Don't you like getting packages in the mail? Especially ones you didn't expect?
Today I opened a box sent from my publisher. Staring back at me were three little hardback books with my name on the cover, the only words I understood. Here's a picture of the cover, taken from Amazon's German counterpart.
If you'd like to see the page, click here (you can get it for a mere 12,95 Euros).
I was told last year a German publisher had purchased the rights to translate it into German, with plans to market it online and in retail stores in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. But I thought it wasn't happening until next year. So this is a pleasant surprise. Guess it's on shelves in those countries right now.
You might notice the little wooden horse on the cover. An interesting story here. The German editor sent me a nice email last year, asking permission to change the story, just a little. If you've read the book, you know Patrick's grandfather had begun to carve a wooden soldier for his son, but never finished it (where the title comes from). They wondered if I'd be open to them changing this soldier into a little wooden horse.
She explained in Germany, ever since World War II, their culture has downplayed the idea of children playing with war toys. It was an easy concession to make, since the nature of the toy itself isn't really central to the story. I think it makes for a really nice cover. My wife said she'd buy it in a heartbeat, if she saw it on the shelf (and could read German).
One last item, there were already two nice reviews on the German Amazon site. My son translated them for me using Google Translator. Here's an excerpt from one, translated literally. I must have read similar comments hundreds of times from English-speaking fans. It was great to see the German translation is having the same effect:
"His book I devoured in a few hours. Maybe he has pressed a little too much given to the tear glands..."
I'm humbled and deeply honored to see others take such an interest in my work. Wouldn't it be wild if the book took off over there and Cindi and I got a chance to do a booksigning tour in Germany, Austria and Switzerland?