Friday, August 26, 2022
Monday, August 15, 2022
Death at the Deep Dive: Secrets and Scrabble 7 is now available (I think) everywhere.
We only see the things on the surface…
When Pirate Cove’s favorite mystery bookstore owner and sometimes-amateur sleuth Ellery Page discovers a vintage diving collection bag full of antique gold coins tucked away for safe-keeping in the stockroom of the Crow’s Nest, it sets off a series of increasingly dangerous events, culminating in murder.
“Cheers,” Jack said.
“Yo ho ho,” Ellery replied. He sipped his cobalt cocktail. “Mm.” The tart sweetness of the cocktail and the crackling warmth of the nearby fireplace were the perfect pairing for a chilly autumn night. He felt like he’d been waiting to exhale ever since dumping those coins on his desk. “I have to say I’m very relieved you-know-what is you-know-where. The thought that it was just lying there in that cupboard all this time makes me feel a little queasy.”
“Any chance that it wasn’t in the cupboard the whole time? I thought Felix said he left it out on a storage shelf.”
Felix Jones, Libby Tulley’s boyfriend and the son of Pirate Cove’s previous mayor, had pitched in for a short time at the Crow’s Nest while Ellery had been convalescing.
“He must have been mistaken. It was his last day at work and his last day on the island, so it’s no wonder if he was distracted. When I asked him, he barely remembered Cap giving him the bag.”
Jack made a noncommittal noise and sipped his beer.
“Whoever broke in would have to have been in a hurry.”
Jack conceded, “The assumption would be you had looked in the bag and so it was unlikely to have been left in the shop at all.”
Jack studied Ellery for a moment. His smile twisted. “Let’s not get ahead of ourselves. First off, there’s no proof the collection bag you found belonged to Vernon Shandy. The assumption is the deep dive suit was his, but there are plenty of other divers on this island. No one knows for a fact who hid that suit in the warehouse with the Historical Society’s collection. Or for what reason.”
“To hide those coins,” Ellery said.
Jack shook his head. “That’s an assumption.”
“It’s a working theory. And it’s the most logical.”
“Maybe. But let’s say you’re right. Let’s go with your theory that the suit belonged to the Shandys and that the suit was stashed away to hide the coins.”
Jack laughed. “You really do love the idea of pirate’s treasure, don’t you? If your eyes were any shinier, they’d be glowing.”
Ellery laughed and sat back in his chair. He shrugged. “Okay, yes. I do love the idea of pirate’s treasure.”
“Especially pirate’s treasure with a mystery attached.”
Ellery couldn’t help pointing out, “Wouldn’t all pirates’ treasures have a certain amount of mystery attached?”
“Hm. Good point. But here’s what I was getting at. Even if we go with your theory about who owned the collection bag and why it was concealed, it still doesn’t prove those coins came from the Blood Red Rose.”
“Ah. Okay. You’re right.”
“There are a lot of wrecks in the waters around this island.”
“True. I’ll give you that one.”
Jack laughed. “Thank you. And finally, even if your theories are correct about who owned the diving suit and collection bag, where the coins came from, and why they were hidden in the Historical Society’s collection, there’s still no proof that Vernon Shandy was murdered.”
“I wouldn’t go that far,” Ellery objected. “Something happened to him.”
“Something, yes. One way or the other, he left the island. That’s for sure. But the surrounding circumstances are unknown.” As Ellery opened his mouth to debate this, Jack continued, “And there are plenty of reasons the Shandys might want to conceal those circumstances.”
Tom returned to the table, bearing platters of golden deep-fried fish, crispy french fries, and tangy coleslaw. He set the sizzling plates before them. “Another round?”
Jack asked Ellery, “Are you driving back to Captain’s Seat or staying over?”
There had been a time, not so long ago, when Jack would not have so casually or so openly asked that question.
Ellery smiled. “If Watson and I haven’t worn out our welcome?”
Jack gave him the slightest of winks and said to Tom, “Another round, thanks.” He added to Ellery, “We can always walk home.”
Tom gave Ellery a droll look. “Coming right up!”
