Meet the ladies behind Blades of Justice!

Our new title, lesbian mystery anthology "Blades of Justice" by Helen Angove, Jess Faraday, and Rachel Green came into the world last month, and it's been getting a lot of attention! A collection of three novellas, this book is three interlinking stories for the price of one. While such a book could be created by one story teller, having three authors benefits this tale. Each author brings their own strengths to the table to form a collaboration no one author could have created on her own.

Learn more about the women behind the novel!

Helen Angove is an electrical engineer and active author of everything from flash fiction to novellas.

Jess Faraday hails from California and spends her time teaching and writing novels.

Rachel Green tweets haiku daily and lives with her two partners and dogs in Derbyshire.

With such powerful women from different backgrounds, you know you're in for a treat when they start working together. Pick up your copy of Blades of Justice today and get a taste of their story.

-Theresa

High Praise for Dal Maclean's "Bitter Legacy"

Dal Maclean's name is popping up on "Best of..." lists all over the place. From All About Romance to Sinfully and The Novel Approach, readers agree that Maclean's debut novel is something special. This naturally leads to the question, "What's next for Dal Maclean?"

Well readers, fear not! She is hard at work on her second novel and we here at BEB cannot wait to read it. More news just as soon as we have it.

-Nicole

Announcing a new imprint from Blind Eye Books: One Block Empire!

Our new imprint, One Block Empire will be dedicated to bringing you mysteries and contemporary LGBT stories of the same outstanding caliber as our science-fiction and fantasy titles.

To that end, we are now seeking manuscripts that fit those categories, 80,000 to 120,000 words.
For how to send submissions, please see our existing guidelines.

More on this exciting project soon!

Interview with Ginn Hale & Arrate Hidalgo on translations

Entrevista en español aquí.

Hello again from Mady, here with a Blind Eye Books exclusive! I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Ginn Hale (author of such titles as Lord of the White Hell, Champion of the Scarlet Wolf, and part of new anthology Irregulars) and Arrate Hidalgo, English-to-Spanish translator and sci-fi editor. These lovely ladies have collaborated on an exciting new release of an old favorite, bringing the steamy world of Wicked Gentlemen to Spanish-speaking readers.

Ginn Hale had this to say:

Intern Mady: When you were growing up, did you aspire to be an author?

GH: I do recall that the first time I was asked what I wanted to be when I grew up, I said, “taller”.

I didn’t really get the whole idea of picking a career. Probably, because creating worlds and sharing stories never felt like a choice, so much as an extension of what I was. Ducks quacked, cats meowed and Ginns wrote down stories. I would have done those things even if there hadn’t been any money in it for me. I’m not sure I could choose not to—even now.

I didn’t begin to think about being a professional author until, really, it was too late and I was already publishing books and paying bills with my royalties. Then of course I suddenly realized how truly lucky I’ve been to have found so many supportive readers.

M: How would your teenage self react to being told your novel was so successful that it was being translated into Spanish?

GH: Her little punk heart would have exploded from the shock and joy, particularly since teen-Ginn spent a large portion of her years in Mexico. Though I think she would’ve wanted more skulls and blood on the cover; she didn’t have the best taste back then. J

M: Previously, you’ve had the Lord of the White Hell books translated into Japanese. What is it like to work with translators?

GH: It’s both flattering and humbling.  Arrate Hidalgo and Fumiyo Harashima are profoundly astute translators. Their poetic and technical senses of language proved fascinating and brought up all kinds of details and ideas that I hadn’t pondered, when first writing the books.

For example, seashells can have a sexual connotation in Spanish—one that I certainly didn’t intend to apply to Harper’s fingernail.  Names in Japanese can convey a character’s foreign or native Japanese origin depending upon the alphabet used. Those are just two tiny considerations among hundreds and hundreds that the translators worked out.

They did so much more than just replace an English word with a Spanish or Japanese one. They dealt with puns, word-play and the difficulty of teasing out levels of intimacy from a language devoid of formal tenses.

To have two such talented people working so intently on my manuscripts made me feel really honored and fortunate.

M: If you could pick one other novels to be translated which one would it be? And into what language?

GH: Hmmm…I’m going to cheat and say The Rifter (which has been printed in three books but was originally written as a single, very long novel.)

And I think it would be really beautiful to see any LGBT fantasy book translated into Sudanese Arabic, (or better yet written in Sudanese Arabic originally). Not just because Arabic is a gorgeous language—and it is.

