Tag Archives: French books

Tomorrow, I become a hybrid author…

On Wednesday, the French translation of my novel A SUMMER LIKE NO OTHER comes out again in paperback. But this time, it is published by Dreamland (City Editions). They publish Jessica Sorensen too (I’m still pinching myself over this fact :))

That makes me a so-called hybrid author: self-published and traditionally published. I don’t regret my decision to self-publish one bit. However, I don’t deny that knowing two of my books are going to be available in bookstores is giving me a happy fluttery feeling.

Look –> it’s my book on the site of the Bibliothèque nationale de France 🙂

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A bit less than a year ago, I received an email from City Editions asking me if I’d like to have the French versions of A SUMMER LIKE NO OTHER and ALWAYS SECOND BEST in bookstores in France.

I didn’t believe it was real at first. I thought it might be a service someone was offering but nope, they were a serious publishing house and they wanted my books. I signed a contract. I got an advance. Everything was real.

You have no idea what it did to me when I read in the contract a clause about possibly being picked up by France Loisirs in the future. France Loisirs is my youth. It’s a subscription service with so many amazing books and just a lot of memories of going to their stores too sometimes to choose the book I would get. Someone else might pick up my book one day after perusing the store or their catalog for hours. And that makes me happy.

But even if that doesn’t happen, my book, my words…are going to be available in bookstores. Fnac, Cultura, Decitre, local bookstores…even Leclerc. Who knows maybe I’ll also see it at Cora, the store I used to work at as cashier during part of my studies?

And I’m grateful.

To City Editions for reaching out to me. To the translator of A SUMMER LIKE NO OTHER & ALWAYS SECOND BEST, Edith Girval who is simply oh so talented. To everyone who’s read the books already which probably gave me the exposure needed to be seen. To my family and friends for their unwavering support. To my husband, who is every bit as excited about this as I am and who’s so proud of me.

Tomorrow is the day I become a hybrid author. And trust me, when we go to France in a few weeks, I’ll be walking into a bookstore and might shed a tear holding my book in my hands.

Tomorrow is also the day I’m going to reveal the cover of  my next book, SEE ME, SEE ME NOT (with a bunch of fun things and giveaways planned). Stay tuned…

Pourquoi publier en français est un tourbillon d’émotions…

Mon premier livre en français « Un Eté Pas Comme Les Autres »  va sortir le 8 mars 2016.

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Il enchaîne les conquêtes. Elle est la sœur de son meilleur ami.
Ils ne devraient pas être ensemble. Mais cet été, la tentation est trop forte. 

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Et je dois avouer que c’est un vrai tourbillon d’émotions.

Pourquoi ? Pour plusieurs raisons…

  1. Je n’écris pas en français…je ne l’ai pas traduit moi-même…pas toujours facile à accepter

Au cours des deux dernières années, j’ai reçu beaucoup de questions concernant la publication de mes livres en français, me demandant pourquoi je n’écris pas en français, pourquoi je ne traduis pas mes livres en français…

Une partie de moi souhaitait le traduire moi-même. J’ai essayé de le faire avec mon livre Un Seul Rêve et je sais que j’ai fait beaucoup d’erreurs. Ce livre-là est actuellement avec ma famille pour correction et cela m’a pris énormément de temps pour le traduire. Et je me suis rendue compte que cela n’est peut-être pas une bonne solution pour moi.

Mais cela reste dur à accepter. Apres tout, je suis française, ma langue maternelle est le français. Il y a des années, j’écrivais en français pas en anglais. Je rêvais de publier un livre, de publier des livres, de devenir un écrivain.

Mais honnêtement, cela fait maintenant 15/16 ans que je n’habite plus en France ou dans un pays francophone. Wow, quinze, seize ans…le temps passe à une vitesse incroyable. Et écrire en anglais me vient plus facilement. Ce n’est pas facile à admettre mais c’est la vérité.

  1. Trouver un traducteur/une traductrice

Trouver quelqu’un pour traduire mes livres en français ne fut pas facile. Je suis un peu difficile parce que je souhaite vraiment que la traduction capture le style et la voix de mes protagonistes. Et cela est très subjectif. Dès que j’ai lu le début de la traduction d’Edith, je n’ai eu aucune hésitation. Je suis tombée sous le charme de sa traduction et j’avais comme un sentiment que c’était exactement ce que je cherchais.

Je n’ai aucune envie de répéter la chorégraphie d’un ballet. C’est pourtant ce que je devrais faire. Je monte en demi-pointe pour esquisser un relevé.

Je n’ai plus envie d’être Emilia Moretti – danseuse classique de seize ans qui répète chaque mouvement jusqu’à la perfection, de manière quasi-obsessionnelle. Mes genoux se fléchissent au-dessus de mes pieds et je descends en plié.

Je n’ai plus envie d’être cette jeune fille qui crie sur tous les toits qu’elle s’en fiche d’avoir été adoptée, mais qui essaie de retrouver ses parents biologiques en douce.

Je remonte sur la pointe des pieds.

Je n’ai plus envie de penser à Nick, le meilleur danseur de L’École des Arts de la scène (et le meilleur ami de mon frère), dont je suis désespérément amoureuse. Je veux danser pour tout oublier.

  1. La peur de publier en français

Publier dans ma langue maternelle est angoissant. Bon, il est vrai que publier dans n’importe quelle langue est angoissant et passionnant tout à la fois.

Ma famille et mes amis qui ne lisent pas l’anglais vont pouvoir lire mes livres…et s’ils les lisent, qu’est-ce qu’ils vont en penser ? Et puis il y a aussi une autre question : et s’ils ne lisent pas mes livres ?

