I was completely stunned yesterday when my mailperson showed up carrying a huge box with my name on it. I had no idea what it could be or where it was from.
After paying the $18.50 COD, I threw the box on the couch, then saw the Taschenbuch logo on the side and realized what it was: my author copies of the German translation of The Odds Get Even. I’d completely forgotten about it.
I opened the box and was gobsmacked to discover that the book is a hardcover. I stood there, staring at it in wonder for several minutes before I even picked it up.
I turned the book in my hands. What a beautiful thing it is. Then I opened it and found the illustrations: bona fide flip animation comics. I was beside myself with glee! So many years I’ve dreamed of having such a thing in one of my novels, and here it was, right in my hands – and I didn’t even have to ask.
And better still, when I looked at the back cover, there is an illustration of The Fart King ripping a big one. I couldn’t believe it! How was this possible??
When I wrote the story all those years ago, my editor was uncomfortable with the name “Fart King.” She thought kids would find it offensive. I tried to convince her otherwise but to no avail. So we came to a compromise: I could call Larry Harry the Fart King three or four times, then I had to find something else to call him. Hmmmm.
To meet these parameters, I devised a convoluted storyline to allow the kids to change “Fart King” to “Prisoner 95.” Those of you who have read the book know what I’m talking about here.
After all this, I get the German version, and the farts are front row center. The Germans get the humour. What fun!
Staring at this book, (I have a copy beside me on my desk), I can honestly say it is the culmination of a lifelong dream: that a publisher would take my work, advance me adequately, and realize the finished product with such faith, such passion and pride, that I myself couldn’t have done a better job.
My new hope is that the children of Germany enjoy this story and that it makes its way into the hands of many. And I hope the faith that DTV has in this book returns to them ten-fold. Now, all I have to do is figure out how to type an umlaut in my blogs!