But right now homosexuality is a capital crime in Sudan, (to name just one country) but imagine what it would say about the world-wide acceptance of LGBT communities, if some day a Sudanese publisher could think nothing of translating and printing a LGBT fantasy novel.

I wouldn’t care if it was my book or if I would ever be able to even read it, I’d buy it just because it would represent so much for so many people.

 

Arrate Hidalgo, the translator of novel, responded to a few questions as well—even hinting at more translation projects in the works:

Intern Mady: When did you begin translating fiction? How did you come to this decision?

Arrate Hidalgo: Translating fiction wasn’t so much a decision as something that I fell into more or less naturally. As a Spanish kid, I grew up reading translated books, which is something that native English speakers aren’t usually so accustomed to. This afforded me an awareness of the central role of translation in shaping the way I learned about the world, as well as in filtering the sort of fictional worlds I fell in love with. As I completed my English degree, it became clearer to me that I was happiest when I could combine my love of language, its building blocks and idiosyncrasies, with my passion for fantasy and sci-fi. That’s when I began translating stories I loved.

M: What was the most challenging thing about translating a novel like Wicked Gentlemen?

AH: Something that I always kept in mind was the fact that Belimai and Harper are both very charismatic characters, which is transmitted in the language chosen by Ginn, and I wanted to make sure this transpired in my stylistic choices, without it being too much. The thing about Spanish is that it tends to be longer and more extravagant than English, and when you have a story set in such a luscious pseudo-Victorian world, it’s easy to get carried away with the lace.

M: Were there any particularly difficult passages or concepts to translate into Spanish?

AH: The sex scenes! They are hard to write in style, and the same goes for translating them. When is it too much, or too little? I suppose the readers will have the last word about that. Aside from that, there were concepts, due to the story’s Victorian-inspired setting, that kept coming up and have no exact counterparts in Spanish. “Tenements”, for instance. Or “estate”, which doesn’t look like it should be that difficult, but even when it could be considered synonymous of mansion or country house, the estate is a very specific British concept with its own particular history. The UK and Spain went through very different processes of colonial expansion and industrialization, which occurred in different time periods and left different sociological fingerprints on each of the languages. This is reflected in the terms I have available to work with, which in a novel like this need to convey a sense of antiquity without being alienating or incongruous. The map was also challenging in its own way, but lots of fun, too.

M: How long was the process?

AH: It took me nine months to translate the book, which I combined with other translation work and with my job as a science fiction editor.

M: Do you have any other translation projects in the works right now?

AH: I do, and I can’t talk about them just now, but I’m excited to reveal them soon. In the meantime, I’m giving Wicked Gentlemen a last revision and preparing its promotion among Spanish-speaking audiences. I’m really looking forward to it seeing the light.

You heard it here first, folks! And, a little birdie has told me that we may be seeing a few more translations of Wicked Gentlemen in the near future (French? Cantonese? Klingon? You’ll just have to wait and see!)

Never miss an update: You can get all the best book news by following us on Facebook, Tumblr, and by subscribing to our newsletter.

Entrevista en español con Ginn Hale y Arrate Hidalgo

¡Hola! Os habla Mady, miembro en prácticas de Blind Eye Books. Hace poco tuve el placer de entrevistar a Ginn Hale (autora de títulos como Lord of the White Hell, Champion of the Scarlet Wolf y parte de la nueva antología Irregulars) y a Arrate Hidalgo, traductora del inglés y editora de ciencia ficción. Las dos han colaborado en el lanzamiento de uno de los primeros y más queridos títulos de la editorial, que ha introducido a los lectores hispanohablantes al vaporoso y calenturiento mundo de Caballeros desalmados.

Mady: ¿Aspirabas de pequeña a ser escritora?

Ginn Hale: De lo que me acuerdo es que la primera vez que me preguntaron lo que quería ser de mayor, dije: «Más alta.» Nunca entendí el concepto de elegir una carrera, probablemente porque nunca sentí que crear mundos y compartir historias fuera tanto una elección como una extensión de mi ser. Los patos hacían «cuac­», los gatos hacían «miau» y las Ginns escribían historias. Lo habría hecho incluso aunque nunca hubiera podido ganar dinero con ello. No creo que pudiera elegir no hacerlo, ni siquiera ahora.

No empecé a pensar en ser una escritora profesional, la verdad, hasta que fue demasiado tarde y ya había empezado a publicar libros y a pagar las facturas con las ventas. Por supuesto, me di cuenta de inmediato de lo verdaderamente afortunada que he sido de haber encontrado el apoyo de tantos lectores.

