Ah, crazy times in the writing world. I came home from Salt Lake today and found a leetle box from Harlequin, which usually means one of my books has been translated into another language. The book cover was for Beau Crusoe, the book I wrote that still makes me blush a bit, but I had not a single clue what the language was. Usually I'm good at languages, but this one defeated me. A serious look at the small print on the inside cover revealed the language: Turkish. Wow. This means I've been translated into nine languages now: English, German, Italian, Korean, Japanese, Swedish, Dutch, Spanish and now Turkish. Anyway, I have three copies of Beau Crusoe in Turkish. Know anyone who speaks Turkish?
My reading epiphany came years ago when I finally read War and Peace, which was a superfine book. Trouble was, all the time I was reading it I kept wondering, "If this is so good in English, imagine how much good it must be in Russian." Now I have no ego that my translated books even hold an unlit match to Tolstoi, but I do wonder how they read in other languages. The only ones where I'll have a glimmer is when Mrs. Drew Plays Her Hand and Reforming Lord Ragsdale come out in manga in Japan. Comic books of Regency novels! To quote probably Jane Austen, "I'm diverted."
A kind reader was curious about status of forthcoming stuff. Here goes: Enduring Light is now at the publisher's, and I think the plan is a January 2012 release. I've seen a draft of the cover, and it's gorgeous. Julia is just the cutest thing, and Mr. Otto approves. I had so much fun writing Enduring Light that it must be illegal in at least 24 counties. Driving home through the canyons today, I started daydreaming and wondering who I would cast as Mr. Otto, Julia and James in the movie version... Maybe I should pay attention to the road, eh?
Coming Home for Christmas is a three-story anthology I wrote for Harlequin. It will be out November 15, I believe. My editor and I thought about this one and decided on a family during that trusty, rusty Regency era, with three members trying to get home for Christmas. I ramped it up a bit this way - the first story is about a ship's surgeon stranded in San Diego in 1813, on the far side of the world with no rescue at hand. The next story is his daughter's story, when she is Doing Good in northern Turkey during the Crimean War, and also trying to get home for Christmas. The third story is her son's story. Like his grandfather, he is a surgeon, but in the U.S. Army, on leave from Fort Laramie and trying to get home to Philly for a Christmas wedding. The three-generation thing worked quite well, and I had fun. It's handy when wars line up so neatly for my characters in three generations. I'm going to enter the first short story, "Christmas in Paradise," in Romance Writers of America's Rita Awards contest, in the novella-length category.
I'm currently writing The Hesitant Heart, set at the aforementioned Fort Laramie during 1876, that summer of the Rosebud battle, the Custer fight, and the Starvation March. Nuff said about that, because I prefer not to discuss what I'm currently working on.
Now to the saga of Choosing Rob Inman, which begins in Dartmoor Prison just as the War of 1812 is winding down. I turned it in in November of 2009, and heaven knows what hole it dropped into. All I know is that it will be coming out in the middle of 2012, and has been renamed Marriage of Mercy. I kid you not. If I searched for years, I doubt I would have come up with a worse title. Tell you what: if you buy a copy, write Choosing Rob Inman on a 3x5 card and paste it over Marriage of Mercy. For all that, it's a good book. Maybe someday it'll end up translated into Urdu.
Marian's Christmas Wish is now up on Amazon and will be out in September. Why September? Maybe to beat the Christmas rush. This is a reprint of a book that came out in 1989, I think, but which is hard to find now, hence the reprint. It will also be available in ebook format. Also out for Christmas, but so far only in ebook format, will be a collection of four of my earlier Christmas stories: "The Christmas Ornament," "Object of Charity," "Make a Joyful Noise" (a personal favorite), and "The Three Kings," rather a dark tale.
Oooo, horrible transition (read, none) to this next paragraph -
You know what question I get a lot about Borrowed Light? People want the recipe for Cecils with Tomato Sauce. Here it is:
1 c. cold roast beef or rare steak finely chopped
salt and pepper
2 T. bread crumbs
1 T. melted butter
Yolk of one egg, slightly beaten
Season beef with next salt and pepper, onion juice and W Sauce; add remaining ingredients, and shape into the form of small croquettes, pointed at ends. Roll in flour, egg and crumbs, fry in deep fat, drain and serve with tomato sauce. (Julia substituted ketchup, for the sophisticated palates of her guys on the TTP.)
And that's it for me. Back to The Hesitant Heart. One more thing: I'm speaking at a writers' conference at Utah Valley University on October 6. It's an advanced romance writing class. I called it "Now What? Writing and Selling." Not sure what I'll say yet, beyond don't quit your day job, and always keep a copy. I'll have something useful by October 6. I promise.