Wednesday, June 22, 2016

A five star review, translated from the original German

I took a couple of years of high school German, from a bitter woman named Mrs. Harmoning. We didn't get along. It might have something to do with the Ex-Lax Marty Lange and I baked into the cookies for the cookie contest. Mrs. Harmoning was one of the judges.

I can still stumble through a bit of German conversation. I can order a beer and find a bathroom. But when it comes to reading reviews of my books that have come out in Germany, I am fully dependent on the nonsense spewed out by Google Translate.

Take the following five-star review for "Tick Tack Tot," the German version of "The Shadow of Seth." This review comes from some kind and insightful reader named R. Manthey. Keep in mind: Five stars. So I'm assuming it is positive.

In German, the closing paragraph says:

Diese Geschichte bleibt natürlich eine Geschichte. Aber sie wirkt keineswegs erfunden oder konstruiert. Ganz im Gegenteil: Seth ist ein Typ, den man sympathisch finden muss und den man gerne zum Kumpel hätte. Ein gelungenes Jugendbuch, schnörkellos, unterhaltend und ohne pädagogischen Hintergrund.

Google Translate tells me this means:

Of course, this story is a story. But it seems not invented or constructed. On the contrary, Seth is a type that must be found sympathetic and one would like to mate. A successful youth book, straightforward, entertaining and without educational background.

Read the entire review (in German!) here.


Friday, June 17, 2016

Tick Tack Tot

My German publisher must know how much I like big letterpressy type. 

By the way, this is the German version of my American book, "The Shadow of Seth."  The translation is "Tick Tock Dead."

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Just finished another manuscript: The Bottle Imp of Bright House

Dear Reader,



I just completed another manuscript. About 42,000 words worth of middle-reader goodness. It's a creepy story based on a little-read Robert Louis Stevenson short story, The Bottle Imp.

I just sent it off to the esteemed Abigail Samoun, my agent at Red Fox Literary. I have high hopes for this one, half because I think it is good, and half because I am clearly delusional.

I am. I'm delusional. I've been beat down by this industry time and time again, but I still believe.

And my next effort is already half-written and fully outlined, so it's time to sign off and get on with that.


Friday, March 4, 2016

How do you say "Tilting House" in Korean?

The mailman (yes, he is a man) just delivered my contract for The Tilting House to come out in South Korea. I'm pretty excited about this for two reasons:


1.  I have a soft spot for South Korea. Deb and I have hosted two Korean exchange students, each for an entire year. Eunjong stayed with us last year and was a delight. This year, we have Jina. Also (you guessed it) a delight. 

2.  I really like bibimbap. This is a Korean dish that, at least the way I had it, comes in a hot stone dish and has savory rice, veggies, maybe some meat or tofu, and a fried egg on top. Ooh man. So good. 

So bring on the Korean readers.