M: ¿Cómo reaccionaría tu yo adolescente si le contaran que tu novela tendría tanto éxito que acabarían traduciéndola al español?

GH: Su corazoncito punk habría explotado de sorpresa y alegría, especialmente dado que mi yo adolescente pasó gran parte de aquellos años en México. Aunque creo que me habría gustado tener más calaveras y sangre en la cubierta, pero no es que tuviera muy buen gusto en aquel entonces.

M: Antes de Caballeros desalmados (Wicked Gentlemen), se publicaron las traducciones al japonés de los libros de Lord of the White Hell. ¿Cómo es trabajar con traductoras?

GH: Me halaga y me hace sentir humilde al mismo tiempo. Arrate Hidalgo y Fumiyo Harashima son unas traductoras profundamente sagaces. Sus sentidos de la poética y la técnica del lenguaje me parecieron fascinantes; sacaron a relucir todo tipo de ideas y detalles en los que ni siquiera me había parado a pensar cuando escribí los libros.

Por ejemplo, las conchas marinas puede tener connotaciones sexuales en algunas variedades del español, cosa que en ningún momento pretendía que inspirasen las uñas de Harper. Los nombres en japonés pueden transmitir el origen extranjero o nativo nipón de un personaje, según el alfabeto que se utilice. Estas son solo dos minúsculas reflexiones entre los cientos que las traductoras lograron resolver.

Hicieron mucho más que limitarse a reemplazar una palabra en inglés con una en español o japonés. Lidiaron con juegos de palabras y las dificultades de desenredar niveles de intimidad a partir de una lengua, el inglés, desprovista de marcadores de formalidad.

Contar con dos personas de tanto talento volcadas en mis manuscritos es un honor y una suerte.

M: Si pudieras elegir traducir otra novela, ¿cuál sería? ¿Y a qué idioma?

GH: Pues… voy a hacer trampas y diré que The Rifter (impresa en tres libros aunque originalmente la escribí como una sola novela muy larga).

Y creo que sería precioso ver un libro de fantasía LGTB traducido al árabe sudanés (o, aún mejor, escrito originalmente en esa lengua). No solo porque el árabe sea un idioma precioso, que lo es, sino también porque en estos momentos la homosexualidad es un crimen capital en Sudán (por mencionar solo un país). Imagínate lo que supondría para la aceptación mundial de las comunidades LGTB si un día una editorial sudanesa pudiera traducir y publicar, sin preocupaciones, una novela de fantasía LGTB.

Me daría igual si no fuera mi libro o si no pudiera leerlo jamás; aun así lo compraría solo por todo lo que representa para tantísima gente.

***

Arrate Hidalgo, traductora de Caballeros desalmados, contestó también a algunas preguntas… e insinuó que hay otros proyectos de traducción en marcha.

Mady: ¿Cuándo empezaste a traducir ficción? ¿Cómo llegaste a esta decisión?
Arrate Hidalgo: Traducir ficción no fue tanto una decisión como algo en lo que acabé metida más o menos de forma natural. Crecí en España, donde los niños y niñas leemos libros traducidos, cosa a la que los hablantes nativos de inglés no están tan acostumbrados. Esto me permitió ser consciente de la función central de la traducción en el proceso que moldeó mi forma de descubrir el mundo, además de filtrar el tipo de mundos ficticios de los que me he ido enamorando. A medida que terminaba mis estudios de filología, fui dándome cuenta de que era más feliz cuando podía combinar mi amor por el lenguaje, sus cimientos e idiosincrasias, con mi pasión por la fantasía y la ciencia ficción. Así fue como empecé a traducir las historias que me importan.

M: ¿Cuál fue tu mayor reto al traducir una novela como Caballeros desalmados?

AH: Algo que siempre tuve en cuenta es que tanto Belimai como Harper son personajes muy carismáticos, cosa que se transmite en el lenguaje escogido por Ginn, y quise asegurarme de que esto era patente en mis elecciones estilísticas, sin pasarme. Una cosa que tiene el español es que tiende a ser más largo y más extravagante que el inglés, y cuando trabajas en una novela ambientada en un mundo pseudo-victoriano tan exuberante, es fácil dejarse llevar por el encaje.

