Novel Translation

The translation of my novel Fracture Line into German is done.

Kanadische Rockies: Verwehte Spuren Im Schnee

has been sent to my agent, Margaret Hart, at the HSW Literary Agency.

So what’s next? My translator has started on Descent.

And what did I learn? Proofreading in German is just has hard as in English. But more importantly, a translator looks at every word and decides what it should be in another language. If you want to have a novel scrutinized, getting it translated and working daily with a translator, is a great way to do it.

She caught things like repeated words or phrases, suggested better paragraph ordering, and highlighted character traits. It made me think of writing in a whole new light.

I’m proud to say she only found one typo. I was amazed by that.

For anyone interested: Here is the English Blurb followed by the German Blurb (where my spellchecker went crazy).


On a cold winter morning, deep in the Purcell Mountains, Roy McCann disappears in an avalanche. Was it an accident or did something more sinister happen?

Kalin Thompson accepts a job in the interior of British Columbia, thinking she is moving from Ottawa to be near her estranged brother, Roy. She leaves the comfort of her job with the Canadian government to become the human resources manager at Stone Mountain Resort.

On her arrival, she discovers Roy is the prime suspect in a major theft. She struggles to adapt to the subculture of resort life while covertly investigating Roy’s involvement. Threats against Kalin escalate as she gets closer to the truth and she doesn’t know who to trust.  Is her faith in her brother justified?


Stone Mountain, Britisch Kolumbien, Canada, Montag 31. Dezember, 7.29 Uhr.

An diesem kalten Wintermorgen, hoch auf den Purcell Bergen verschwindet Roy McCann in einer Lawine.

Kalin Thompson kündigt in der selben Woche ihren Job mit der Kanadischen Regierung  in Ottawa und nimmt den Job als Personalchefin im Stone Mountain Skibetrieb an. Sie will ihren entfremten Bruder Roy, wieder treffen.

Nach ihrer Ankunft entdeckt Kalin, dass Roy im Verdacht steht, einen großen Betriebsdiebstahl  durchgeführt zu haben.

Kalin muss sich in die Subkultur des Ortes einleben. und zugleich eine heimliche Untersuchung leiten, um Roys Unschuld zu beweisen.

Ihre Liebe zu Ben Timlin kompliziert ihr Leben noch weiter. Ist ihr Vertrauen gerechtfertigt?

Kalins Leben wird bedroht als ihre Forschung nach der Wahrheit Erfolge zeigt.

Kalins Dilemma: Ist ihr Glaube an die Unschuld ihres Bruders richtig, und was verursachte die Lawine, Mann oder Natur?


Can you use dialogue to speed up your character?


I think so. #writetip I discovered one way to do this while I was proofreading the German Version of my novel, Fracture Line.

My character enters a scene and says two short sentences. Both are five words long. The only punctuation is a period after each sentence.

The translation turned the two sentences into one connecting them with and.  It’s only one more word, but it changes the from two simple sentences to a compound sentence.

When I read the translation I realized the longer sentence was slowing my character. I wanted her to rush in and blurt out her news, not take her time to be articulate.

The German sentence sounded more eloquent, but it didn’t give the impression I wanted.

Do you have other ways to give the impression your character is in a hurry?


English to German: Translation Process

Translation Process

It’s been two days of translation work and we are at the end of Chapter one. Since this is the first time my translator and I have worked together on a project we are carefully working on each sentence.

Our process:

–       Read sentence out loud in English.

–       Read sentence out loud in German.

–       Discuss whether we have it right.

–       Investigate words in two printed dictionaries and three online ones.

–       Agree on changes.

–       Start on next sentence.

I think I might have to stay here all summer! 🙂

As we go along, the work should be faster. We understand each other better and are quicker at deciding what word we want.

A Novel: From English to German

The German translation of my novel Fracture Line  has arrived, and it feels like Christmas. It’s exciting to read my novel in another language, but now the hard part begins.

Working with a translator is an interesting process. We plan to spend the week discussing the nuances of each sentence and whether the voice sounds like my writing.

Dialogue is an area that we need to be careful with. I may want the character to sound sad, but in the translation they come off as angry.

And then there is proofreading. I thought proofreading in English was hard. Ha! The joke is on me.

I have a good relationship with my translator and know enough German to read, but I wonder how an author knows their novel has been translated in the manner they intended to write it if they don’t know the language. I guess it’s just one more mystery in the publishing industry.

Blurb Translated to German

Fracture Line in German

As my translator works hard on Fracture Line, I asked her if she would translate my blurb into German. So here it is . . .

Stone Mountain, Britisch Kolumbien, Canada, Montag 31. Dezember, 7.29Uhr.

An einem kalten Wintermorgen, hoch auf den Purcell Bergen verschwindet Roy McCann in einer Lawine. Unfall oder Verbrechen ist die Frage.

Kalin Thompson kündigt ihren Job mit der Kanadischen Regierung  in Ottawa und nimmt den Job als Personalchefin im Stone Mountain Resort im Inneren von Britisch Kolumbien an,  um mit ihren entfremten Bruder Roy, wieder zusammen zu treffen.

Nach ihrer Ankunft enteckt Kalin, daß Roy im Verdacht steht einen großen  Diebstahl im Resort durchgeführt zu haben.

Kalin muß sich in die Sub-kultur des Ortes reinversetzen und zugleich eine heimliche Untersuchung leiten , die Roys Unschuld beweisen soll.

Kalins Leben wird bedroht als ihre Forschung nach der Wahrheit Erfolge zeigt.

Kalins Dillema ist, wem kann sie vertrauen, und ist ihr Glaube an die Unschuld ihres Bruders gerechfertigt

The next question: What is the title in German? After many hours of deciding on a title for Fraction Line, it’s time to start the process for the German Version.

This writing business is very time consuming.

Translating a Novel


A friend of mine with a background in translation asked if she could translate my novel, Fracture Line, into German. I, of course, very quickly said yes.

It’s an interesting process to go through with a surprising benefit.

As she is translating, she it looking at every word. This means some great proofreading is being done. It also means she pushes me on word usage, questioning me on whether I’ve picked the best word or not.

My German isn’t bad, but it’s not great, and I must say it’s fun to read my novel in German. She’s sent me the first 10 chapters for review and I’m stretching my brain, trying to read in another language.

The process is improving my German, and we are having some fun discussions about when to use ‘Du’ and ‘Sie’, and how in the world do you translate bull wheel?