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My Mysterious French Book

I received a lovely email from a French reader who had seen one of my books — in French— on the amazon France site, in a duo edition with Mary Balogh, but had forgotten which one it was. Did I know?

Of course I was thrilled to be in anything with Mary Balogh, but authors almost never get told about these things — only that the French publisher has purchased rights to this book or that. So I jumped over to the site and did a search for my name. 

Lots of my books had been listed, but I could see no book in a duo with Mary Balogh. So then I searched for “Mary Balogh and Anne Gracie”, and lo! it came up. That’s it on the right.

But which book of mine was it? I can’t usually tell because most of the foreign publishers change the titles to suit their markets, so it’s not generally a straight translation. This one was called A Mysterious Stranger, which told me nothing about what the English title was.

Generally no matter what language my translations are, I can usually work out which book of mine one is by the names of the characters in the back cover blurb.  So I looked for the blurb. But there wasn’t one for my book — only for Mary Balogh’s.

They did, however, have a brief blurb about me. It made me laugh. Here it is translated by Google from the French:  It was while traveling around the world, in the company of her favorite authors (from Jane Austen to Charles Dickens via Mary Stewart) that Anne Gracie wrote her first historical romance. Since then becoming a teacher, she has never lost her taste for writing and has become one of the queens of the successful romance, crowned with multiple awards.

It’s not exactly accurate — I was already a teacher, and I’m no queen of anything.  Those on-line translation thingies are very funny at times, aren’t they? But I did like the idea that Jane Austen and Charles Dickens and I traveled the world via Mary Stewart. I’m sure we had a great time. And I still have no idea what book of mine made it into a duo with the wonderful Mary Balogh. With any luck it will bring me some more readers — French readers, anyway. 
But I wish I knew which book of mine it was.

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theo
theo
1 month ago

It’s The Virtuous Widow! It has to be. And I loved it :) So, you and Mary Balogh. How exciting!

Anne Gracie
Anne Gracie
1 month ago
Reply to  theo

Thanks, Theo — it is exciting. But how do you know it’s The Virtuous Widow? I’ve had several “stranger” books.

theo
theo
1 month ago
Reply to  Anne Gracie

You’ve only had one Ellie that I can recall. You can translate that page and it gives you a little bit of your story’s blurb. So since it’s Ellie, I think it’s got to be The Virtuous Widow. :)

Anne Gracie
Anne Gracie
1 month ago
Reply to  theo

Well spotted, 99!!!! <g> You are so right! It is indeed The Virtuous Widow! Thank you. I missed that name, and thought the blurb was all about Mary Balogh’s story, so I didn’t even try to translate it.

theo
theo
1 month ago
Reply to  Anne Gracie

Not a problem, Max!! ;)

Annette N
Annette N
1 month ago

The cover is beautiful. And that author Anne Gracie sounds like a pip, so I am sure it will be very popular.

Anne Gracie
Anne Gracie
1 month ago
Reply to  Annette N

Thanks, Annette

Constance
Constance
1 month ago

I sent the link to Amazon France to my French mother-in-law (who lives in the US), who translated the blurb for me – and ordered the book in French for herself! In addition to all her other wonderful characteristics, her knowledge of the language has often come in handy!

Your information about foreign publishers was a surprise to me – somehow, I thought you’d always know where your books are being published!

Anne Gracie
Anne Gracie
1 month ago
Reply to  Constance

How lovely, Constance. As for authors knowing about foreign editions, these days I am notified of the offer overseas publishers make to Berkley for this or that book or series, but we’re not told anything after that — it’s all in the hands of the foreign publishers. And the books generally come out long after the rights were sold, so they almost invariably come as a surprise. With Harlequin we were never told and when books arrived in different languages it was always a nice surprise. But even though the foreign language publishers are supposed to send the author a… Read more »

Michelle H
Michelle H
1 month ago

Well that just seemed like frustrating fun. I am aware that a lot of my fave historical romance writers have at least some of their works translated into one or more different languages. Having never lived in any other country than the U.S. I don’t know what it’s like for an HR fan who only reads in French or Italian, for instance. Why don’t we English readers see more novels translated to our language in the Romance genre? Or have I just not noticed?

Michelle H
Michelle H
1 month ago
Reply to  Michelle H

You know, that’s a beautiful cover. I hope they love your stories.

Anne Gracie
Anne Gracie
1 month ago
Reply to  Michelle H

Thanks, I hope so too.

Anne Gracie
Anne Gracie
1 month ago
Reply to  Michelle H

Michelle, I don’t know of many (any?) Non-English speaking writers who get translated into English. In the brief time I wrote for harlequin Duets (one book, published on 9/11 — yes that 9/11— I was the only Australian in the group, and the only other non-north-American author was an Icelandic woman who wrote in English — and brilliantly, I might add.

I don’t know why more non-english romance novels aren’t translated. Maybe like Australia until recent times, the local publishers aren’t interested in publishing romance and take the shortcut of translating English romances instead.