Ooh la la... it's been a week since my last post. I wasn't going to leave it so long, but I guess I've been up to things.
I thought it would be a good time to get into specifics. So... in order to publish an English-language translation of a book that was originally published in French, the Anglo publisher must first buy the English-language rights of the book from the Franco publisher. I'm not sure if my publisher has sealed the deal yet, but I think that the process is far enough advanced to allow for me to talk about the book in specifics. So. It's called Crimes horticoles, by Montrealer Mélanie Vincelette (here is a link about her from the site of the publishing company that she started). Thus the title of this blog.
Thus, in addition, an accident waiting to happen. Despite popular wisdom to the contrary, I feel like an awful lot of books are bought based on their appearance. I, too, am susceptible the siren song that is a beautifully bound, beautifully printed book. About a year ago I picked up a book that was so visually stunning that I was almost desperate to read it immediately... not unlike the pheromone rush experienced upon meeting an inordinately handsome potential lover, perhaps? The book was Hunger, by Elise Blackwell (which, amazingly, you can read in it's entirety on Googlebooks here... I mean, is that even legal?), and the edition was a beautiful hardcover copy that looked like this:
Ooh, those vibrant jewel tones on that sleek black. How could I resist? Fortunately for me, the book, a slim but powerful little beast which centres on a Russian immigrant to New York looking back on the siege of Leningrad, turned out to be quite a good read. But back to the point, which was that many books are bought and sold based on how their cover looks, or perhaps on their... title?
The title Crimes horticoles is a reference to the poppies cultivated by the protagonist's father, intended for opiate production: a fairly minor subplot in the grand scheme of the novel. I'm not saying that it's inconsequential, just that it's hardly the focal point.
Felonies of a Botanical Nature is just a lark, really. A wildly improbable title for a novel. But it's a joke that is, in reality, hiding my own discomfort with the title, both of the French novel and of its obvious literal translation, "Horticultural Crimes." Ask yourself, would you pick up a book with that title? And then you see my dilemma.