You can now read foreign translations of novels by the Welsh writer Owen Jones in thirty-seven languages. Full details are on this blog
There are now several companies offering to facilitate the creation of foreign translations. This could be paper documents, website even novels. In fact, it has never been easier easier to read novels by authors from different countries and cultures. For example, the Welsh writer Owen Jones has books in thirty-seven languages. So, it is easy to imagine that most people in the world have access this Welsh writer’s work.
The Foreign Translations of Books by Owen Jones.
Owen Jones has been the main instigator of the translation of his books, because he is a self-published, or indie-published author. This obviously means that he has no agent or traditional publishing house to organise this sort of work for him.
“It takes a lot of time to find apposite narrators and translators”, he say, “and then to work with them suggesting translations and explaining difficult sentences. Naturally, that detracts from the time spent writing. It is the balance that each indie-author has to work out for him- or herself. The choice is between more books, or a wider readership? It’s a toss-up. However, it was an easy decision for me because I have always travelled, and speak seven or eight languages. I wanted my International friends to be able to read my books, if they want to…” he adds with a smile.
Which books by Owen Jones have been translated.
Owen Jones published his first novel Behind The Smile – The Story of Lek, A Bar Girl in Pattaya, in 2012. It was an immediate hit with the visitors to, and expats in Pattaya, Thailand. It is 112,000 words long, which has an effect on the willingness of translators’ to take it on. Jones works with narrator and translator colleagues who will accept a share of the sales revenues as payment. It is known as royalty share. Typically, the author receives 15-30% of the revenue, and the translator 60-70% with the intermediary taking 10%. It means that colleagues are less likely to take a risk on a large book, in case they have chosen unwisely.
Who translated the books?
The native-speaker narrators and translators of each language in the agency carry out the work on the books. Then the author and the collaborator work together to preserve as much of the meaning of the original text as possible.
Where can I find out more about these books in non-English languages?
If you would like to learn more about these books in other languages, you can start on this blog, Megan Publishing Services. The title bar (at the top of the blog page) contains many links to the various books, foreign translations and in English… even non-English audiobooks!
Are the foreign translations more expensive?
No, at least not necessarily. The author and the agency then choose a single, global price, which means that a book could cost, say $4.99 (+ taxes) in every country. However, $4.99 could be cheap in, say, Norway, but expensive in Somalia. So, it can work out more expensive, but then the people who want to read literature in foreign translations tend to have better jobs, so maybe that isn’t that important.
The most prolific Welsh writer you’ve never heard of!
Welsh novelist, Owen Jones, was born in Barry, South Wales in 1954. He wrote over 175 books, many of which were set in his native country. His works include the series: The Psychic Megan Series, Behind The Smile, Tiger Lily of Bangkok, Annwn-Heaven, and Dead Centre.
Who is this Welsh Novelist with 1,000 Books?
Jones attended infant, junior, and comprehensive schools in his home town. Then he left for Portsmouth, where he studied Russian Language and Soviet History. It was the sixth language that he learned to fluency before he was twenty-four. After Portsmouth, he moved to The Netherlands for nine years and learned Dutch. In 2004, he moved to Thailand, and started writing his first book, which he published in 2012. It was Daddy’s Hobby the first book in the series Behind The Smile: The Story of Lek, A Bar Girl in Pattaya. The second volume, An Exciting Future arrived in the same year. That’s 225,000 words worth!
Where did he come from?
Jones’ parents were avid readers and Spiritualists. He read many of the hundreds of books in the house, and loved writing essays and stories at school. He always received good marks for his literary efforts. However, he gave up English Language as soon as possible in favour of foreign languages. When he did start writing seriously, he was in his fifties, and had to teach himself how to write grammatically, and publish his books.
When did he start writing?
Our Welsh novelist started writing in school, and never really stopped. In school and university, he wrote essays, stories and a dissertation. However, after full-time education, he worked as a translator abroad, and wrote many letters home and to friends. There was no Internet or email then!
What were his influences?
His father was a Spiritualist healer, and so was his maternal grandmother, who actually founded a Spiritualist Church in his town. In fact, it is still going today. Jones has always taken Spiritualism very seriously. He calls it a Western form of Buddhism, and tries to live his life according to its beliefs. This is reflected in most of the stories he writes, but not all. The Psychic Megan Series partially reflects his mother’s life story, but it incorporates Spiritualism in the main too. The Annwn – Heaven Series is similar in that it is concerned with Spiritualist/Buddhist beliefs.
