Thursday, June 05, 2008

Foreign Editions

Some weeks there are no books in the post - copies of my books that is. And then sometimes the doorbell just keeps ringing and there is a flurry of packages arriving with author copies from all over the place.This week, most of them have been mine but there was one Grim and Gruesome title of the Magnet's. (Must stop calling them that - people will think that the series really is titled that way!)

So, I have Danish, Norwegian, Swedish editions of a collection which includes Miranda Lee, Carole Mortimer, and Lee Wilkinson. The book of mine in this collection is The Hired Husband which was originally published in 1999. I do love the way that older books come round again and get another airing. It's like seeing old friends.

Then there were two Japanese editions - a touch of that revisiting 'old friends' here as well. The first one is a Japanese translation of Sicilian Husband, Blackmailed Bride - the other, the 'Classic' is reprint of an even older book - Something Missing which was originally published in 1993!

That was way back when I had the only male M&B editor. I remember we had one editorial lunch together - that was the infamous lunch where, with his back to the crowded restaurant, he told me that his only criticism of my latest submission was that 'I want more sex . . .'

Stunned silence in posh London restaurant.

He also told me that I was - quote 'very original' - surely I realised that? Er - no. Funny, isn't it, that sometimes we don't really see - or don't see - what other people see in our work. One of the toughest things is to be objective in our assessments of our own writing. That's something I always think of when I work with unpublished authors- how easy it is to get too close and not see what we've actually written but what we think we've written. Long ago, when I had more time between dreadlines I used to put the book away for as long as I could and 'grow away' from it , then hope to read it more objectively. No time for that now.

Anyway - more foreign editions. There's the Czech edition of The Italian's Forced Bride. I love the way the Czech edition changes my name to Kate Walkerova. This always makes me smile. Some names lend themselves to this Czech version - but none, I think, as well as Historical Novelist Elizabeth Rolls who becomes Elizabeth Rollsova.

As well as these I've had more Danish, Swedish and Norwegian editions, French, German, Spanish, Greek . . .

All of which reminds me how huge and international this company I write for has become since it first started out in 1908 in the UK. Something that perhaps gets forgotten in the celebration of Mills & Boon's 100th Birthday. So many people think that Harlequin Mills & Boon is still just that 'home-grown' company, and the books on the shelves in WH Smith, the only ones published and sol nowhere but here in the UK. My latest royalty statement ame this week and it had sales in 31 different countries listed on it - including those posted above and others ranging from Russia to Brazil, Holland to Indonesia. And I only have to look at the flags of all the countries where the visitors to my blog live to see just how international romance writing and reading really is.

And of course the Centenary is in my mind because tomorrow (today when this is posted) I'll be heading for Manchester and the opening of the Mills & Boon Centenary Exhibition. I'm so looking forward to seeing that. But while celebrating the past 100 years, I hope we'll also be looking forward to the future and all that holds.

Oh yes - and to come back to those book parcels that have been arriving in the post. The Babe Magnet's contribution to all this has an international flavour as well. The Foul Deeds and Suspicious Deaths series has moved across the Irish Sea and Foul Deeds and Suspicious Deaths in Dublin is the result of the research trip we made to Dublin last year.

But after that he's coming back closer to home with Heroes , Villains and Victims of Bradford.


Janet said...

I've often wondered. What do authors do with all those foreign language editions?

Jane said...

I love looking at foreign editions and seeing how different the covers are.

Minna said...

Hey, Häiden huumaa is a Finnish edition.


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