M: ¿Hubo algún pasaje o concepto especialmente difícil de traducir al español?
AH: Las escenas de sexo. Son difíciles de escribir con estilo, y lo mismo se aplica a traducirlas. ¿Cuándo te estás pasando? ¿Cuándo te quedas corta? Supongo que los lectores tendrán la última palabra al respecto. Aparte de eso, había algunos conceptos, debido a la inspiración victoriana de la historia, que aparecían una y otra vez y no tienen equivalente en español. Tenements, por ejemplo. O estate, que a primera vista no parece tan complicada, pero incluso cuando podría considerarse sinónimo de mansión o casa solariega, lo cierto es que el estate inglés es un concepto británico muy específico con su propia historia particular. Reino Unido y España experimentaron procesos muy diferentes de expansión colonial e industrialización, que ocurrieron en periodos históricos distintos y dejaron huellas sociológicas dispares en las dos lenguas. Esto se refleja en los términos con los que puedo trabajar, que en una novela como esta tenían que transmitir una sensación de antigüedad sin resultar demasiado ajenos o incongruentes. El mapa fue un reto, a su manera, pero también muy divertido.

M: ¿Cuánto duró el proceso?

AH: Me llevó nueve meses traducir el libro, que combiné con otras traducciones y con mi trabajo como editora de ciencia ficción feminista.

M: ¿Estás trabajando en otros proyectos de traducción en estos momentos?

AH: Sí, y ahora mismo no puedo hablar sobre ellos, pero tengo muchas ganas de revelarlos.

Ya lo habéis oído, amigos. Y me ha dicho un pajarito que es posible que veamos unas cuantas traducciones más de Caballeros desalmados en el futuro cercano. (¿Francés, cantonés, klingon? ¡Tendréis que esperar para descubrirlo!)

 

 

 

Blind Eye Books Super-Intern Caitlin Cohen Interviews Dal Maclean!

Caitlin Cohen is our current intern at Blind Eye Books and is a writer at What’s Up magazine. Recently she sat down with Dal Maclean to talk about her upcoming release, Bitter Legacy.

Caitlin: Could you describe the moment you discovered you wanted to be an author?

Dal: I wouldn’t say there was a moment of discovery as such. I’ve always written for a living, but my training and experience weren’t been in creative writing. That crept up on me as a ‘why not give this a go to see if I can do it?’ moment when I tried fan fiction for the first time. It’s a totally different animal from factual writing though. I suppose it involves the same basic skills but a very different part of the brain. Not being formally taught how to do it, I just went with the flow and wrote on instinct. I had no idea why I wrote the way I did; I just blindly did it.

The thing is though, creative writing is so much more personal than factual, and it can be incredibly difficult to put that out there for other people to judge. Like performing in public I suppose.

Caitlin: How did you come up with the idea for Bitter Legacy’s protagonist, Detective Sergeant James Henderson?

Dal: I suppose James came from some of the stoic British public-school educated guys I’ve met. It’s easy to take them at surface value — superb manners, a highly developed sense of duty and honor, trained to appear 100% confident, even arrogant.  But beneath the carapace of privilege, as full of repressed uncertainty and shyness and insecurity as anyone else.

Caitlin: What is your process of putting your ideas for your books onto paper?

Dal: To be honest, process rather glamorizes it.  Generally I get an idea, research around it (occasionally to an abnormally finicky degree), and then comes verbal diarrhoea. I basically write what pops up in my head trying not to second guess myself too much, or spend time going back and editing. Then I start hacking it about and trying to finesse while closing holes in plot or character logic.

I’m compulsive about having answers to the ‘but why would he do that?’ thing.  I need to have good, believable reasons, even if I have to agonize for weeks to make sure it works, because lack of character logic is one thing that really gets to me as a reader.

I would say though, that this is the first time I’ve worked with a professional editor and that has taught me a massive amount. My next attempt should be a bit more organized. Maybe. Hopefully.

Caitlin: Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?

Dal: I think it might be a bit too soon to be giving out advice, given I’m still very much an aspiring author myself. But I suppose if there’s one thing I’ve learned from the process of getting Bitter Legacy to print, it’s to try to take advice.

It can be hard, because creative writing is such a baring of the underbelly, and writers are so immersed in the worlds and characters we’ve created. They’re very personal to us, and I think we all want to present them to readers as we visualized them. It’s a tightrope, and sometimes a writer does have to hold out for something they see as vital. But on the whole, I’ve discovered these editing chaps do know quite a lot.  Usually they’re right.  So, I suppose my advice in a nutshell (I’m not very good at nutshells ) is, if you’re lucky enough to work with a professional editor, try to trust them, and hope that they, in turn, will trust you.

Bitter Legacy will be available this October.