Can you imagine how hard it must be to write in a language that isn’t your native tongue? I mean, it’s hard enough to write in the first place, didn’t Hemmingway say: “Writing is easy, you just sit at your typewriter and bleed…” or something along those lines. But writing in English when your native language is German? Man, the thought of that just blows my mind.
So I’m thrilled to host Iris Blobel on my blog today. Iris and I are kindred spirits, in that I have a special affinity for ‘flower’ names. Iris. Lily. Rose. Petunia. Azalea. (Okay, now I’m being silly).
When Iris read my novella, The Goodbye Ride, earlier this year she commented that: “Google was a good friend over these few days. It amazed me how many new words I learnt … I should’ve written them down.” Then I saw her star on Susanne Bellamy’s fabulous Sunday blog, “All The World’s A Page”, and she mentioned then her German heritage and the challenge she faces at times, writing romance in English.
So I’ve asked her to elaborate, and here’s what she had to say:
“After more than 15 years here in Australia, I’d consider my English good. Sometimes too good according to my girls. They get really annoyed when I correct their grammar – during a casual conversation that is, not in their homework (yes, I do that, too, the poor little souls). I still have little slip ups. Or big ones! I recently used the word “suffice” in a business email. I had heard it a few days earlier and liked it. I obviously didn’t use it in the right context Embarrassing to say the least!”
“My grammar is usually okay, the sentence structure can be funny if not hilarious. Writing the stories in a different language is not that hard at all. After all, it makes sense to me. And you have to admit I love you does sound better than Ich liebe Dich, right? The struggles I have, though, is finding the right words to convey what I want to say … and then I ask my husband whether whatever I come up with makes sense. The usual answer is a shrug and a “S’pose so”. Not really all that helpful.
“Bottom line, IMHO, I don’t think the language makes the difference, but the way you use the words … I still have a lot to learn here and am very grateful for my wonderful and patient editors.”
Iris has her new book out, New Beginnings. I downloaded it this week but I haven’t read it yet. So why not see for yourself whether Iris’s ‘non-English’ background shines through in her stories.
New Beginnings is now available at most online stores or at the links below.
To believe in new beginnings is to trust in tomorrow
Twenty-two-year-old Sophie Levesque has been guardian to eight-year-old sister Mia since their mother’s death a few years ago. Luck comes their way when they inherit a small house in Hobart. Problem is though, they don’t know of, and have never heard of Clara Bellinger, the testator. Sophie is afraid it’s all been a mistake.
As Mia settles well into her new school and life in general, Sophie is not only occupied by her search of what connected her to Clara, but also her new studies and the two men, who suddenly have become part of her daily life – Mark O’Connor, the lawyer representing Clara’s estate, and Zach, the hunk from across the road.
Ooh! Sounds like fun, Iris, who doesn’t love it when there’s a hunk across the road, and what a great location in beautiful Hobart?
You can find New Beginnings here:
Iris Blobel was born and raised in Germany and only immigrated to Australia in the late 1990s. Having had the travel bug most of her life, Iris spent quite some time living in Scotland, London as well as Canada where she met her future husband. Her love for putting her stories onto paper has only recently emerged, but now her laptop is a constant companion. Iris resides west of Melbourne with her husband and her beautiful two daughters as well as two dogs. Next to her job at a private school she also presents a German Program at the local Community Radio.