I’ve been so lucky with Mr R – Jack has found so many friends from far afield and I’d like to dedicate a series of posts to them. My last blog was about the brilliant Antipodeans, and this one is about the fabulous Germans. My German editor, Katharina, has answered all sorts of slightly unusual questions about archaic curses, old fashioned sweet nothings, as well as very politely correcting my eccentric German spelling. (When Jack gets really cross, he swears in German, and if anxious sometimes lapses into his mother tongue).
A couple of weeks ago, the book went to the German translator, Martin. He spotted a slight omission, wondering why Jack, a man from Germany, was called such an English name. I had thought about this, even writing a paragraph explaining the origin of his name early on in the novel. But, somehow, I had taken it out, worrying that it upset the rhythm of the piece. But Jocasta and I agreed that it needed to be reinserted, and I quickly made a late amendment. It was actually rather nice to drift back into playing with Mr R, while in the midst of Fred. I’ve reached a melancholy section in the narrative and find myself often feeling quite sad, so being with Mr R, felt like having a welcome cup of tea with an old friend. I’d didn’t quite confide my unhappiness to Jack, but as with all good friends, I felt much better after seeing him.