Bareback by Chris Martin. From that moment on I was sold. I’m single and I don’t need a guy to save me. I couldn’t read het romance any more.

What are some of the things you have to worry about when doing translations?

Emanuela:Translating the title literally doesn’t always translate the real meaning. Specific cultural references like Isle of Wight sounding like a earworm song or Lord Maudit [from Brute] sounding like a pop song. Or the title might be impossible for Italians to pronounce. Dealing with gendered nouns is also difficult. Many translators read the book first to find consistent concepts so words can be used the same. Translating words with multiple meanings can be hard, too. Like “fruitcake”, which can mean both crazy and gay in English. We need to find an approximation rather than a literal translation.

What are some of the exciting things about translating?

We are changing the language in some ways, such as with the concept of being in the closet. We drop hints to get people used to the idea.

When characters have regional accents, we use bad grammar to signify that.

How do you find translators?

We do tests. They contact Dreamspinner first. We have some who are better with different genres. We also need to find a proofreader who works well with that translator.

Are there any special challenges with the Italian language?

Italian abhors repetition, so we have to avoid “he said” over again.

Words for sex in Italian are either flowery or very dirty. You don’t want to be too fancy. We use more direct words in dialogue, more neutral words in description.

What genres are popular for Italian readers?

Contemporary is popular and westerns. Westerns work better in gay romance than in het. Scifi isn’t popular and neither is steampunk. They’re difficult to grasp. And they’re hard to translate into Italian.

What can you tell us about the Italian market for m/m romance?

The readership is very passionate about m/m. We publish one book per week and the market is growing by word of mouth. The first impact is often negative because it’s women writing m/m or because it’s gay. People ask are they romantic or is it just sex. There are a lot of prejudices and preconceptions to overcome. There’s still a cultural stigma for gay. But Dreamspinner Italian’s Facebook page has gotten 1200 likes in 2 years.

Grazie, Emanuela, for taking the time to chat with me!

 

 

Please welcome Andrew Q. Gordon

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ABOUT THE BOOK

Title: The Eye And The Arm

Series: Champion of the Gods Book 2

BLURB:

TheEyeAndTheArm-Front-PreviewAfter defeating Meglar at Belsport, Farrell returns to Haven to recover from his injuries, but Khron, the god of war, has other ideas. He gives Farrell a new mission: free the survivors of the ancient dwarf realm of Trellham from their three-thousand-year banishment. To fulfill Khron’s near impossible task, Farrell will need the help of his distance ancestor, the legendary wizard Kel. But Kel has been dead for a thousand years.

Farrell finds information hinting that Kel is alive, so he moves his search to Dumbarten, Kel’s birthplace. To reach Dumbarten unannounced, Farrell and Miceral disguise themselves as mercenaries on board a merchant vessel. Their journey is disrupted when pirates attack their ship. While attempting to subdue the attack, Farrell is struck down by one of Meglar’s minions.

Unconscious and trapped in his own mind, Farrell’s only chance for survival rests with Miceral and the peregrine king Rothdin entering his thoughts and helping him sort fact from illusion. To reach Farrell, they will need to rely on an untested spell from one of Kel’s spellbooks. If they succeed, Miceral can guide Farrell home safely. If not, Farrell will destroy not only himself, but Miceral, Rothdin, and everyone around him.

DSP Publications

Length: 99,775 words/296 Pages

Release Date: April 14, 2015

Video Trailer:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bk6OfKOU6nc&feature=youtu.be

EXCERPT:

“Relax, my friend.” Klissmor’s presence calmed Miceral’s growing anxiety. “You won’t feel my presence.”

Miceral took a deep breath. “Will I be able to hear?”

“Every word. Ready?”

“No, but let’s do it.” He took a deep breath and closed his eyes.

“I need your eyes open for everyone to see.”

He snapped his lids open, blinking several times before could focus again. “Sorry.”

“Master Teberus.” Miceral knew the words came from him, but as promised, he didn’t feel anything. “I have Masters Erstad and Wesfazial as well as Wizard-Priestess Glendora. Ask your questions to Miceral and we four will also hear you.”

“Astounding.” The elder Arlefor glanced at the high priestess. “All four at once?”

“Wizard.” Miceral had heard that tone enough to know Klissmor’s mood. “Maintaining this link, this far away with this many minds, is a strain. If we are to save Farrell, you must focus on him.”

“Of course. My apologies.” Teberus bowed deeply. “My examination of the one who did this to Farrell confirmed that he is no wizard.”

“Then how in the eight gates of Neblor did that man defeat Farrell?” Even though Teberus couldn’t know, Miceral recognized the voice as Wesfazial’s.

“The obvious answer is the correct one. A wizard gave this man the weapon.”