Tom departed, Ellery and Jack reached for the salt and pepper shakers, exchanged the vinegar bottle, repositioned the little jars of tartar sauce.
Jack broke off a piece of fried cod and said, as though there had been no interruption, “I’m not trying to bust your balloon. Obviously, there’s an element of mystery surrounding these events. It just doesn’t automatically, inevitably indicate murder.”
“Well, no, of course not.” Ellery chewed thoughtfully on a french fry.
Jack observed him for a moment. “Which isn’t going to stop you from poking your nose into other people’s business and asking a lot of awkward questions, is it?”
Ellery’s brows shot up in surprise. “Me? Come on, Jack, whatever happened to Vernon Shandy is none of my business. Anyway, even if something sinister did occur, it was over half a century ago. Nobody’s going to remember anything this long after the fact. Assuming anyone involved is still around. Which is unlikely. Right?”
Jack sighed, shook his head. “That’s what I thought.”
Friday, August 12, 2022
One of the most validating things that can happen to a writer is when their work gets picked up for translation. As much as we'd all like to believe our work is "universal," the only actual proof you have that that might be even a little true is when a publisher in another country is willing to invest in your writing-- believes that their audience will enjoy your stories and be able to relate to your characters enough to actually make their investment a reasonable business decision.
There are practical aspects to having your work translated, as well, of course. First off, we're all always seeking ways to expand our audience, Secondly, that passive income stream can occasionally be a lifesaver. Which is why I warn against blithely handing over your translation rights when you sign with a publisher. Just because no one is interesting in translating you now doesn't mean that will always be the case. The global market is booming. Which means so is the translation market.
My work's been translated into a number of languages at this point, and I still love seeing the translated covers and hearing from fans who've only (or mostly) read me in their native language. Their comments and questions are particularly interesting, framed as they are by cultural differences.
Anyway, my Japanese translations are some of my very favorites. Partly that has to do with how engaged the Japanese readership is, partly it has to do with the fact that (the publisher) Shinshokan has been really good to work with--I feel like over the years my translator has become a friend--and partly it has to do with the fact that these translations are illustrated. Because of the wonderful art, a surprising number of my readers who don't speak Japanese have gone ahead and bought the translations! (So...kind of genuis on the part of the publisher. ;-))
Because I'm asked so often about the translation process (by other writers, yes, but also by readers), I thought it would be interesting to "interview" translator Aki Fuyuto and artist Yooichi Kadono (who, among other works, does the illustrations on the Art of Murder series).
Hello to Josh and the readers of this blog! We are excited to get a chance to talk about ourselves here.
For those who wonder who we are, here is some information about ourselves.
Aki Fuyuto: a translator, mainly working on M/M romances with Monochrome Romance label, a sub label of Shinshokan. My first work as a translator was Josh's 'Icecapade.'
Yooichi Kadono: an illustrator. Worked in the film industry, which led to painting. With an offer from an editor in Shinshokan, started as an illustrator. My first work as an illustrator was Josh's 'The Case of Christmas.'
JL - Are you able to choose your own projects or are they assigned to you? If you're able to choose, what attracts you to a particular work? What do you look for? And if you're not able to choose, then what do you find especially satisfying in a work?
Aki Fuyuto: Yes, I can. I make a short list of M/M romance to translate for the publisher and decide with them which one is to be next.
What attracts me is difficult to put into words, but I like the intensity between two people and love to watch it turn their lives upside down, so savagely.
Yooichi Kadono: I don't choose the project. I'll do it if an offer comes, unless I have other things already scheduled. I love to experience the new and unknown. I don't know much about 'satisfaction' in a work, um.
JL- What advice do you have for others wishing to enter your fields?
Fuyuto: Love languages, dictionaries, and Google Search. Sometimes the latter two deceive you, so don't trust them, just be pals with them!
Kadono: Most crucial thing is staying healthy. Even in the busiest time, you have to take good care of yourself.
YK - Do you visit museums often? If so, can you tell me some encounters you remember well? What opinion do you have about the restoration of old artwork? (Kadono)