Dare to Read

May 18, 2012

Bécquer Eternal and Crimson Romance


by Carmen Ferreiro-Esteban




Buenas noticias: mi novela paranormal Bécquer Eterno será publicada a finales de año a través de la editorial norteamericana Crimson Romance.

La portada de la edición en inglés será distinta de la versión en español, pero ambas evocan el espíritu romántico de la historia.

La edición española estará a la venta a través de Cultiva libros (http://www.cultivalibros.com/) la semana entrante y en edición digital en Amazon.es and Amazon.com en las próximas semanas.

Si vivís en Sevilla no os olvidéis de visitar la Exposición Bécquer tan cerca… A través del arte que tendrá lugar en la Fundación Valentín de Maderiaga del 25 de mayo al 24 de junio. En ella un centenar de artistas homenajearán al ilustre sevillano. Mi libro Bécquer eterno es mi humilde contribución a la Exposición. (http://www.facebook.com/becquertancerca)

Y si os animais a leerla y escribir una reseña por favor uniros a la lectura conjunta que LAKY en “Libros que hay que leer” ha organizado (http://goo.gl/cnJZ2).

¡Muchísimas gracias, LAKY!


I’m thrilled to announce that my paranormal story Bécquer Eternal will be published by Crimson Romance at the end of 2012.

They had agreed to keep the gorgeous cover Elaina Lee created for me back when I was signed with Astraea Press.

If you speak Spanish, you are in luck because the Spanish version, Bécquer Eterno, will be available next week through Culitiva Libros and Amazon.com.

And if you have your own blog, you can join the Blog Tour that LAKY at “Libros que hay que leer” has organized for me (http://goo.gl/cnJZ2). Thank you so much, LAKY!

May 3, 2012

My Road to Publication : Bécquer eternal



by Carmen Ferreiro-Esteban



As I mentioned back in February (https://carmenferreiroesteban.wordpress.com/2012/02/22/Bécquer-eternal-and-astraea-press/), Astraea Press agreed to publish my paranormal novel, BÉCQUER ETERNAL, both in English and Spanish (BÉCQUER ETERNO).

Unfortunately my relationship with Astraea Press came to an end in March when, after two rounds of editing, my line editor discovered that one of my characters, Federico, was homosexual and, I was informed, Astraea Press does not publish books with homosexual characters.

They asked me, politely, to change this.

But how could I? Federico was a real person (Federico Garcia Lorca (1898-1936)), a Spanish poet who, as I mention in my story, was killed during the first days of the Spanish Civil War, because, among other reasons, he was homosexual. To change or not to mention his sexual orientation felt like a betrayal to him and would also destroy the plot of my story.

So, with regret, I told them I couldn’t do it.

Although, soon, I found another publisher interested in the English version of BÉCQUER ETERNAL, they do not publish titles in Spanish.

Too late now, to query Spanish Houses, I decided to publish BÉCQUER ETERNO myself.

Right now, a Spanish POD publisher is printing the galleys.

If things go as planned, a printed copy of BÉCQUER ETERNO, my humble homage to Gustavo Adolfo Bécquer, the most romantic of the Spanish poets, and Federico Garcia Lorca, IMHO, the greatest Spanish poet of the XX century will be at the Exhibit Bécquer tan cerca… A través del arte in Sevilla from May 25 to June 24.

How I wish I could be there!

April 20, 2012

My adventures on Translation : Bécquer Eternal / Bécquer Eterno

Filed under: Becquer Eternal,On Translation — carmenferreiroesteban @ 5:35 am
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by Carmen Ferreiro-Esteban



Good news: I just finished the translation of Bécquer Eternal into Spanish.

It was a time consuming project, but I’m very happy that I did it because the translation worked also as a thorough revision of the original text. Trying to express in other language what I was trying to say revealed to me some weaknesses I had not noticed before and helped me solve minor inconsistencies that several rounds of critiquing and editing had missed.

The result is that I have now not only a Spanish version of my story but also a stronger English one.

Both versions are not carbon copy of each other. I did not translate the words or even the sentences as they were in English, but in each scene I asked myself: how would I describe this in Spanish or what would a Spanish person say in this situation.

Because a language is not only made out of words, but those words create a different frame of mind with which to describe the world. In a way the language determine how we see the world.

Yes, in very simple sentences the translation may work word by word.

