Today, I’m very honoured to have bestselling author Amy Plum here, on GotToReadThoseBooks!
by Amy Plum
I have been lucky enough to have the DIE FOR ME series translated into several different languages. And it always amazes me how the title—and sometimes the cover image—is changed to suit not only each language but each culture. Unfortunately, since only speak English and French (and an embarrassingly little bit of Italian), most of the nuances are lost on me. But when my French editor began working on the books, they contacted me to see if I had any ideas for French titles.
In English the titles are: Die For Me, Until I Die, and If I Should Die. For the record, these weren’t my ideas. I wanted to call the first book “Sleepwalking.” But my American editor felt that would sound boring, and came up with the much more dynamic “Die For Me.” After that, I came up with the titles as I wrote the two sequels.
But “Die For Me” sounds strange in French. It’s not dynamic. It’s not descriptive. It’s just weird. So I came up with a whole long list of French words that I thought might sound good in a title, and in that diplomatic way that editors communicate, they came back to me saying, “That’s nice, but how about this idea?”
And of course, their own idea was much more French. What they did was take excerpts from poems by the great French poet Charles Baudelaire from his book “Fleurs du Mal.” For example, the title for Die for Me is: “Plus Encore Que La Vie.” My personal translation of this is: “Even more than life, (Death often holds us by subtle bonds.)”
Perfect, no?The other two are:
Book 2: Qu’importe l’éternité (What does eternity matter?)
Book 3: Que la mort nous sépare (If death were to separate us)
For me it was just one more example of how much culture and language effects readers—something I’m learning about daily as an American expat in France.
Amy Plum is the author of DIE FOR ME, a YA series set in Paris. The first three books— DIE FOR ME, UNTIL I DIE, and IF I SHOULD DIE— are international bestsellers, and have been translated into eleven different languages. The fourth book is an eNovella, entitled DIE FOR HER. The first book of Amy’s new series, AFTER THE END, releases in May 2014. Amy grew up in Birmingham, Alabama before venturing further afield to Chicago, Paris, London and New York. An art historian by training, she can be found on most days either daydreaming or writing(or both) in a Parisian café. http://www.amyplumbooks.com/
Review: Die for Me
One thought on “Guest Post Friday: Amy Plum”
This is brilliant and lovely! Titles have always been the devil for me, but this is a pretty brilliant way to come up with translations! I’m always excited to see the translations of titles, because they’re always great refractions of the story — and usually, much more awesome than the English title (*cough* Das Schicksal ist Ein Mieser Verrater. *cough*)