It is a joy to welcome Sue Barnard to the blog today. She is a bestselling author and talented editor who I first met when she was editing my first novel, Hunter's Chase. Her determination to improve it and educate me were evident from the start, but she conducted herself with a kindness and patience throughout the process that I doubt I could have matched. I owe Sue a great deal.
Therefore, I was not surprised to learn she had had one of her bestselling novels, Never on Saturday, translated into French. This is her story as to how that came about.
A few years ago, a friend in Paris said my books ought to be available in French. I was very flattered at the suggestion, but set the idea aside as being too difficult to contemplate.
Although I studied French at university and can still get by when I travel to France, this presented a whole new level of difficulty. It was only when my friend took charge, and went on to produce the first draft of a French manuscript, that the project finally got off the ground.
It has taken a while, and not without a few hiccups along the way, but earlier this year my paranormal romance novella Never on Saturday became available in a French version.
Never on Saturday was first published in 2017, and following reversion of rights a slightly revised version was issued in 2020. Jamais le Samedi (first released in June 2022) tells the same story, but brings it a little closer to its spiritual home.
The story is set partly in medieval France and partly in present-day North Wales, and is based on an old French legend. Unfortunately I can’t reveal here what the legend is, as that would give away too much about the plot – but rest assured that all will become clear by the end of the book.
I’m hoping, in the fullness of time, to release French editions of some more of my titles. My next project will be my debut novel The Ghostly Father (in French: Le Père Spiritueux), but that is a rather longer book and could take quite a while to complete. In the meantime, I hope that Francophone readers will enjoy reading Jamais le Samedi. It has been a fun project!
Sue Barnard is a British novelist, editor and award-winning poet. She was born in North Wales but has spent most of her life in and around Manchester. After graduating from Durham University, where she studied French and Italian, Sue got married then had a variety of office jobs before becoming a full-time parent. If she had her way, the phrase "non-working mother" would be banned from the English language.
Sue has a mind which is sufficiently warped as to be capable of compiling questions for BBC Radio 4's fiendishly difficult "Round Britain Quiz". This once caused one of her sons to describe her as "professionally weird." The label has stuck.
In addition to working as an editor for Crooked Cat/Darkstroke Books and Ocelot Press, Sue is the author of six novels: The Ghostly Father, Nice Girls Don't, The Unkindest Cut of All, Never on Saturday, Heathcliff and Finding Nina.
She is also very interested in Family History. Her own background is far stranger than any work of fiction; she'd write a book about it if she thought anybody would believe her.
Sue lives in Cheshire, UK, with her extremely patient husband and a large collection of unfinished scribblings.