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.
The German version is held up in the editing process, but the Spanish one is full-steam ahead. My first foreign-language version of my debut novel, “The Renegade Spy“, is now on pre-order at Amazon, entitled “La Espia Indomable” (The Indomitable Spy).
The Kindle version will go on sale on August 30th at the price of 99 cents. The paperback copy will appear a few days later at the price of $6.99.
I had some great help with getting it out. Kristina Henneke designed the cover, Natalia Steckel did the translation, and Maria Martha Arce edited and checked it.
There’s something particularly satisfying seeing your work in a foreign language. It’s almost as if you are starting to attain global reach. Let’s hope the sales figures reflect that.
When I was younger, I had four main ambitions in life – get married, have kids, have at least one dog, and get at least two books written and published.
Well, the kids are never going to happen now for a variety of reasons. But the others have come true. I’ve been married since 2010, I have my beautiful dog, Schlumpf. And now my second book – “The Reichsbank Gold” – is about to come out at the end of this month.
The first book though, “The Renegade Spy“, has been out since the beginning of August. Last week, I finally got the paperback in my hands, and let’s just say it was a proud, triumphant, and emotional moment for me. As I said to my mother later, it was (and will remain) one of the best moments of my life.
All I have ever wanted is for my name to be on a book cover. To create something which will be around long after I am gone. Something to prove I existed. Something tangible that I can hold and say to people “I made that”.
I am currently working on Book 3 of the Department 89 series that I want to bring out on Christmas Day. But writers block is really biting me in the ass at the moment over that one right now. So in an attempt to clear my head a bit, I spontaneously decided to start something totally new today. I won’t say too much about it, except to say “serial killers in space”. I’ll tell you more if I see the story coming together to form what might become a book!
I think it’s only natural that when a writer writes a book, they instinctively visualise a certain actor or actress playing a particular role. For me, knowing who that person is helps me to establish their voice in the story. Knowing how they performed in past movies or TV programmes gives me a good basis for figuring out how they would act in my story.
With the release of “The Renegade Spy”, I thought it would be fun to show you who I visualised in the main roles.
Captain Sophie Decker (Gabrielle Anwar)
I admit it, I am a HUGE Gabrielle Anwar fan. I am a helpless fanboy who would lose the power of speech if she came to my front door. I watched every episode of “Burn Notice” religiously, and her role as an IRA terrorist in hiding, helping a “burnt” CIA agent just captivated me every week.
If my books ever get made into a movie or TV series, I will insist on Gabrielle Anwar playing Sophie! I will agree to anything! Anwar has that “bitchiness” factor that Decker also has.
Lieutenant Wolfgang Schmitz – James Frain
I don’t know why I thought of James Frain when I wrote the part of Wolfgang Schmitz into “The Renegade Spy”. My mind works in mysterious ways, and when I invented Schmitz, Frain immediately popped into my head and refused to budge.
Frain is well-known for his role as Thomas Cromwell in “The Tudors”, which was mainly the reason I stuck with the series for so long. He is such a compelling talented actor. Right now, he is kicking ass as Ambassador Sarek in Star Trek:Discovery.
Hans Unterwald – Frank Langella
God, where do you start with Frank Langella? This guy is an absolute legend. Best known for his recent role in The Americans as Soviet handler “Gabriel”, Langella has acting credits going all the way back to 1965!
My first experience watching him was as the corrupt chief of staff in “Dave”, a rather offbeat 1993 comedy, starring Kevin Klein. But in my opinion, it was The Americans he will be best remembered for. His departure from that show is an absolute tragedy.
German Chancellor Claudia Meyer – Sigourney Weaver
In my opinion, Sigourney Weaver is one of the most underrated actresses in Hollywood. People seem to remember her only for Ghostbusters and Alien (and she was good in those franchises). But she was also particularly good as Queen Isabel in “1492: Conquest of Paradise“, and the short-lived “Political Animals” (which I thought didn’t get enough attention paid to it). In that, she played the US Secretary of State, with Presidential aspirations and a philandering husband (remind you of anyone?).
I think she would be perfect as Meyer. I probably couldn’t afford Weaver’s salary demands though! I wonder if she does small indie projects?!
I guess the only question now is – how good are their German accents?!
After countless tweaks and rewrites, I spontaneously decided on Saturday to just call it finished and put it out. In doing so, I finally became a published fiction writer. Yes, my 170-ish page novella, “The Renegade Spy” is finally out.
It’s been a long and tiring journey to get to this stage. From conception to publication has taken a lot out of me, even though the novella is so short. Anyone who says writing a book is easy is lying through their teeth. I am now writing a full-length novel as the sequel (which will be between 80,000 and 90,000 words), and that one is really taking it out on me. The Reichsbank Gold is due out on October 31st.
But I am enjoying the process, which makes it all worthwhile. Seeing this really got my adrenalin going on Saturday evening.
Just seeing that publishing status on Draft2Digital validated everything I have been doing up to now. The late nights, the endless edits, the doubts.
Yes, the doubts. If you have never published before, it is easy to tell yourself that your work isn’t good enough. That people are going to laugh and scorn. That you should stop because you have no business being a writer. But I am fortunate enough to have a lot of extremely supportive friends, a lot of whom are writers themselves (or are about to be). They kept me going through all of that self-doubt and self-loathing.
I just need to get the next one out now. Once the next one is out, it’s a doddle from that point on. Apparently.
“The Renegade Spy” is out for free on all major eBook platforms. It is still in “pending” on Barnes & Noble but that should hopefully be fixed by the end of today. There is also a price on it on Amazon, but that should also be gone by the end of today. It’s a complicated process getting a book to be free on Amazon.