“But Farrell could defeat all four of us and all the other wizards you brought with you and not be tested.” Erstad’s steady temperament sounded tested. “No weapon used by a nonwizard should be capable of this.”

Teberus raised the crest of his hairless eyebrow. “But since that is what happened, we must use it as the basis of our search for a cure.”

No one answered. As the silence dragged on, Miceral’s anxiety slowly returned. If Haven’s senior wizards didn’t know what to do, who could?

“Tell us what happened.” Erstad’s request almost didn’t register with Miceral.

“No,” Klissmor said. “Show them. Let them see the memory.”

Miceral closed his eyes and focused on reliving the attack. The clarity of the image caused his chest to tighten, making it hard to breathe. He knew the result, but watching it again, almost in slow motion, added to his agony.

When the image played over again, he realized Klissmor must have been guiding his thoughts.

“My apologies, old friend—the need is great.” Klissmor’s voice didn’t interrupt the stream of images.

“Do whatever you need. Just find a way to save Farrell.”

“Your friends are doing all they can. Have faith that Lenore will send us what we need.”

When the memory started for the third time, he didn’t find any comfort in Klissmor’s assertion. The Six wouldn’t—couldn’t—help. He needed something that didn’t exist—a great wizard like Heminaltose or Kel.

“In theory, I recognize the magic.” Erstad sounded confused. “But I’ll need to find a reference to be sure.”

“What about Farrell?” He knew he shouted, or at least what Farrell told him passed for shouting, but he couldn’t prevent it. “He could be dead before you find that.”

“It can’t be helped, Miceral. I need to be sure before I suggest a counterspell. If I’m wrong, whatever I try might kill him.”

“He is in no immediate danger.” Teberus put his hand on Farrell’s forehead. “But my fear is the number of spells that draw on him for power. I can only give him but so much. If he doesn’t wake, his body will burn out.”

“Do what you can, Master Teberus. We’ll begin searching immediately and contact you when we find the answer.” When Erstad stopped speaking, Klissmor’s presence left with him.

“Hurry. Please.” Miceral knew no one heard him.

BUY LINKS

DSPP Link: http://www.andrewqgordon.com/2015/04/champion-of-the-gods-books-one-and-two-available-now/

Amazon Link: http://www.amazon.com/The-Eye-Champion-Gods-Book-ebook/dp/B00VGZB6SS

Amazon UK Link: http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Eye-Champion-Gods-Book-ebook/dp/B00VGZB6SS

Are Omnilit Link: https://www.omnilit.com/product-theeyeandthearm-1773344-234.html

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

086Andrew Q. Gordon wrote his first story back when yellow legal pads, ball point pens were common and a Smith Corona correctable typewriter was considered high tech. Adapting with technology, he now takes his MacBook somewhere quiet when he wants to write.

He currently lives in the Washington, D.C. area with his partner of eighteen years, their young daughter and dog. In addition to dodging some very self-important D.C. ‘insiders’, Andrew uses his commute to catch up on his reading. When not working or writing, he enjoys soccer, high fantasy, baseball and seeing how much coffee he can drink in a day and not get the shakes.

SOCIAL MEDIA:

Website: www.andreqgordon.com

Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/andrewqugordon,

Facebook Profile: https://www.facebook.com/dominic.andrews.7568

On Twitter: @andrewqgordon,

Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/+AndrewQGordon/posts

Email: andrewqgordon@gmail.com

GIVEAWAY

FIVE Winners will win one e-copy of ANY book* each from DSP Publication’s backlist.

*Giveaway is of any currently released DSPP book, which excludes the books that are on pre-order and “The Eye And The Arm”.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Ooh! That’s Interesting!: Dreamspinner Translations

I have a treat for you today! Ariel Tachna is Dreamspinner Press’s translations coordinator–and a lovely person besides. Ariel has kindly agreed to answer some questions about Dreamspinner’s translation process.

  1. Tell us about yourself, please.
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That’s Ariel in the middle, with the delightful Anne Reagan on the left and the wonderful Venona Keyes on her right.

I’m Ariel Tachna. I’m the translations coordinator at Dreamspinner Press. I live outside Houston, Texas, with my amazingly supportive husband, our two kids, and their two dogs. Yes, their dogs. We told the kids they could have a dog if they’d be completely responsible for them. In eighteen months, the only thing I’ve done is take the dogs for walks sometimes, since they outweigh my kids still. I have a degree in French and English from Wake Forest University and a Masters in French Education from University of Houston, so when Dreamspinner decided to start in-house translations, I was the logical choice.

