With Great Pleasure . . .

I think one of the greatest pleasures in life is rejoicing in the successes of your friends.  Now, I will admit that I’ve known a few writer who seem to view other writers’ successes as some sort of rivalry.   “If you make the New York Times Bestseller list and I do not, it must be because you took my spot on it!”   Or something like that.  I confess, I’ve never been able to make sense of that sort of ‘writers as competitors’ attitude.

Instead, what makes me really happy is to watch friends succeed.  I like to read books in manuscript and blurb them, though far too often, by the time I get around to reading it, it’s out in mass market paperback!  Research and writing seem to take up more and more of my time, with less and less time to spend on reading for pleasure. Sad to say, I think this is true of every author I know.

And then there are the books that I will probably never get to read, even though they are written by wonderful friends. Attending international festivals such as Imaginales or Utopiales in France, or Trolls&Legendes in Belgium has allowed me to meet many fellow writers whose works have never been translated into English.  It makes me feel a bit odd that my author friends are able to read my stories in translation or, for the many European writers who are multi-lingual, in the original English, while the best I can do is look at their cover art and grope my way through a few pages.

Above you glimpse the cover for Nathalie Dau’s most recent novel.  Here is the cover description in French:   

Les Mages Bleus, servants de l’Équilibre, ont été décimés, mais l’un des leurs a survécu au prix de son honneur, motivé par le besoin impérieux de transmettre la vie.
Le jeune Cerdric, né bréon de la noble famille Tirbald, va, quant à lui, affronter une mère qui ne l’a pas désiré, un monde qui semble incapable de l’aimer.
Et si la solution à ses tourments résidait dans la Marche voisine, là où vit son mystérieux père, en exil ?
Mais au terme de son voyage, Cerdric recevra surtout le poids d’un secret terriblement lourd à porter : celui de la Somme des Rêves, une espérance de renouveau pour ceux qui refusent de s’incliner devant les dieux…

And for those of you who, like me, are limited to English, the teasing translation of a book we cannot read: 

The Blue Wizards, servants of the Balance, have been slaughtered, but one of them managed to survive, though losing his honour in the process, feeling an overwhelming need to spread life.

Young Cedric, from the noble family Tirbald, will be confronted with a mother who never wanted a child in a world that seems devoid of any love.

What if the remedy to his woes laid in the neighborhood March, where his mysterious, exiled father lives ?

But at the end of his journey, Cerdric will mostly receive an terrible burden, a tremendous secret : The Sum of all Dreams, also a formidable hope for those who refuses to bow down before the Gods…

The title translation is Sum of Dreams.  Cover art by Mathieu Coudray.

While I cannot read this book to blurb it, what I can tell you is that I’ve found Nathalie Dau to be charming, intelligent and clever. And thus I expect you will find this to be true of her book as well.  Here is a brief glimpse of her in an interview at Imaginales.

Congratulations, Nathalie!  May your book find all the success it deserves!


9 Responses to With Great Pleasure . . .

  1. What a wonderful thing to do and say for a friend and fellow writer. I wish you both more success than you can imagine. I hope to read your next story soon!

  2. Sounds very interesting, let’s hope it gets translated to English soon. My French is not nearly good enough to read books.


  3. Hi Robin,

    my name is Zuza. Me and my friends really love your trilogies. I am from Poland.
    Will there be any chance of buying ‘The Rain Wilds Chronicles’ in our country in polish language?
    Previous trilogies are available and I just wonder why that isn’t.

  4. As a French person, I feel touched you take the time and thoughtfullness to write about this author I didn’t know about. It sure has kindled my curiosity. Thanks!

  5. I have greatly enjoyed my friendship with Nathalie. On my visits to France, I have been warmly welcomed and befriended by a number of French authors and artists. Those who I have met at Imaginales over the years have become as close friends as our distance will allow. It’s so wonderful to see a new book published by Nathalie, or to watch The Lorax and know that my French friend Laurence Peguy worked on it. The internet is a wonderful thing to make it easy to continue such friendships.

  6. Hi robin v
    Enjoyd all your novels, most of them we have got in hebru (Israel ) except for the soldier son end the dragons
    So decided to reed them English !,
    It took me a long time at the beginning but it’s worth it !,
    Looking forward for the third dragon book
    Thank you
    Michal baldran
    Kibuts Lotem

  7. Hi Robin

    I live in the UK and remember you saying somewhere that you were hoping to come over to the UK in 2013, but I cant remember the dates !

    If you are planning a visit can you let me know the dates please as I don’t want to miss out meeting you and getting a couple of books signed !!!

    Many thanks


  8. Emma, I am hoping to visit in April of 2013. That’s as much as I know right now. I’ll post more information as the date gets closer, and I’ll hope to meet you!