Having participated as a reader and having done my share of commnets and encouragement to those who deserved it to my belief (first and second chapters of the Romance novel), I thought I should post my own bits of experience of orientation in the literary maze.
During the 80s I’ve written my first short stories and two novels, but couldn’t get published. There’re just two and a half million potential readers in my country, covered by lots of published authors that pop up every year, and thousands of would be authors, just like me.
What I needed was the right ties, and regretfully I’m not that kind of person. But I’ve decided to find a way to get closer to those who had their say in that realm. I offered my services as a translator, and it worked. I was employed at the first publishing house to which I offered my services as a free lancer. I’d very good relations with the couple that owned that publishing house, which wasn’t among the biggest but was very successful – they concentrated in translations of foreign literature mostly.
During my second year as a freelance translator, I’ve written a short story, which to my opinion was my best one. I’ve written it from the point of view of a Palestinian Arab. I thought one should try to understand the other side before dealing with him. I brought along a copy of it to my employer, on one of my monthly rounds, in which I’ve brought a translated book and picked a fresh one.
I was quite excited and I showed her the copy, telling her I wished to know what’s her opinion. She’s a very wise woman but apart from her opinion I’d some more expectations – you may guess what kind of expectations I’d. She started to read, rose to her feet shocked, and walked around reading it – as I’ve said it was written from a point of a Palestinian Arab…
‘You should make a book out of it.’ That’s what she told me. I took it at first as a polite rejection, but in a second thought I said to myself why not – and it took me two years to complete it.
I’d some trouble to develop a novel out of a short story, but I found the right technique and it came off rather well.
I believe it’s my best novel. I’ve posted four excerpts of it already, titled: ‘The encounter’, ‘Oriental delicacies’ ‘Leila’ and ‘Cairo’. I’ll post a fifth excerpt that depicts the technique that solved the problems I had. It may seem as if I’d planned it that way from the beginning, but the truth is I toiled quite hard to achieve it.I hope you’ll find it useful, and encouraging anyone who’s faced with similar annoying problems.