It’s been a long time coming but approximately eighteen months after its English version made its debut, the German translation of the Renegade Spy is finally out!
The translated title is “Staatsfeind, Kampf Ohne Regeln” (Enemy of the State, War Without Rules“) because there is a stupid publishing law in Germany. Basically, all existing titles are copyrighted which means that if someone has already used a German title, you have to make yours different and unique. If you don’t, well then you’re setting yourself up for a copyright infringement lawsuit, and you’ll lose.
Hence the “War Without Rules” subtitle, since “Enemy of the State” has long been claimed (thanks Will Smith and Gene Hackman), and “The Renegade Spy” sounds weird in German. In fact, the original title was going to be “Rebellenagenten” (Rebel Agent). But every German I spoke to about the title told me they hated it. I took the not-so-subtle hint (Germans don’t do subtlety!) and changed the title to Staatsfeind.
Which was my preferred title anyway, so it all worked out nicely in the end. Thanks to the hugely talented Annette Spratte, who translated the book for me, and who will be translating all future titles.
I am really excited about the German version. For a start, I can now try to get local media to cover my work. Plus family and friends here can finally start to read my books. Finally I am more likely to get TV and movie interest here in Germany since it is set in Berlin.
The German version begins the German side of the Department 89 series, along with the Spanish side which started with the Spanish translation of the Renegade Spy. The next two books in Spanish will be the translations of Sovereign Territory and Assassin’s Child.
If anybody can help me with publicity, please do let me know.