A warm welcome to our next featured author in this years GRL Blog Tour!
We are happy to have author Eden Winters joining us today to talk about writing, to answer the question that was asked and Eden also brought along a giveaway!
Welcome Eden 🙂
Writing For a Global Market
I love readers. Hey! I’m one myself! And I love the readers of my work, who I know to be a widely diverse group. As an author, I do my best to ensure that the stories I write can be understood, no matter where in the world you are. But how can I create an enjoyable book for all?
Some characters like Lucky in the Diversion series use regionalisms in their speech that may be difficult to comprehend unless you’re from the American South. Like the fatback we Southerners add to our vegetables, it’s easy to put in too much of a good thing. Nearly every place on earth has words and phrases that are distinct to that area. Some are seen widely enough to be commonly known, others might be cause for head scratching. And if a reader does not understand what they’re reading they’ll put the book down.
My goal is to keep them reading.
In recent years some of my stories have been translated into other languages: German, French, Italian, and Japanese. Which means I should be ever-mindful that some words simply don’t translate well.
Here are several lessons I’ve learned over the years that I’ve found helpful in writing for a global market.
- If a character uses a word or phrase that might not be understood by, say, a reader for whom English is not a first language, I follow the dialog with a either a character repeating the phrase a bit more plainly, or providing enough context to maintain clarity.
- If I said, “I had to go to the E.R.” folks in my neck of the woods (yes, a Southernism) would recognize that I had a medical issue that required I seek immediate help at my local hospital’s emergency room. Other places have other terms for such a facility, such as “urgent care”. So the first time I mention the “E.R.” in a story, I’ll spell out “Emergency Room”, followed soon after with “E.R.” From there on out I’ll simply use E.R. However, authors including a long list of unfamiliar terms might add a glossary. Some include maps of the places they’re writing about, or even family trees.
- I’d be lost without my critique partners, who point out issues that I can’t see. They, like my readers, come from a wide range of locales. They catch my Southernisms, my Americanisms, and other verbiage that might lesson a reader’s understanding and enjoyment of a book. Who knew that “Dueling Banjos” isn’t commonly known as a song in some circles, but a sexual act?
- That said, there is a fine balance to maintain so as not to make the book so generic that you cannot tell that the story takes place in rural the American South: (the Diversion series, Settling the Score, Naked Tales, The Telling), California (The Wish, A Matter of When), Colorado (A Bear Walks Into a Bar), Hawaii (Summer Boys), Scotland (Duet), or even El Salvador (What You Can’t Leave Behind).
- I listen to reader feedback and appreciate sound advice. It might be too late for the first edition of a work, but you can bet those troublesome difficult words will be clarified in the second edition if I’m made aware of them. Especially in the case of translators who are translating one of my books into another language and have to ask me what something means.
Also, in writing for all readers, it’s important when blogging about a new release to include book links for other countries to make it easier for readers to find the work. And don’t forget those readers when hosting contests or giveaways of print copies!
Speaking of giveaways, how about one lucky commenter (yes, I capped “lucky” at first and had to redo) receiving an e-book copy of their choice of the following:
A Bear Walks Into a Bar
The Angel of 13th Street
Any of the Diversion books: Diversion, Collusion, Corruption, Manipulation, or Redemption. And yes, I’m currently hard at work on the sixth installment of the series: Reunion.
What? You haven’t heard of Diversion? Here’s a bit about Diversion 1,the first in the series:
There are good guys, bad guys, and then there’s Lucky. Former drug trafficker Richmond “Lucky” Lucklighter flaunts his past like a badge of honor. He speaks his mind, doesn’t play nice, and flirts with disaster while working off his sentence with the Southeastern Narcotics Bureau. If he can keep out of trouble a while longer he’ll be a free man–after he trains his replacement. Textbook-quoting, by the book Bo Schollenberger is everything Lucky isn’t. Lucky slurps coffee, Bo lives caffeine free. Lucky worships bacon, Bo eats tofu. Lucky trusts no one, Bo calls suspects by first name. Yet when the chips are down on their shared case of breaking up a drug diversion ring, they may have more in common than they believe. Two men. Close quarters. Friction results in heat. But Lucky scoffs at partnerships, no matter how thrilling the roller-coaster. Bo has two months to break down Lucky’s defenses… and seconds are ticking by.
Find the English version of Diversion at Amazon ( in different countries)
Find the French translation at MXM Bookmark
And tomorrow, August 10, find Diversion in Japanese translation
You will know Eden Winters by her distinctive white plumage and exuberant cry of “Hey, y’all!” in a Southern US drawl so thick it renders even the simplest of words unrecognizable. Watch out, she hugs! Driven by insatiable curiosity, she possibly holds the world’s record for curriculum changes to the point that she’s never quite earned a degree but is a force to be reckoned with at Trivial Pursuit. She’s trudged down hallways with police detectives, learned to disarm knife-wielding bad guys, and witnessed the correct way to blow doors off buildings. Her e-mail contains various snippets of forensic wisdom, such as “What would a dead body left in a Mexican drug tunnel look like after six months?” In the process of her adventures she has written fourteen m/m romance novels, has won several Rainbow Awards, was a Lambda Awards Finalist, and lives in terror of authorities showing up at her door to question her Internet searches. When not putting characters in dangerous situations she’s a mild-mannered business executive, mother, grandmother, vegetarian, and PFLAG activist. Her natural habitats are airports, coffee shops, and on the backs of motorcycles.
Visit Eden at:
Now, as part of this blog post series, I’ve been asked a question:
Is there a food item that appears often in your books?
Why yes, there is. In the Diversion series, Bo is vegetarian like I am, and his partner Lucky is a carnivore through and through. In the first book in the series Bo prepared grilled portobello mushrooms, one of my favorite dishes. Lucky’s reaction is based on a friend’s from years ago. My friend sneered at eating “fungus”, but once he tried a tiny bit, I had to fight to keep him from eating them all. After that, he always requested them when he visited. Now in the books there is usually a reference at some point to this dish. I’ve even had readers inquire how to make them.
Now I have a question for fellow author M. A. Church, to be answered in an upcoming post: Now for M.A.: You have quite a few series books, but standalones as well. Which do you prefer writing, and has a standalone ever spawned an unintended series?
I hope to see y’all at GRL!