What’s this Welsh writer’s best work?
As with all writers, you pays your money and takes your choice with this Welsh novelist. There are 175 books to choose from, and they have been translated and narrated to make 1,000 books! Owen Jones himself is non-committal. “I forget about some of the stories’ details sometimes, but when I am working with a translator or narrator, I fall in love with the book all over again!”
Welsh author, Owen Jones, was born in Barry, Wales in August 1954 to an industrious, working-class family. He had four brother, three of which remain alive on Earth. To distinguish him from other Welsh authors with the same name alive or deceased, his middle name is Ceri (Keri).
Early Life of Owen Jones.
Welsh author Owen Jones went to Colcot Primary School, High Street Junior School, and then Barry Comprehensive School. He joined ‘The Comp’ in 1965, the first year it was open. His year’s school intake would later be referred to as ‘First Year Comp’. He was chosen to sit for the Oxford entry examination in 1971. However, he passed it over because his girlfriend was going to Portsmouth Polytechnic. He also studied there – Russian Language and Soviet Studies – and his replacement for the exam went to Oxford.
After finishing his degree, he moved to s’Hertogenbosch (Den Bosch) in The Netherlands for nine years. Then he worked for his father with his brothers for thirteen years. In 2004, he moved to Thailand with his Thai wife. He is still there now, living in her remote rice-farming village in the north.
The Welsh Author Emerges.
Owen began creating websites to pay the bills at first. However, they needed a lot of fresh content to keep them high in the search engine rankings. In 2011, he realised that he had 145 websites and had written 1,200,000 words that year to support them. After a few beers one night, it dawned on him that he was writing the equivalent of ten largish novels a year to support websites that would crumble after his death. He had always enjoyed writing, and had started a book in 2004, when he first arrived in Thailand. He resolved to finish the novel.
Owen Jones’ Books.
He published Daddy’s Hobby, the first volume in the series Behind The Smile: The Story Of Lek, A Bar Girl in Pattaya in April 2012 – eight years after he had started it. However, volume two, An Exciting Future, appeared six months later, and Maya – Illusion, volume three, three months after that.
Within seven years, he had written fifty-two novels. These included twenty-three novelettes called The Psychic Megan Series, which is based on ideas that he had learned from his Spiritualist family, and set in Barry. Meanwhile, Behind The Smile has grown to seven volumes comprising 720,000 words. He finds it difficult to stick to one genre, he says. Although most of his books involve some supernatural or paranormal content.
However, even that is not the full story. He has written a military drama mini-series called Dead Centre, which is about a new form of terrorism barely contemplated because it is so awful.
Prolific Welsh Author’s Future.
I asked him why he has not sought representation in the traditional publishing industry. He replies that he had made several half-hearted attempts to attract interest from literary agents five or six years ago, but he gave up, because so few of them replied. I also asked whether he might try to become a traditionally-published Welsh author again. He replied “Maybe”, but didn’t look at all enthusiastic. “I think that The Psychic Megan Series might be ‘quite easy’ to sell. However, writing to these people and waiting months for a reply is such a mind-numbingly boring slog!”
In my opinion, the 68 years old Welsh author from Barry, Owen Jones, has never really cared whether he goes down the traditional route of well-known authors or not. He is quite happy sitting in his quiet, remote Thai village organising the translation and narration of his existing books, and writing the occasional new one.
Owen Jones , the extremely prolific Welsh author, now has more than a thousand books with his name on registered at the British Library, so he must be doing something right!
Behind The Smile – but what else could be lingering there? A genuine smile is often contagious… it makes people feel good about themselves. However, is there something else behind the smile like sadness, deceit, or even danger? Have you ever wondered why someone smiles when they’re happy, but frowns when they’re sad? The answer lies in the coding of our brains, and some people have learned how to use smiling to affect us on this neurological level for their own purposes. Astute people can usually read warning signs, but that doesn’t always work.
Is it really just a smile?
If you’re wondering why some people seem to have an easy time smiling while others struggle with it, here are some things to consider:
1. People who smile often tend to have a positive outlook on life. They see the glass as half full rather than half empty.
