Article from 2021-02-15

Here we are: the Cover of TO TORCH A FAKE!

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Here we are: the Cover of TO TORCH A FAKE!

My cover designer Casandra Krammer has done me proud: my German crime thriller “GLUTROT” has transformed into “TO TORCH A FAKE” in its English translation. The adaptation of the German title is the brainchild of my English translator, James Cook. 

Let me call him so, since he is too publicity shy to reveal his true name. But James Cook fits quite well, so we agreed, since the famous seafarer and explorer also set off for new shores. And that's exactly what we're doing with the translation of my debut novel Glutrot: we're jumping across the big pond and making this crime thriller readily accessible to all US Americans and Canadians (though some have already ordered it in the original German), as well as all other English language readers all around the globe, including those in Australia and New Zealand and everyone across the English Channel, where so many great classic cars have seen the light of day.

Finding a suitable English title was really not that easy since we initially tried to stick as closely to the German as we could. But as time went on, we moved away from that idea and suddenly there it was: TO TORCH A FAKE! My English-speaking friends have told me the title is “awesome” — and that's how it should be! The gist of the story is aptly summed up since the plot revolves around an investigative journalist who dares to shine a spotlight into the dark world of classic car forgeries.

Then there was the matter of the "SZ", "sharp S", or even "backpack S" in my family name “Dreßen”. I actually like my name just as it is, even if it has caused me problems now and then, such as when booking flight tickets to overseas. And some years ago, I remember my name causing surprise and confusion with a foreign caller who had phoned my place of work at a multinational company. The exchange between a German colleague of mine and an American journalist on the other end of the line went something like this: "Miss, could you kindly spell Gerhard’s family name for me?" — "Yes, that’s D-r-e-ß-e-n, with a 'hot S' in the middle." — "Oh, really...?" (Though, actually, I might not wildly protest against being thought of as “hot”!)

So for a while we discussed the English spelling of my surname and my English friends ended up convincing me to use the double 'S' spelling form. There are doubtless good reasons for it, but saying goodbye to my beloved "hot S" was really hard for me. Now the die is cast, as they say. But what do you think of this choice?

Now the cover is done, I'm eagerly awaiting James' call: "Gerd, everything is done and dusted!", though I‘ve repeatedly told him to take all the time he needs — after all, I want the English version to be really good — and possibly even better than the original ;-)

And one last point must certainly not go unmentioned: I’m happy and even a little proud that my debut novel will also soon appear in English as well, enabling it be read more widely throughout large parts of the world. That is anything but a matter of course — and virtually unheard of for self-publishers such as myself — since a decent translation can cost many thousands of euros. In short: the English version of my debut novel is only made possible through my close collaboration with James C., a friend and ally who is as lovable as he is linguistically skilled.