It’s the final countdown!! Do do dooo, do do do do dooooo. Okay, it’s not, but it’s the final date of the blog tour and I have the honour of closing the tour with a guest post from the author of ‘Joseph Barnaby’, Susan Roebuck. Many thanks to RaRaResources for the blog tour invite. Before I get to the guest post, here is a little bit more information about Susan’s novel:
Stand by your beliefs – even if it means going to the end of the Earth
By standing up for his principles to save the life of a prize racehorse, farrier Joseph Barnaby loses everything. Now, a personal vendetta has become too deep to fight and he escapes to the island of Madeira where he finds work on a small farm at the foot of a cliff, only accessible by boat. The balmy climate and never-ending supply of exotic fruit, vegetables and honey make it sound like paradise but, for Joseph, it’s the ideal place to hide from the world. Can the inhabitants of Quinta da Esperança, who have more grit in them than the pebbled beach that fronts the property, help Joseph find his self-worth again? And can he escape the danger that draws ever nearer?
Setting your Novel in a Foreign Country
‘Joseph Barnaby” is the third novel in my Portuguese series. They’re all stand-alone novels but each are set in Portugal: “Rising Tide” takes place in a small fishing village on the Alentejo coast; “Forest Dancer” in the forested hills just outside Lisbon (in Sintra); and now “Joseph Barnaby” on a remote beach on the island of Madeira.
One of the challenges of writing a novel in a foreign country is knowing how to keep the Portuguese “atmosphere” without ending up with a language problem. I wanted the Portuguese characters to be well-rounded and relatable, but they couldn’t all speak English that well. Having stilted speech and hesitations throughout would be very tiring for the reader so,to avoid this, in “Forest Dancer” I had some characters speaking excellent English (and I’m lucky that most Portuguese can speak good English). When those whose linguistic abilities weren’t so good I show from the context what they were trying to say, or I had one of the English-speaking characters translate. This had to be done sparingly,otherwise things would’ve become tedious for the reader. To maintain the “sense of place”, though, I kept a few Portuguese expressions or words in but made sure they were obvious from the context what they meant. As my editor told me, “don’t make your reader have to go and look something up, they might not come back again”.
In “Joseph Barnaby” I solved the problem by having Joseph (the English main character) managing to learn Portuguese in six months during his time working in a fishermen’s bar. Therefore the other characters all spoke Portuguese. Of course, the book is written in English, but to add authenticity, I added a few Portuguese expressions occasionally.
Another problem that can arise when setting your novel in a foreign country is that the author should avoid using local people as characters, or even stereotype them. In “Joseph Barnaby” I endeavoured to find variety in the people just as you’d find in any country: there are hospital doctors, a bee-keeper, teachers, and the local fishermen have their unique personalities.
Weather plays an important role in setting your novel abroad. When most people think of Portugal they imagine the sunny beaches of the Algarve, yet there is so much more to the country than that small region. Madeira is very different. It has a temperate climate and is full of flowers, but subject to some spectacular storms.
To conclude, then. My advice to anyone planning their novel abroad is to find aspects of the country that the reader might not expect, but to keep it realistic.
Thank you for hosting me today! I hope you enjoy “Joseph Barnaby”.
About the author.
I was born and educated in the UK (I am British!) but now live in Portugal. I’ve been an English teacher for many years with the British Council and also the Portuguese civil service where I developed e-learning courses.
My first love is, of course, my husband, my second writing, and my third painting. And now I have time to be able to indulge in all three.
My debut novel, “Perfect Score” was published by Mundania Press on Sept 21, 2010 and the paperback launched on May 11 2011. It was a finalist in the 2012 EPIC e-book Awards in the Mainstream Category.
My second novel is a dark thriller/fantasy called “Hewhay Hall”. It won an EPPIE award in the 2013 EPIC (Electronic Publishing Industry Coalition) e-Book Awards in the Horror Category.
Next comes “Rising Tide”, published in 2015. Set in Portugal, published by Mundania Press. It is set in a tiny fishing village that the world, and most of Portugal, has forgotten. Read about the wonders of the ocean and see if Piper from Norfolk UK and Leo from Alaska, USA, can find what they’re searching for in the little village of Luminosa.
“Forest Dancer” was published on 20th February 2018 by CrookedCat Books. This is novel number 2 set in Portugal but this time in the forests outside Lisbon, Portugal. Instead of the sea (as in Rising Tide), now find out about the wonders of the forest and whether classical ballerina, Flora, can find what she’s searching for in the small village of Aurora.
On 5th October 2018 CrookedCat Books published My newest novel, “Joseph Barnaby”, another romance/suspense which is set on the island of Madeira.
Social Media Links –
blog and website: http://www.susanroebuck.com
General Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SuRoebuck
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/SusanRoebuckauthor/
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