Sunday, October 28, 2007

Love I Google Translation How!

Whenever I feel glum, I've found a really excellent cure is to make use of Google's Automatic Translation facility. But why should I have all the fun? Please join me in a) giggling hysterically at the computer's surrealism, and b) being yet again astounded and amazed at the skills of human translators!

This is from an online magazine called, from their September review of Questors - Die Weltenretter:

"...The adventure of the three heroes of experience is just so well-characterized, including painful! The pantry in the subway and in ten years in the future, it hardly feels as normal and to the dismay of our heroes are the passengers in the subway even as zombies, which are missing eyes and their bodies only black eye holes and caves can be found...

Ever wanted not always a warehouse fire in a church make you a sausage grill and you will exciting dragon stories, which serve as a myth, tell? I In this book you are no limits to imagination! No, they are even written down. Joan Lennon, it sent its readers through their spelling to tie, short chapters to encourage reading. Even the chapter headings arouse the interest of the reader. For each Fantasiebummler an experience incomparable Art! Jumps in the freezer and explores the space-time continuum!"

Wow! Now there's a book I wish I'd written!

Cheers, Joan.

P.S. Here's the proper German, and many thanks to the reviewer for his/her enthusiasm. I've just received my copies of Questors - Die Weltenretter and it's a stunning-looking book.

" ...Das Abenteuer der drei Helden ist von Erfahrungen nur so geprägt - auch schmerzhafte sind darunter! Durch die Speisekammer in die U-Bahn und damit zehn Jahre in die Zukunft, das empfindet man wohl kaum als normal und zu dem Entsetzen unserer Helden stellen sich die Mitfahrer in dieser U-Bahn auch noch als Zombies heraus, denen die Augen fehlen und an deren Stellen nur schwarze Löcher und Augenhöhlen zu finden sind...

Wolltest du nicht auch schon immer ein Lagerfeuer in einer Kirche machen, dir ein Würstchen grillen und dir dazu spannende Drachengeschichten, die als Mythos dienen, erzählen lassen? In diesem Buch sind deiner Fantasie keine Grenzen gesetzt! Nein, sie sind sogar niedergeschrieben. Joan Lennon versteht es geschickt, ihre Leser durch ihre Schreibweise zu fesseln, kurze Kapitel ermutigen zum Lesen. Auch ihre Kapitel-Überschriften wecken das Interesse des Lesers. Für jeden Fantasiebummler ein Erlebnis unvergleichbarer Art! Springt in den Eisschrank und erforscht das Raum-Zeit-Kontinuum!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Live and Learn

And what have I lived and learned this week?

Second books in series don't get a lot of fuss made over them. They even seem to have trouble actually getting into bookshops. Is this fair? No! Could it lead to personality warps and unpleasant sibling rivalries? Yes! Does it have something to do, maybe, with the postal strikes? Probably.

But never mind - I STILL LOVE YOU, Fen Gold, Book Two of The Wickit Chronicles! Lots and lots. As much as your older brother Ely Plot. As much as your impending younger brother Ice Road. And as much as the baby of the family, Witch Bell, still just a twinkle in your mother's eye.

Break out the balloons and the fireworks - we really are glad you're here!

Cheers, Joan.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

A Rant about Writing Synopses

Why am I spending so much time writing synopses lately? Because publishers like them. Do I like them? No, I really, really don't. Why not?

a) Because they take chunks out of my life that (what's the saying? oh yeah) I won't get back!

b) Because they make me incredibly nervous, since they're adverts for something that doesn't exist yet.

Because, when you're writing the synopsis, you can't completely commit to it, because one of the reasons you're not just writing the book itself is because you up to your eyeballs writing another book!

And because, if a publisher likes it, I'm tied to writing a book that matches the synopsis ...

Well, obviously, that's the point. But what do you do if, in between writing the synopsis and getting down to the book proper (which can be months) the story has evolved? Characters grow and change, even when you're not consciously thinking about them. A synopsis for a short book can spawn a child that's twice the size, aimed at a different audience, and with completely different mood, pace and main characters. Or what if, horror! you just can't write the thing at all?! (That hasn't happened to me yet, but there are no guarantees.)

The whole subject makes me feel itchy all over! Anyway, rant over. And back to writing the wretched things.


P.S. Ages ago, a reader from India posted a comment about having read Questors and liking it - how cool is that?! (I probably haven't responded to her sooner because of having all these synopses to write.) Anyway, many thanks!