  1. What sparked your interest in translations?

I’ve always loved languages. I started studying French when I was twelve, and it took me about three weeks to decide that whatever else I did in my life, I would speak this language. That passion only grew through high school. I was blessed to have three incredible French teachers over my six years of language study in middle school and high school, so the transition to college French and eventually to living in France was an easy one for me. I had two opportunities to live and work in Dijon, France, once as a student and the second as an English teacher in a French high school. When I was there that second time, I made it my stated goal to never again hear “You speak French so well for an American.” I always said thank you if someone made that comment because they always intended it as a compliment, but for me, it was proof that I had made a mistake that gave me away. Unless of course they knew me or I had just been introduced to them by my French host family as their American daughter. Then I just grinned from ear to ear.

  1. Tell us a little about the process of translating a book.

The translation process is both simple and incredibly complex. From the simple side, we send the English version to a translator. Then we send the translated version to an editor. Then we do a final proofread on it and publish it. The complicated part comes in when the English version isn’t simple. As native speakers of a language, we play with our words, our phrasing, our use of structure and colloquialisms, accents and even deliberate errors, to create effect. Our translators are tasked with finding ways to recreate those effects in a language that doesn’t have the same structures, phrasings, colloquialisms, or other devices. An alliteration in English won’t be one in French. A rhyme in English won’t work in Spanish. And when you start getting into slang? Don’t even get me started! That means that often we do more than one edit on a book. Sometimes we have a book get to the final proofread only to realize some portion of it still needs more work than that stage entails. Sometimes we send a project out only to find that the project and the translator are a poor match and we have to start over. Still, it’s exciting to see it take shape beneath the loving hands of my dedicated team.

  1. What languages would you love to see DSP titles translated into?

This is going to sound silly, but I’d love to see our books translated into Russian because that would mean that the political climate has changed enough to allow that.

  1. How do you find translators?

Very carefully.

To be a little more detailed, it started completely as word of mouth. We had contacts in Spain, France, Italy, and Germany, native speakers who we trusted to help us get the word out and also to help us evaluate potential translators. All of our applicants complete a sample translation that is then thoroughly vetted by our language coordinators before we offer them a translation project.

And you didn’t ask, but just in case your readers are wondering, we are currently hiring translators and proofreaders in German and we have one open translations spot in French.

  1. In one of my books, a character’s name means “cursed” in French, so we had to change his name a bit for the French translation. How often do little stumbles like this occur?

We’ve had it happen a few times with names. We’ve had it happen more times with titles. Maybe the title is a play on words (Hair of the Dog comes to mind) or maybe it’s a structure that works in English but is incredibly awkward (or completely unfeasible) in translation (The Isle of… Where? is an example of that). Fortunately our authors have been fantastic about working with us to make sure we do justice to their ideas while still reaching the market we’re aiming at.

  1. What are some of the special considerations when working on translations?

The biggest consideration for all of our translations that simply doesn’t exist in English is that moment when formal becomes informal. All of the languages we translate into have two ways of saying you, one for close friends and family and one for acquaintances and business settings. In a romance, unless it’s friends to lovers, the moment when that transition happens is telling. And if you add something like BDSM into the mix, where the relationship is artificially formalized at times, that movement back and forth between the different forms is a decision the translator must make. Sometimes it’s a really obvious spot. Other times, not so much. When it’s fairly clear (or it’s a contemporary between younger people who aren’t as strict about the “old” rules), we leave it up to the translator, but for a historical or for a book when one or both characters has a reason to adhere to the rules of formality, we will consult with the author to find the spot that best fits the author’s vision of the relationship arc.

  1. What can you tell us about the market for m/m romance in non-English speaking countries?

It’s a booming market! We have seen spectacular growth in the French, Italian, and German markets. The Italian market most closely mirrors the English-speaking market, with contemporary romances being the most popular. Interestingly, the French and German markets are far more genre-driven. Our current all-time bestseller in French is a historical. And anyone who knows anything about the gay romance market in English will tell you that historicals are a hard sell here.

  1. What are you (personally) working on right now?

I’m editing the fight Lang Downs book, and then I’m moving back and forth between two works in progress. One is a contemporary May-December romance set in Montréal. The other is a mystery set deep in the Louisiana bayou. Mostly what I’ve been working on personally, though, is getting ready for the launch of our French paperback line that will debut at the Salon du livre next week.

  1. Is there anything else you’d like to share?

I need to give a special thank-you to my four language coordinators. Without Jade, Saura, Petra, and Emanuela, we wouldn’t have a viable translations program. They are my rock, my right hand, and the heart of everything we do in the translations program. If you interact with the social media in the languages at all, you’ve talked with them, and you know how amazing they are. If you haven’t, what are you waiting for? They’d love to hear from you!