2. Smiles are contagious. So when you smile, you’re likely to make other people react in the same way.
3. Smiling releases endorphins into our brains. Endorphins are natural painkillers that help reduce stress and improve mood.
What could be lingering behind the smile?
Smiling is one of the easiest ways to make others feel better about themselves. In fact, research shows that a smile can actually affect the brain’s reward system, making us happier than we would otherwise be. However, not everyone smiles at every appropriate situation. Some people smile in order to hide what they don’t want you to see. Think of the magicians and their distraction techniques, or the shopkeeper with the happy face, or the con-artist trying to sell you a pup.
Are You Smiling Because You’re Happy or Sad?
If you find yourself smiling when you aren’t feeling happy, then you might be suffering from a condition called “smile disorder”. This is a common problem among children and teens, but adults also sometimes develop this condition. Smiling is an automatic response to positive emotions. People who suffer from these disorders often have trouble controlling their facial muscles, so that they appear to be smiling even though they’re not. They may also have difficulty recognizing other people’s smiles because they don’t feel as genuine.
Behind The Smile – The Story of Lek, A Bar Girl In Pattaya
The theme of what can be behind a smile is central to Welsh writer Owen Jones’ epic series about a bar girl in Pattaya. Lek had been a happy child and adolescent growing up in a peaceful, not-poor, rice-farming village in northern Thailand. She had expected nothing more out of life than all the other girls born there for generations. That is, to work on the family smallholding, get married have children, work some more and then to retire to look after the grandchildren. So, had it been for hundreds of years.
However, Lek’s father had borrowed money from the bank – a new phenomenon, that he hadn’t completely understood. When he died suddenly from diabetes, the family was told to pay up or get out. It had been a shock, because they hadn’t known about the loan.
There had been only one solution. Lek, as the eldest child of four, had had to go to Pattaya to work in a bar. She missed her family tremendously, but worked in the bar smiling at the punters. However, she was there for ten long years, and all that time, there was something else going on behind the smile.
You can read Owen Jones’ fascinatingly poignant series here:
Welsh writer, Owen Jones, is from Barry, South Wales. He has loved language and languages all his life. This love manifested itself in learning nine languages and a constant stream of writing. However, for a very long time, he didn’t even consider writing books. They were for reading. He enjoyed writing during his formal education, and after that wrote letters to his friends and family. At twenty-eight years of age, he bought a computer, and began translating professionally. Ten years later, he became an office manager meaning more writing. The proliferation of the Internet was a boon for Owen. He started building websites and creating content for them.
By 2011, he had 145 websites and was writing 1,000,000 words a year as content for them. One day, he decided to write a book instead of all the content, and, so his first novel, Daddy’s Hobby was published in 2012. By 2018, he had written fifty-odd novels of varying length, and 125 manuals. Four years later, he had organised the translation and narration of many of those books, so that in 2022, he had one thousand books registered in his name at the British Library. Here are the top five tips of this prolific Welsh writer.
Keep writing! Even if you only write a few paragraphs a day, keep writing to train your mind to get into the zone! The most useful advice I ever got was from a footnote in a desk diary. It said:
“If you want to be a writer, write for ten minutes every day”
You will probably not see the full sense of this advice unless you really think about it. For example, I cannot write for ten minutes every day. Why? Because when I start writing, hours fly by! I can get into the zone just by picking up a pen, or opening a new document on my computer!
Don’t worry about grammar or punctuation in your first draft. In fact, I can’t write like this, but I know that it does help many writers. The idea is that worrying about grammar slows the flow of creativity. I, personally, find that there are seconds to minutes when I have to pause to order my thoughts, and during these moments, I correct the typos that my word-processor highlights. I don’t worry about dates and fact though. If I refer to a factual event, I mark it with three question marks. It is easy to search for ??? during editing.
I found it difficult to commit myself to a point of view at first. I was frightened of opening myself up to ridicule. Make no mistake, when you write, whatever you write, you are telling people something about yourself, even if you don’t want to, or mean to. Your politics, your beliefs, your opinions and your thoughts will become apparent to an astute reader. Often, I am the last to know or see a deeper meaning in my writing. I often learn a lot from an insightful reviewer.
This is scary, or it is to me… less so now that ten years ago, but it is still worrying – a little.