Beaucoup de questions…

  1. La peur de ne pas rentrer dans mes frais.

Publier un livre soi-même coûte de l’argent. Faire traduire un livre coûte de l’argent. Pour l’instant je n’ai que 5 précommandes de mon livre sur Amazon (le système KDP avec lequel je publie me permet de voir combien de personnes ont précommandé mon livre). Et pour pouvoir rentrer dans mes frais, je dois vendre au moins 250 eBooks…donc pour l’instant ce n’est pas gagné.

Si je ne rentre pas dans mes frais, je ne peux pas continuer à investir dans des traductions…donc je me mets peut-être un peu beaucoup la pression sur ce point là.

  1. Se rendre compte qu’au moins un de mes livres va être disponible dans ma langue maternelle 🙂

Même si j’angoisse, je suis vraiment impatiente de voir mon livre sortir. J’ai adoré écrire l’histoire de Nick et d’Emilia et je croise les doigts pour que vous les aimiez aussi 🙂

Et comme toujours, je suis très reconnaissante à mon mari, ma famille, mes amis qui continuent de m’encourager ! Merci !

 

Top Ten Books to read in one day…(with a twist)

This Top Ten Tuesday feature is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish and I first came across it on Jaime´s blog. It´s a lot of fun and they post the topics way in advance! And here comes my second Top Ten Tuesday:

Top Ten Books to read in one day

I decided to go about this post a little differently and present you with *tadadadaaddaada* (–> music full of suspense) with the “Top Ten French Books to read in one day”.  I was trying to only include those translated in English but unfortunately I am realizing that a lot of works I loved reading as teenager and today are not yet translated…so here is a mix.

  • 1. The Children of Freedom by Marc Lévy: A remarkable story of struggle and survival in World War II by France’s No. 1 bestselling novelist Early in 1942, two young brothers join a Resistance group. All the members of the group are young, most of their families came from elsewhere in Europe or North Africa and all of them are passionately committed to the freedom of France and Europe (from Goodreads).
  • 2. Lettres à un ami allemand by Albert Camus: These letters are History. These letters are here to make us think, reflect and pause for a minute. These letters show us the past but they teach us about the present.  “I love my country too much to be nationalist” . Apparently those letters are available in English in some anthology of Camus.
  • 3. Green Wheat by Colette: Phil and Vinca meet every year during the summer holidays. They know each other and have always been interested in the other, but Phil meets a woman who introduces him to carnal love. Vinca feels the betrayal of her friend. The most recent English translation of the novel (2004) is Green Wheat, translated by Zack Rogow, nominated for the PEN/Book-of-the-Month Club Translation Award. According to the ratings on Goodreads.com, people did not like this book. I loved it! This book written in 1923 describes feelings in such a magestic way. Yes, the protagonists do not know what they want but they’re growing up. Their worries may be different than the ones of today but so many are still the same because those emotions just transcend time and places.
  • 4/5/6 Viou by Henri Troyat (and the other two sequels): Those three books follow the life of Sylvie (also known as Viou). Viou highlights her life right after the war. Her father died and she is under the care of her grandparents. Her mother is gone in Paris where she tries to rebuild her life. The separation is very hard on the little girl. The first book shows her worries, her hopes and the sufferings of a child who discovers the world of adults. In the second book, Viou is 15, she lives in Paris with her mother and her stepfather. She resents the relationship and throws herself in ballet as well as discovering new types of emotions with the son of her stepfather. The last book shows Viou at the age of 21. Her mother is divorcing her step-father and Viou revolts against the idea, not wanting what had become her idea of a stable relationship to collapse.
  • 7 Manuella by Philippe Labro: The story of a 17-year old discovering love and herself during the holidays after receiving her high school diploma. I really enjoyed that book! and I remember it made quite a fuss when it was published in France because it was a 40-year old something writing the life of a teenager…(in the first person if I recall correctly).
  • 8. Le dernier jour d’un condamné by Victor Hugo: Deeply shocking in its time, The Last Day of a Condemned Man is a profound and moving tale and a vital work of social commentary. A man vilified by society and condemned to death for his crime wakes every morning knowing that this day might be his last. With the hope for release his only comfort, he spends his hours recounting his life and the time before his imprisonment. But as the hours pass, he knows that he is powerless to change his fate. He must follow the path so many have trod before him—the path that leads to the guillotine. (Summary from Goodreads.com)
  • 9. Antigone by Jean Anouilh: Antigone was originally produced in Paris in 1942, when France was occupied and part of Hitler’s Europe. The play depicts an authoritarian regime which mirrors the predicament of the French people of the time. Based on Sophocles’ ancient Greek tragedy, Antigone which was first performed in Athens in the 5th century BC, its theme was nevertheless topical. For in Antigone’s faithfulness to her dead brother and his proper burial and her reiterated “No!” to the dictator Creon, the French audience saw its own resistance to the German occupation. The Germans allowed the play to be performed presumably because they found Creon’s arguments for dictatorship so convincing. The play is regularly performed and studied around the world.”Anouilh is a poet, but not a poet of words: he is a poet of words-acted, of scenes-set, of players-performing” Peter Brook (Summary from Goodreads.com). I loved, loved, loved that play!
  • 10. Angelique by Anne Godon: The story begins in 1648 during a time of insurrection, terror and revolt in a divided France. Angélique de Sance de Monteloup, a vibrant twelve-year-old tomboy, is the daughter of a simple nobleman impoverished by taxes and other burdens. (Summary from Goodreads.com). I still watch the movies based on those books 😀

So…here is my list (as always much much shorter than the one I have in my head :D)

Tell me which is the one book you read in one day and still sticks to your mind?

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