 

Theme Parks

Yes, I am aware that in March I spent several days at Universal Orlando and Disneyworld. But last week was spring break and I wanted to give the 12-year-old a special treat. Her older sister (who spent break doing online driver’s ed–shudder) has a full summer scheduled, and the younger kid was feeling a little left out. Originally I thought a week in Washington, DC would be fun, but the logistics proved too formidable. We set out sights closer to home instead: Universal Hollywood and Disneyland.

It’s a 300 mile drive. We listened to my punk CDs–fast forwarding quickly through a few that weren’t quite appropriate for the kid’s ears. I love the Buzzcocks but wasn’t in the mood to explain “Orgasm Addict” to a 6th grader.

We had one full day to spend at Universal, so I sprang for the VIP tour.

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The VIP tour was a good choice. We got to do stuff like visit a soundstage and prop warehouse, as well as take pics at various sets. And we got to go to the front of all the ride lines, which meant we had time to ride them all twice. Plus, we learned that they’ll be opening a Harry Potter section next year,

After Universal, we headed to Anaheim and three days at Disneyland. We rode my favorite rides multiple times: Tower of Terror, Pirates, and the Haunted Mansion. We walked a lot. And we had a really good time.

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Eventually we had to brave 330 miles of I-5 and Highway 99 to get home–back to real life. With the day job rushing toward the end of the semester, and with 5 new releases coming out in June and July, I have plenty of work to catch up on. Boo. At least we had fun singing along with the Rocky Horror soundtrack on the way home.

What’s Kim Reading Now?: Claw

Okay, I’m cheating. Sort of. Usually I highlight other people’s books in this feature. But I have a new release today. And it still sort of counts because the new release is Claw, book three in the Gothika series, and it also contains novellas by Eli Easton and Jamie Fessenden.

Can I pause a moment to squee at being in the company of such talented writers–and wonderful people to boot?ClawLG

So this volume has a shifter theme. My story is “Transformation,” and it takes places in Oregon in the 1880s. I’m calling the genre Pioneer Gothic. Here’s a little tease from my tale:

Orris’s legs gave out, and he sank to his knees. He stopped his desperate scrabbling for the gun and simply froze. Even his lungs stopped working.

The animal stepped closer, very slowly. Not as if it were frightened, but rather as if it enjoyed stalking him, the way Cook’s cat liked to play with mice in the pantry. Soon it was near enough that Orris could make out the dim outline of its body. It looked like a large dog, he thought. Heavy, with a thick ruff of fur at its neck. In one large leap, it could be on him.

But it didn’t leap—at least not yet. It stared at him and Orris stared back, and although he could sense little else of the animal, its eyes gave the impression of keen intelligence.

“Imagine when Daniel hears I’ve been eaten by a wild beast,” Orris whispered. “Won’t he be jealous. This beats a whole slew of handsome French garret-mates .”

The animal—was it a coyote?—cocked its head slightly, which brought a burst of hysterical laughter from Orris. “Are you having second thoughts? Maybe a sorry thing like me will give you indigestion. I suppose you’d rather have a nice supper of tender lamb.”

It came a step closer. Orris smelled it: wet fur, pine sap, and something else he couldn’t name. The scent of the wilderness, perhaps.

And then a strange thing happened. Well, stranger. While Orris’s heart still raced, he realized that the terror had fled, and what he was feeling now was… excitement. He was nearly giddy with it, actually, like the first time Daniel had interrupted their studies with a kiss and then dragged Orris willingly to his bedroom.

Why would a man feel excited when he was about to be killed?

Orris had no real answer for that. Maybe the animal could hypnotize its prey with its gaze, or maybe Orris had simply lost his sanity. In any case, he took a deep breath and tilted his head to the side.

“All right, then,” he said.

The animal’s muscles bunched. But just before it leapt, a strident bark burst from the darkness behind it. Orris startled, and the animal yelped with surprise before whirling around.

Good Lord. There were two of them.

The new one was snarling, but as it moved closer to the lantern, its attention seemed focused less on Orris than on the first beast. The new one growled, and the first yipped slightly before hunching its shoulders and dropping its gaze. Without another glance at Orris, the first animal trotted away. But the other one—the new one—it did not yet leave. It looked at Orris, but without menace. And there was something so compelling about it that Orris had to stop himself from crawling forward to meet it.

“You’re beautiful,” Orris rasped. He couldn’t see enough detail to support such an assertion, but there was something about those glowing eyes, the confident set of the large body, that suggested power and… majesty, even.

The animal blinked at him. It stretched its head forward, and Orris thought it would close the space between them. But then it snarled—fast and sharp—before spinning around and bounding away into the blackness.

So now you want to run out and buy the book, right? You won’t be sorry! You can get it at Dreamspinner, Amazon, ARe, or your favorite bookseller. And you can choose between the print version (look at that delicious cover!) or ebook.