December 03, 2020

Mulțumesc. Bóg zapłać! Dank u. Herzlichen Dank! Thank you so much to everyone!

Not every author gets to have their book translated into a different language, but it is even more incredible to learn that lots of children have been reading my book as part of a reading competition.

The Vorlesewettbewerb is an incredible reading competition in Germany that has been running for over 60 years and is run with bookshops, schools, publishers and is wonderful to be part of it.  


(From left to right: The Bad Luck Lighthouse published in The Netherlands, The Lighthouse of Bad Luck published in Poland, The Wizard's Hotel published in Romania and Lighthouse of Ghosts published this week in Germany!)

An incredible 600,000 schoolchildren join in every year, and it is a national knock-out competition where children read from prepared (and unprepared) extracts from recently published children's books.

It sounds completely brilliant, and I'd love to go see one of the readings one day. Here is a link to one of the articles showing a young contestant reading from my book!

I know a lot of schools across Germany chose Hotel Der Magier as one of the recommended texts. 

On Dec 3 my publisher (Carlsen) in Germany launched The Bad Luck Lighthouse as Leuchtturm der Geister.  Exciting! And I'm so thrilled that also the Cut-Throat Cafe will launch there in May 2021. 

I often get sent a complimentary copy of a book, and one thing I love is to find out Nightshade's name in the translation. That can take a lot of detective work! She's known as Nachtschatten (Nightshadow) in German,  Sombra (Shadow) in Spanish, Teni (or Shadows) in Russian and my personal favourite, Černostínka in Czech - which literally means 'black shadow' but looks like something far more disrespectful and funny!

I have written about how it is truly amazing to have your book rewritten - and in some cases, reimagined - by a publisher and translator, renaming your characters, adjusting things to fit local cultural references - and even getting nominated for an award.

As a children's author in the 21st century, it is sometimes overwhelming to keep track of all the wonderful messages and pictures I get sent. I also now have my own YouTube channel for my writing tips. I do try to reply to all the emails and comments.

This end-of-2020 post is really a thank you. It's an extraordinary privilege to do what I do, and I'd like to end this most challenging and traumatic year to simply say thank you to those children who have read my book, wherever you are in the world.

So MulțumescBóg zapłać! Merci Beaucoup! Dank uHerzlichen Dank! Thank you so much to everyone! And all the best for 2021.