In the upcoming episode of the Crime Cafe podcast, we’ll be going Parisian! I’ll be interviewing France-based translator and crime fiction publisher Anne Trager. She’s the founder of Le French Book, a publisher who’s helping us English-only readers discover French crime writers. Awesome!
In anticipation of our talk, Anne is my guest blogger today and is giving away copies of VITAL LINKS.
All you need to do to get a copy is click here and fill out the form to claim your download.
Anne is also offering exclusive launch bonuses to readers who buy their latest release, MINCED, MARINATED, AND MURDERED! Just click the link for details! Ooh la la! 🙂
And with that said, here’s Anne Trager!
Le French Book is nothing less than a crime of passion. I’ve been obsessed with mysteries and thrillers since I discovered Dorothy Sayer’s Lord Peter Wimsey. I then remember crouching in the study reading Ian Fleming paperbacks. I must have been about 12. Not so long after that, I discovered Gourmet Magazine and my destiny was sealed. I could think of only one thing: going to France. So, I studied French in high school and college, came over on a study abroad program in 1985, and I never left.
I just can’t. It’s not the baguettes that keep me here (I’m sans gluten), but a uniquely French mix of pleasure seeking and creativity. Well, that and the wine.
Flash forward to 2012. After many years working in translation, publishing, and international communications, I woke up one morning, compelled to drop everything and bring my vices home by translating mysteries and thrillers by French writers. Not enough of them were getting across the pond. I wanted to bring some of the country’s wonderful books to a broader audience, and I was in a unique position to do so, having a foot in both France and the United States, and a passion to bridge the two.
French writers offer us serial killers in Paris, deceit and treachery in the vineyards, and rolling countryside filled with hidden secrets. I’ve even scrounged up wine-sipping freelance spies, intrigue straight out of World War II, and a Freemason cop. That one was a bestseller around the world before we got it into English.
Yes, noir is a French word, but the French do a lot more than that, and we serve all kinds of mystery and thriller readers. You like a cozy, we’ve got a whole series of French cozies for you—actually, two of them now, one set in vineyards and another in restaurants. I know, how French! Same goes for procedurals, suspense, espionage by a real spook, and esoteric action thrillers. If you’re looking for a fix of gourmet sleuthing, art world intrigue, and even some classic noir with a modern twist set in Africa, we’ve got a whole range of international mysteries and thrillers to keep readers intrigued.
That’s our goal in any case. We handpick all our titles. We have to love it to translate it, because so much goes into translation.
Translation has traditionally been a thankless job. Translators are shadow figures, with their names in small print if mentioned at all, decried by editors, lambasted by the original-language authors, and the first blamed by critics for any weaknesses in a text, even if those stem from the original. Yet, you could not read the stories we publish without our translators, who work long and hard to find just the right words to give you access to a whole other world and culture. Translation goes beyond finding the right words. You need to find ways for the story as a whole to come across. You need to find ways to transmit ideas closely linked to cultural context. You adapt the title so that the readers can experience the story from their cultural point of view. It’s a fascinating process. As is this whole publishing venture.
American translator and publisher Anne Trager loves France so much she has lived there since 1985 and just can’t seem to leave. After nearly thirty years in the translation business and almost as much in publishing, she wanted to give readers access to more international mysteries and thrillers. She founded Le French Book in 2012. The concept is simple: bring France’s best mysteries and thrillers to new readers across the English-speaking world. So far, the small press has handpicked, translated, and published 30 books and gained both critical and popular success. The most recent is Minced, Marinated, and Murdered, the first volume in their new Gourmet Crimes series. Set in Lyon, it introduces Laure Grenadier, a food writer turned amateur sleuth.
Noël Balen, writer and musician, has over thirty mysteries to his name, including the Winemaker Detective series, a hit cozy mystery and TV series. Hi co-author and wife Vanessa Barrot is a corporate lawyer who comes from a family of Parisian restaurant owners. Translator Anne Trager founded Le French Book as an expression of her ongoing passion for France and crime fiction. She adapted Minced, Marinated, and Murdered into English with the help of award-winning editor Amy Richards.