Please welcome Solace Ames to the site! She’s here on a virtual book tour to promote The Submission Gift, an erotic menage from Carina Press. She’s got a great giveaway that includes a lovely bracelet and copies of the book.
Guest Blog and Giveaway: “Two Sentences in Spanish” by Solace Ames
I first started learning Spanish in Miami. I was a waitress, and sometimes I’d have tables that only spoke Spanish. I quickly learned phrases such as, “Would you like your beer in a glass or bottle?” and, “In the United States, it’s customary to leave a 15% tip for good service.”
While there’s some anti-Spanish sentiment in Miami, for the most part, people realize they just have to deal. And it’s fine. Myself, I was happy for the opportunity to start learning another language, and I went on to study Spanish more seriously, up through the graduate school level.
In many other places in the United States, Spanish speakers (especially those who aren’t white) face horrendous prejudice, including constant accusations of “taking over.” It’s no wonder many children of Spanish-speaking immigrants don’t speak it fluently.
I’ve written several Latino characters, including the Mexican-American couple in my newest release, The Submission Gift. Each time, I decide their level of fluency in both languages and how to reflect that in dialogue. Adriana, the heroine, works as a chef and wasn’t raised with Spanish. She speaks “kitchen Spanish,” enough to run a restaurant and talk about food, and I didn’t write her any untranslated dialogue. Jay, her husband, is proud of his double fluency and keeps in practice by speaking to the older generations of his family in Spanish and reading Spanish literature. I wrote several lines of untranslated Spanish for him, as well as translated conversations with his family.
I have to think about the audience when I make these decisions, too. I’m obviously not going to cater to the nativist reader who hates any mention of Spanish, the one Junot Díaz pokes fun at. But anyone who reads the book is going to have varying levels of Spanish. Some of them will be native speakers who spot a mistake I made (I hope I didn’t make a mistake, but still…) and some won’t know a single word. Many people know at least ten words of Spanish, though, and people in the United States often know hundreds of words through a kind of linguistic osmosis, given our shared borders and culture. Some of these are dead wrong–“no problemo” for example–while others like “cafeteria” are so common people forget they’re Spanish loanwords.
So when to translate? When not to translate? No one wants to read large chunks of an unknown language (unless, perhaps, it’s Elvish) but at the same time, a few untranslated words can have a powerful artistic effect. The sound of the word and the way it looks on the page can be almost as important as its meaning. As long as untranslated words fit the mood and aren’t crucial plot hinges, I’ll go for it. In The Submission Gift, I ended up writing only about 25 words of pure Spanish (not loanwords) in 100,000 of English.
How do you feel about different languages in your books? As readers and as writers? As monolinguals or multilinguals? I’m always fascinated by this subject and interested in learning more.
The Submission Gift
A husband hires a “rent boy” to satisfy his submission-craving wife, with no idea of the consequences for all three of them, in Ames’s debut, a tender, erotic ménage romance.
Newlyweds Jay and Adriana had a happy marriage and a spectacular sex life—until tragedy struck. Wounded in a car accident, Jay spent a year recuperating while Adriana worked overtime as a chef to pay their bills. Though he’s made nearly a full recovery, some aspects of their intimate play will never be the same. It’s a small price to pay, all things considered.
But when a long struggle with the insurance company results in an overdue payout, Jay has a plan. He’ll take some of it and hire a high-end rent boy who specializes in sexual dominance. Not for him, but as a gift for Adriana, for taking care of him for the past twelve months.
Paul is the handsome stranger they choose…and the one who changes everything. What starts out as a onetime session to fulfill a fantasy turns into something bigger than all of them. But when the money runs out and Paul’s dangerous past resurfaces, the sacrifices required to stay together may end up tearing them apart…
Here’s the information on the giveaway:
Prize: One beautiful bracelet with three heart charms and two copies of The Dom Project, LA Doms Book #1
How to enter: Use the Rafflecopter: a Rafflecopter giveaway
About the Author:
Solace Ames has roots in the Southeast US, although her heart lives somewhere along the Pacific coast of Mexico. She’s worked in restaurants, strip clubs, academia and the corporate world and studied everything from the philosophy of science to queer theory to medieval Spanish literature. Rejecting neat categories, her writing sprawls across genres and genders and swings from high art to low art, marching with the erotic avant-garde, tongue sometimes in cheek and at other times… well. Along with writing, education and political activism are her passions. Family takes up most of her time, but she loves to keep learning.
Website and Blog: www.solaceames.com
Mailing List: http://eepurl.com/MsLrj