Tag Archives: foreign rights

jitterbugs and other novel translations

Mr S and I are back in Dorset after a busy week in London. It was all rather fun – I met my charming Dutch editor, Jacqueline, and saw the cover for the Dutch edition of Mr R. The book is being busily translated at the moment, and editors and translators are starting to send through questions about the text. The biggest challenge seems to be the Dorset dialect. There is a motley collection of local folk in Mr R and they speak in broad Dar-set tones.

This was great fun to write: I scoured old dialect dictionaries, read lots of William Barnes and, of course, Thomas Hardy. The speech is written phonetically with dialect words like ‘jitterbug’ (glow worm) and ‘yow’ (ewe) and ‘noggerhead’ (idiot).  In old West Country speech, nouns are gendered as they are in German or Anglo-Saxon and are nearly always ‘he’. So, a roof in need of repair is: ‘ee’s in a bit o’ a bad way, isn’t ‘ee?’ I chose to elongate the ‘ee’ when transcribing, as I felt ‘e’ as in ‘e’s in a bit o’ a muddle’ sounds too much like cockney.

All well and good – gave the poor copy editor a bit of headache – but I thought it was all finished. Now, the poor translators are going through exactly the same thing. Jacqueline and her translator are trying different rural Dutch dialects and choosing which sounds best. Professor M who is working on Jack in German, is struggling with the eccentric spelling of the dialect. He emailed to ask what an ‘ersey mistake’ is – (it’s an easy mistake to make…)

It’s a very strange feeling to be taking a week or so off writing (agent Stan has Fred) while knowing that other people are busily working on Mr R. I think they are all in need of some of Curtis’s jitterbug cider.

Me still sort of working

I love living in Dorset


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Filed under from summerhouse to summer read, inspirations behind Mr Rosenblum, writer pontification

Mr Rosenblum goes to Korea and I go to Regent’s Park

Mr R has just sold to Korea. How amazing is that? I’m delighted that the Korean publishers believe that their readers will be interested in the adventures of a five foot three inch Jewish man in rural Dorset.

I’ve been working on the edit every spare minute, until I started to melt down on Friday and whinged to agent Stan. He prescribed gin, which, I have to say, helped immensely. Quite clearly, gin needs to be tax deductible for writers.

During a sunshine break, Mr S and I sauntered into Regent’s Park to look at the flowers. They are rather amazing…see evidence below. It was rather serendipitous – I was just revising a passage where Jack and Sadie go there to see the daffodils.

ok...so places other than Dorset can be alright, I suppose.

ok...so places other than Dorset can be alright, I suppose.

When I’m not editing, I feel guilty. So, here is another picture of me in the park, amongst the spectacular flowers, looking sheepish.

I should be working...

I should be working...

Thank God for Marks and Sparks, or Mr S and I might starve. Haven’t cooked for weeks. 5 days to go. Bugger.


Filed under from summerhouse to summer read, writer pontification

Exciting stuff and a daffodil on the compost heap

img_0529Very exciting news. Mr Rosenblum’s List will be published in France.

Also, not  as exciting but quite thrilling nonetheless, a daffodil has planted itself on the top of my compost heap. It’s perched there like a small golden crown.img_0532


Filed under dorset life, from summerhouse to summer read