Jan 262012

Today I have an interview with JJ Biddell, who just released her first book translated into English, In the Shadow of the Moonlight – The Awakening.

Why did you decide to translate it to English?
As I live in Spain / Mallorca I have a lot of contact to English speaking people from UK. On Mallorca lives a big mixture of Spanish, English and German people as well of other nations. I told them about the story and they ask me to inform them if it once will be translated into English as they like the story. So I thought that maybe more English spoken people will be interested in the story. The German ebook market is still very young and small and I hope to find more readers who will like the story. I had to choose between a new used car and the translation at this time and I decided to try it with the translation. No risk, no fun!

What challenges are there in translating a book? 

The hardest was to find a native speaking translater for a reasonable price. I asked some in Spain, as well in Germany but I was not satisfied with the result of the first pages they did. So I looked for someone in the U.S. and found Sigrid from Washington D.C. I liked her style – okay I am not the best qualified to say what is good or what is bad due to my English – but I think she did a good job.

Do you intend to translate future books? 

In the Shadow of the Moonlight – The Awakening is the first part of three and I really hope I can manage it. But to be honest, if the English readers do not like the first part of the series and I loose the invested money I am not able to do this a second time. I am a normal person with a normal work. But I can promise if there are sufficient readers out there and the income will be sufficient for paying the translation of the second part of the series I will invest this money without thinking twice. By the way … the second part is out in German.

What kind of research did you do to write this book? 

I have a big (fat) black longhaired cat at home. So I have a living example about cats at home. For panthers I looked a lot of movies because a panther is not like my cat on the sofa. As well I travelled to Maine to check out the area where the novel will take place. I think this is important because readers will notice if you never have been there. google and the internet is nice but there is nothing better like the real visit. After the visit I can understand why Steven King has so many stories taking place in Maine. The woods and the countryside is incredible.

What input, if any, did you have in the cover design? 

The cover designer Nina is a friend of mine and professional grafic designer and she made it for free. She is very nice and professional and she did the cover for the second part as well. I love her work and it costs me a dinner and the amount of paying for copyrights of the used photos.

Do you read reviews written about your book? 

Yes I do. Of course. I have to know if readers like my novels or not. As well what they like and what not. It is so important to get feedback from the readers. If a reader send my a message with the link to a nice review I am very happy because I take it like a compliment. If I receive a bad review I look what the reader criticized and hopefully I can make it better next time.

Anything else you would like to add?
Thank you very much Sarah for the nice interview and the possibility to present myself and my work on your great blog.

Thank you for being here. I couldn’t imagine having to choose between a new car and translating my book. That’s quite a reality check about self-publishing. I for one am glad you chose the translation.

About JJ Bidell
J. J. Bidell grew up in the country in Southern Germany with an older sister and a younger brother. Every year since she was 18 she has travelled as a backpacker through North and South America as she never felt comfortable in her native country. She considers herself a cosmopolitan with German roots.  After living in Venezuela and the Dominican Republic she moved to Spain. Since 2005 she has lived on Mallorca with her older sister and her fifteen year old black cat, who is more than happy that she never has to set paw in another airplane again.

Connect online: Website, Goodreads

In the Shadow of the Moonlight – The Awakening by JJ Bidell

Naomi Roberts finally receives a scholarship for a semester abroad in Maine. When Naomi’s grandmother suddenly claims that Naomi will soon be transformed into a panther, like her great grandmother Romina, Naomi believes it is a final and desperate attempt to keep her from departing to the USA.

Having arrived in Maine, Naomi enjoys her student life with new friends and her first love, Roman. Even though she feels magically drawn to a mysterious clearing in the woods, believes she is being watched and begins to sleepwalk, she does not remember the prophecy of her grandmother. Until her very first transformation. And – Naomi is not alone, which not only exposes her to mortal danger, but also Roman.

Find the book online: Amazon, Goodreads

Want to win a copy of the book?
I have one ebook copy to give to one lucky reader. To enter, simply leave a comment answering the following one of the following questions:

Have you read any translated books before? 
What do you think about translating books between languages?

Giveaway is open worldwide until midnight Feb 1, 2012.

  5 Responses to “Interview: JJ Bidell + Giveaway”

  1. Oh,yes, I've read some books that were translated – mostly from Russian, such as “The Master and Margarita” and the “Night Watch” series of books, but I have a few translations from French waiting in my TBR pile. I think that if one can find a translator that is able to translate the ideas correctly, it is a wonderful idea – it is just important that the book isn't changed in the process. It lets us get a more rounded look at the literature of the world. Thanks for a great giveaway! katy (dot) sozaeva (at) gmail (dot) com

  2. I honestly don't know if I've read any books that have been translated to English, other than Dante's Inferno of course! I think it's great to translate books between languages because it could only open the market for the book up! The more people that have the chance to read your book, like it, and then recommend it to others, the better for the author! As for this book, I would love the chance to read it! Thanks for the giveaway:)

    jwitt33 at live dot com

  3. I don't think I have read any translated books before. I think it is a neat idea. I wonder how well some languages translate and provide us as readers with the same feel as those in the original language of origin.


  4. I'm from the Netherlands. I prefer reading a book in the original language, but the only languages I read are English, Dutch and some German, so it automatically means I do read a lot translated books (like from Haruki Murakami and many others).
    I do like to read books from all over the world, they give you a new perspective on live.

    Besides reading translated books “because I can't read it in the original language” I do also read some American books in Dutch. Just because of the ease of buying them.

    In the end I prefer the original language, translations aren't always as perfect as you would like them to be. Not all jokes can be translated with the same humor, because in many languages one word can have different meanings, that don't translate the same in an other language.

  5. Well, I'm Italian so I read lots of transalted books, althought when it comes to English, SPanish and French I read the original and like it way more.

    But I'm a translator and I translate books, so I cannot really say anything!

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