I think that the best way around this is to use social media. Express yourself on Facebook, Twitter or whatever you like, and write articles for your blog (start one). People will criticise you, mock you, question you, and some might even agree with you or even praise you. You will learn to ride with the punches and enjoy the non-criticism.
You will probably be your own editor, proofreader, researcher publisher and promoter. That’s a lot of hats, but it means that whatever gets to market is your responsibility. It’s all yours… you have no-one to blame. If you spell February throughout your book as ‘Febuary’, someone will pick it up and mock you for the mistake. As common as it is, you are not allowed to make it. I was once asked to proofread a book by an acquaintance. It was humorous and well written, but the basic premise was the Celts versus the English. The problem was that he thought that the Welsh were basically English, not Celtic.
When I enlightened him, he scrapped the book, wasting nine months of work. And why? Because he hadn’t done ten minutes of research.
You will need to get facts right, and spelling and grammar are facts, whether you like it or not. The way to get around this is to read a lot and pay attention to what you read. Become a master craftsperson, don’t settle for remaining an apprentice. After all, books cost roughly the same whether the writer is famous or not, so would you expect a reader to want a well-written, professional-looking book, or your effort that is shot full of holes? Would you employ a carpenter who used second-hand, bent nails and a hammer from The Cheap Shop?
Be yourself, I am a Welsh writer, and write about what you are passionate about. Yes, there are authors, mostly historical writers, who will choose someone from history, research that person and then write a biography, but that is what they like doing. However, most novelists write fiction. I do, but there is always some truth in my novels, and I usually wrap in some factual events.
Don’t worry about what other people think. They will either love you or hate you. Either way, they won’t affect your life. So just do what makes you happy, as long as what you write can’t be ridiculed for inaccuracy. I don’t mean political or religious bias, you’re allowed that, but many facts are indisputable, so don’t make mistakes with them.
If you don’t already know what your style, genre or voice are, hopefully, you will discover them. It is quite important. Especially if you want to attract an agent and a publisher. Most writers struggle with this, but reading, writing and ‘publishing’ your work will help you discover them. Reading widely, especially, helps you develop your own style and voice as a writer. You should read fiction, non-fiction, poetry, and plays. You should also read magazines, newspapers, blogs, and websites. This gives you an idea of what other people are doing with language.
I write because I love words. I love to follow an idea. They’re my lifeblood. I like to learn, so research is a pleasure for me. I write for myself, and for others. I write to share my thoughts and feelings. I write to entertain, and to educate. I write to inspire, and to motivate. I write to contemplate, and to understand. I write to connect, and to communicate. I write to create, and to discover. I write to live, and to learn. I write to laugh, and to cry. I write, because many people don’t listen.
There is good news for avid readers of Welsh writer from Barry, Owen Jones, that are also audiobook fans who prefer to use the ubiquitous service of Apple’s iTunes!
iTunes – Apple – now stocks not only the ebook novels of Owen Jones, but also the audiobook versions, AND, they are all on one page, which makes it easier to identify series and stand-alones.
Owen Jones now has more than three hundred ebooks on iTunes, a hundred and fifty of which are in languages other than English, and about seventy of them have been narrated by professionals to create audiobooks of excellent quality.
ACX – an arm of Amazon and Audible – has overseen production and Quality Control throughout, so you know that you are getting a great product.
Owen Jones writes in the general genre of Fiction>Psychological, often including references from Spiritualism, Buddhism, or even just ‘traditional religions’ – references such as intuition, dreams, Auras, Astral Travelling and the like. His books are also set in many locations, including Wales, naturally, Thailand, various countries in Europe, Russia and the USA. One series, Dead Centre visits seven countries in just one of the two volumes!
When asked about the new collection of his audiobooks on Apple iTunes, Owen said:
“I am very proud to have my audiobooks for sale on such a prestigious platform as Apple’s iTunes. So many hundreds of millions of people around the world use an iPhone, iPad or Mac several times a day, and now they all have direct access to my audiobooks as well as my ebooks. I don’t have one myself, but I checked some trivia just for my own information, and I was surprised to see that Apple uses 131 different URL’s to allow direct access to its products. That probably means 131 different countries! Not bad for a local Barry boy, eh?”
You can find Owen Jones’ audiobooks by following this link: