My Authorial Journey
When I began writing my debut novel five years ago, I never imagined the journey I would embark on as an author. Originally, I wrote this novel in my native language, often wondering if it would be better in English.
After some experimentation, I became convinced that writing in a different language wouldn’t yield the desired outcome. I decided to continue writing my story in Greek.
I believe that most fantasy authors start with an idea for a specific scene or character and then build their world around it. I had an idea about a Queen on the brink of losing her crown and facing imminent murder. Just before her end, a boy would appear to try to save her. I liked this idea and I developed a medieval world around it. Writing this story presented many challenges. I aspired to create a realistic world, which meant dedicating significant time to researching sieges, warfare, politics, and the structure of medieval society.
After nearly three years, I completed my story and sought to publish it in Greece. I signed with a small publisher that had ambitions to expand into the UK and I was excited to see the outcome of my first novel. However, certain events led to the cancellation of my contract a few months later. I then signed with another publisher in Greece and decided to re-translate my novel, as the initial translation from my first publisher didn’t capture the spirit of my story the way I wanted.
At this point, I realized how challenging it is for a foreign author to translate their work to meet the same language standards as English authors. I tried various translators until I found one who did exceptional work. I began sharing samples of my book with fellow authors and bloggers, and I was fortunate that Mark Lawrence provided invaluable insights about the English market and different writing styles.
My book was originally written in an omniscient style, common in Greek but less so in the English market. I understood that some great English authors use this style, but it’s often accompanied by flowery prose, making it difficult to support with a translated novel. Following Mark’s advice, I changed the style of my book. Then, I tried to find a good editor to help me perfect my language and my writing style. Taya Greylock did phenomenal work in my novel and finally, I had in my hands my work in English.
My entire journey to publish this novel spanned five years. Throughout this time, I learned many valuable lessons and had the privilege of meeting wonderful people who supported me from the beginning. When I initially thought to translate my novel, many fellow Greek authors advised against it, warning me that I might be disappointed with the outcome. It’s true that Greek can be a challenging language to translate into other languages, and Greek authors are not widely recognized worldwide. However, I decided not to give up and pursued my dream. Today, as I look back, I realize that the journey was long, but I am genuinely pleased with the outcome. My debut novel was released a few months ago, and many bloggers and readers have expressed positive reviews, validating that my hard work has paid off.
I believe there are many foreign authors out there who may be hesitant to write directly in English or to translate their work. My advice to them is to persevere and chase their dreams. Hard work always pays off and if an author finds people who want to work with him (translators and editors) the result can be great.
After all these years dedicated to this novel and the lessons I’ve learned, I am confident that I will continue writing and translating my work for many more years. I hope readers find my stories intriguing and unique. To my fellow authors, I want to say that despite the challenges we face on this authorial journey, always remember why we started writing: writing a novel is FUN, and doing something you love is incredible, despite any disappointments.
2 responses to “My Authorial Journey”
Kudos to you for never giving up! It can be really hard to keep going when it seems like you are coming across nothing but roadblocks.