For instance: “The boy is tall” translates as: “El niño es alto”.

But “the tall boy” is not “el alto niño” but “el niño alto”. As you see adjectives go after nouns in Spanish. Usually.

Even simple questions like: “How old are you?” require a totally different structure in Spanish: “¿Cuántos años tienes?” Literary: “How many years do you have?”

Things get even more complicated when a word has several meanings in one or the other language.

For instance: “flesh” and “meat” are the same word “carne” in Spanish, while “spirit” can be translated as “espíritu” (ghost) or “licor” (liquor).

This is why a computer asked to translate the sentence: “The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak,” into Spanish and then back came out with: “The alcohol is arranged, but the meat is weak”

(See more funny computer translations at http://www.geoffreylandis.com/sight.htp).

As for my translation of Bécquer Eternal I offer you one example below.

The first paragraph is the original text in English (A), while (B) is the back translation of the Spanish version.

See the differences? Which one works better for you?

A. Bécquer had closed his eyes while I rambled on, as if embarrassed by my barely concealed distress. He opened them when I finished and fixed on me his dark stare.

“And you?” he whispered. “If I die, would you mourn me for a day?”

Bécquer había cerrado los ojos mientras yo divagaba, como si le avergonzase la angustia que mis palabras no podían ocultar. Los abrió cuando terminé y su mirada oscurecida por un dolor que trataba en vano de disimular me hizo estremecer.

—¿Y tú? —me susurró— Si me muero, ¿Llorarías tú por mí?

B. Bécquer had closed his eyes while I rambled on, as if embarrassed by the anguish my words could not hide. He opened them when I finished and his stare darkened by a pain he tried in vain to conceal made me shiver.

“And you?” he whispered. “If I die, would you cry for me?”

April 12, 2012

My adventures on translation : Bécquer Eternal / Bécquer Eterno



by Carmen Ferreiro-Esteban



I haven’t blogged lately because I have been way too busy with the translation of my paranormal story Bécquer Eternal into Spanish.

The reason?

This year marks the 176 anniversary of Bécquer’s birthday and his home town of Sevilla (Spain) is having an Exhibit in his honor.

Many artists (poets, musicians, painters, sculptures, silversmiths, etc.) will remember him with their work. And I’m happy to say a copy of my book in Spanish will be included in the exhibit.

As the Exhibit will take place between May 25 and June 24, I must finish my translation, like yesterday, so I can get a printed copy in time.

I have worked as a translator for over ten years and Spanish is my native language. So I was surprised to realize how difficult it was to translate my own work.

The difficulty was not only on translating the meaning accurately, but on trying to keep the rhythm and lyricism of the original, as well as other factors like cultural references, slang, etc…

Yes, I knew this to be the case when you’re working with a literary text. But I knew it in a cerebral way. I knew it in my mind, not in my guts.

I will show you examples in future blogs.

Right now, Ill explain what I mean with an image, two images to be precise, that happen to be the covers of the English and Spanish version of my book.

Although they’re quite different, both transmit the spirit of my story.

The Spanish cover includes a portrait of Bécquer on the left. This portrait is as iconic in Spain as a picture of a blonde Marylyn would be in the States. But the cultural reference would be lost in an American audience.

And so it’s with the literary images. Cultural references are lost and must be substituted with others, making the translation both a frustrating and an exhilarating experience.

I’ll tell you more about it next week. Now, it’s back to work for me.

Until then, Happy Spring!

April 2, 2012

Where Ideas Come From

Filed under: Becquer,Becquer Eternal,On Reading — carmenferreiroesteban @ 5:09 am
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From Bécquer Eternal

He was gone and back so fast that, but for the mask he held now in his hands I wouldn’t have noticed he had moved at all.

I stood and examined the mask, a delicate piece of art made of ivory silk with colorful feathers.

“Don’t you like it?” Bécquer asked, as I hesitated to pick it up.

“It’s beautiful.”

Again he smiled, the smile of a child pleased with himself. “Federico bought it for me last year when he was in Venice.”

March 26, 2012

Where Ideas Come From – 8

From The Revenge of the Wolf King

He stopped when we reached the river bank, and letting go of my hand, parted the reeds so very carefully. I saw it, then, white and slender, a bird made of light. It walked in the water on its long, slim legs, perfectly balanced, as if dancing to a music it could only hear.

“It’s beautiful,” I whispered.

