Thursday, June 7, 2012

Hier sprechen wir Deutsch: Whitefire goes to Germany!

Sometimes patience is so hard as an author.  You get good news and you're bursting to share it, and then you have to wait for ages until all the legalese is worked out before you can shout from the rooftops...I tell you, as an excitable person, waiting is very hard for me.  But at last I can share some news I'm totally over the moon about: German publisher Bastei Lübbe has bought the German-language rights to The Whitefire Crossing

I'm particularly excited about this since my husband and I actually speak German.  Or rather, he speaks German very well, and I can comprehend/read it and muddle through in conversation.  My husband is Australian, but his mom emigrated from Austria and his dad from Germany, so he grew up in a little German-speaking community in Sydney.  When he and his sister were kids, his mom took them on several long visits to the little village in the Tyrolean Alps where she was raised - that's where he first learned to ski.  He still has many relatives there; in 2005, he and I went on a 3-week trip to Austria and I got to meet some of them.

The village of Ebbs, where my husband's relatives live
His Austrian relatives don't speak any English, so I learned as much German as I could before the trip.  (I love languages.)  I figured a spoken-word approach would be best, so I bought an audio course, the same one used (at the time) by the U.S. State department to train their people.  The CDs really worked, thanks to their use of native speakers who spoke at normal conversational speed right from the beginning.  When we went to Austria, I had no trouble understanding people so long as they spoke in "high" German (as opposed to the Tirolean dialect, which even my husband has trouble with!).  The only problem was one I should have anticipated in advance: diplomats use über-formal German.  The course didn't even cover the informal verb forms until the last CD...and sadly, I did not get that far before we left!  So when Robert's lovely relatives would tell me, "Oh, please use "du" with us", I had to say "I'm so sorry, but I don't know how to speak informally!"

Even tiny villages in Austria have gorgeous churches!  This is the local church in Ebbs.
Austria was beautiful - particularly the Alps!  We did so many gorgeous hikes and peak climbs.  Like these:

Hiking in the Alps near Hintertux, Austria

My husband Robert on a ridge in the Dachstein Alps
We also got to sing in the Innsbruck International Choral Festival, performing the Mozart Requiem at the Innsbruck Congress Saal Tyrol.  The whole experience was wonderful.  My husband and I really want to go back to Austria again, and this time visit Germany as well.  Our toddler just needs to get a little older!  In the meantime, I'll get to practice my German by reading my own book - what a trip!           

Singing the Mozart Requiem in Innsbruck

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