Bears in Russian! Magicians in Korean! Sherlock in the 21st Century!

Every once in a while, tremendously exciting things suddenly appear in my mailbox with no explanation whatsoever.  Such as, for instance, these:


Oh my goodness WHAT?  What are these beautiful things?  Why are they on my doorstep?  And what the heck language are they in?  Did someone warn me these were coming and I just didn’t have room in my brain to retain that information? 

As you’ve probably guessed, and as I eventually concluded through my immense powers of deduction, these are foreign editions of Seekers books!  There is even just enough English on the copyright page to inform me that this:


is “The Quest Begin”, and this:


is “Smoked mountain”.  Hee!  Too awesome!  Wish I’d thought of that title!  :-)  I could probably have guessed this was book three, by the way, because in the background, amongst the foliage, is an incredibly creepy-looking human hunter (can you see him? maybe you can click on the image to enlarge it…).  At least, I assume he’s a hunter, although he looks quite a bit more like a Terminator disguised as a Boy Scout leader.  Super-creepy!  Run, Toklo and Kallik, run!

Apart from the serial killer in the bushes, the books are very pretty – shiny, shiny hardcovers with scrolls and keyholes and jewels painted into the corners and incredibly adorable polar bears on the cover of book one.  I used some more deductive reasoning/clue-following to figure out that these are in Russian (I’m pretty sure), which is very cool!  You can read our bear books in Russian now!  So exciting!

I’m a little more challenged by this other mystery package that arrived the other day:


I mean, yes, clearly this is Who Was Harry Houdini?, but from which country?  In what language?  It’s also quite shiny and exciting, and bigger than the regular edition.  Thank goodness for copyright pages, where I found a scrap of English hinting that this is the Korean translation.  Korean!  Wow!  

In the same envelope is the Spanish version, which I can actually read:


Also very cool!  I particularly like the sound of my dedication when it’s translated into Spanish—it’s dedicated to my college theater tech mentors, Cosmo and George, and where I said “modern-day magicians,” the Spanish version says “magos de los tiempos modernos.”  Which looks more like “mages for modern times,” and I kind of love that.  It makes me want to write a short story just so I can use that as a title.  🙂


(Incidentally, Adam just walked into the room, took one look at the books piled up next to me on the couch, and went: “Is that Harry Houdini in Korean?”  From across the room!  Upside down!  Seriously!  Where was he two hours ago???  I think my husband might be a genius.  But he’d be a more helpful genius if he could perform his tricks at the beginning of my blog posts, thank you very much, sir.)   

Another person who could probably have figured all this out a lot faster is Sherlock Holmes, especially the extremely fascinating (and OK, weirdly cute!) new Sherlock Holmes in the latest Masterpiece Mystery series.  The first three just aired in the US (but if you missed them, you can get them on DVD!) and there are apparently more coming next year (argh! want them now!). 

OK, I’ve only watched the first one so far, but I LOVE IT.  I love it MADLY.  It’s still Sherlock and Watson, with cunning mystery-solving, but it’s set now (clever twist! fantastic hook!), so Dr. Watson is a war vet just back from Afghanistan, while Sherlock has a website and a mania for texting (ha ha ha ha ha!).  Our first glimpse of him, in fact, is during a press conference that poor harried Inspector Lestrade (the still very cute Rupert Graves) is trying to give about a series of eerily similar suicides; Lestrade announces something about the case, and all the reporters in the room immediately get a text that just says: “Wrong!”  Ha!  We can all guess who that’s from! 

Too funny; what a great way to introduce a character whom we already know so well (all Sherlocks are both brilliant and arrogant, aren’t they?), and yet have to meet all over again in this new context.  I highly highly recommend the show, if you can see it.

Also, this is much too late to probably be of any use to anyone, but in case you have something sitting around that you could send, there is apparently a new teen magazine looking for submissions – deadline this Friday!  Ack!  I’m sorry!  I should have found it sooner!  But it looks like you don’t have to send what you’d want them to publish, just something to give them an idea of your voice, and then they’ll get in touch with you, I imagine.  Sounds cool, right?  Especially since it sounds like they’re open to submissions from actual teens—awesome!

In other, more terrifying publishing news…did you all see this New York Magazine article about James Frey’s new “fiction factory”?  Oh my goodness, you guys – hey, aspiring authors out there, don’t get tricked into something like this!  There are awesome packagers who do this kind of thing well and fairly; I’ve worked with a few, and it can be really fun and rewarding.  It certainly shouldn’t be this painful and exploitative!  I’d go on and on about it, but other authors have already posted more helpful, clever thoughts than I could put together myself, so I’ll just point you at John Scalzi (watch out for swearing) and Maureen Johnson in particular.  And add that it distresses me that anyone can look at a genre I love so much—exciting YA fiction—and think only, “how can I exploit readers who like these books and writers with great ideas…to make myself more money?”  Blech.

I think we need three minutes of a completely awesome cat right now:

Yay!  Followed by a fabulous slideshow of great signs from the Rally to Restore Sanity.  (Thanks, Kristin!)

Much better.  :-)  Have a great week, everyone!  🙂

Quote of the Day:
Sherlock Holmes: Try not to start a war before I get home — you know what it does to the traffic.