From Bécquer Eternal

I locked my car and went down the bank, to the gravel strip by the water where Ryan and Bécquer had come ashore.

A heron, white and slender, walked the shore hunting for food. The heron that had made it into the narrative of the manuscript Bécquer had agreed to represent.

But for the heron, the place was deserted. The boats and canoes that dot the lake in summer time, were now grounded ashore in the crescent shaped inlet to my left. And the owners of the cars sitting by mine were nowhere in sight.

Turning my back to the lake, I walked to the bench Bécquer and I had shared the previous night, and sat down.

The weather had been unusually mild this past October and the trees had just reached their full autumn colors, but the stunning beauty of my surroundings I had profusely photographed over the previous weeks, failed to impress me.

Maybe it was because the effect of Bécquer’s blood had worn off during the night, and, after perceiving the world through immortal senses, it seemed dull now that I was seeing it with my human eyes. Maybe it was, plain and simply, because Bécquer was not with me and I wished he were.

March 19, 2012

Where Ideas Come From – 7

From Bécquer Eternal by Carmen Ferreiro-Esteban


Outside the window, coming down Main, a blue BMW convertible waited at the light. As I watched, the roof rolled back and the sun poured inside the car, on the black hair and pale skin of the man who claimed to be Becquer. I held my breath, afraid that he would burst into flames. Across the distance, Becquer smiled and, in my head, I heard his laughter, a clear sound of childish joy. Before I could react, the light turned green and,with a slight movement of his hand, he shifted gears, and, disappeared in a blur of blue.


Bécquer Eterno
Un descapotable azul parado frente al semáforo me llamó la atención. Mientras lo miraba, el techo del mismo se abrió y el sol entró a raudales dentro del coche, bañando con su luz el pelo oscuro y la piel pálida del hombre que decía ser Bécquer. Contuve mi respiración, temiendo quizás que fuera a estallar en llamas. Bécquer miró en mi dirección y en mi mente escuché su risa, una risa clara de alegría infantil. Antes de que pudiese reaccionar, el semáforo se puso verde y, con un ligero movimiento de la mano, Bécquer cambió de marcha, y desapareció en un relámpago azul.

March 16, 2012

Bécquer tan Cerca (Bécquer so Close) in Sevilla, This Spring


by Carmen Ferreiro-Esteban


If Bécquer were alive today, as he is in my story, he’d be 176 years old.

To celebrate this, his native town of Sevilla (Spain) has organized an Exhibit about the beloved author who, through his felt poems of unrequited love, provided many generations of Spanish teens a voice to mirror their experiences.

In this exhibit called “BÉCQUER, TAN CERCA… A TRAVÉS DEL ARTE” (“Becquer, so close…through art”), a hundred artists—painters, musicians, goldsmiths, sculptors, poets and writers—will share their work done in remembrance of the great Spanish author.

I’m thrilled to announce that an Spanish edition of my paranormal novel Bécquer Eternal (Bécquer eterno) will be part of the exhibit.

If you want to learn more about the exhibit that will take place in Sevilla from May 25 to June 24, please go to:


There is more big news.

My publisher Astraea Press has sent me already the final covers for the book. And because I wanted to include the picture of the real Bécquer in the Spanish edition, Astraea has graciously agreed to provide two different covers.
Here they are:

I hope you like them as much as I do.

February 22, 2012

Becquer Eternal and Astraea Press

Filed under: Becquer,Becquer Eternal,On Publishing — carmenferreiroesteban @ 9:36 am
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Great news!

It’s official, my paranormal contemporary novel, BECQUER ETERNAL, will be published this year by Astraea Press.

Check the announcement at Publisher Marketplace (http://www.publishersmarketplace.com/rights/display.cgi?rights_no=8167)

February 17, 2012

Happy Birthday Becquer!

Filed under: Becquer,Becquer Eternal — carmenferreiroesteban @ 1:56 pm
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by Carmen Ferreiro-Esteban



Becquer, Gustavo Adolfo Becquer, one of the most beloved poets of the Spanish language, was born in Sevilla (Spain) on February 17, 1836.

Although he was still unknown when he died in Madrid 34 years later, his short stories and poems (Rimas y Leyendas) made his spirit immortal.

If he were physically immortal, as he is in my novel Becquer Eternal, today would be his birthday.

Happy Birthday Becquer!

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