Entries by Ben Julien (56)


30 days of write - Arteles residency, Finland

I find myself at this moment looking out over a snow-dusted field and a frozen lake from my window at the Arteles Creative Centre in Finland. I am here for the month of March, working primarily on a second Decay Chain novel but also leaving myself open to whatever comes. 

Arteles is set up for around 10 artists, various disciplines, to stay and with no program or schedule, to have the time to just do what they might not find the time to do in everyday life. 

The location is very quiet and still, not many people around, somewhat isolated but with easy access to nearby towns. 

Most interesting of all for this is the chance to work near other artists while still being able to work as privately as I prefer. 




The Runes of Odin back in my hands

Did a deal with my publisher and got the rights to my trilogy, The Runes Saga, back. The first of the three - The Runes of Odin - is up on Kindle right now

The second and third books will be uploaded in the next few weeks. 

I also have an office full of the remaining print / paperback stock which I suspect will be keeping me company for some time.


New mini-novel on Kindle

My latest work, The Coward Smuggler, a short novel set in the same world as Exiles of the Bhel Sea, is now available for purchase on Amazon.


20k words approximately

73 pages

Arnulf is a drunk and a coward. His memories are scattered and full of holes. He doesn’t want to remember who he was or what he’s done. He knows he can’t. But when he meets Fedora’s gaze he can’t help himself – he finds himself caring for someone again. But something dangerous is coming. Something that will awaken his past and cut its way into his present, whether he wants it or not, whether he flees or not.


Interview with an Argentinian translator (English – Spanish translator) of fiction and non-fiction

Lucila Cordone is an English-Spanish translator from Argentina. I have known her for many years and have been talking to her about the possibility of seeking free-lance translation of my work. She is currently working on a translation of The Runes of Odin and agreed to answer a few questions about the possibility of working directly with writers.

She also translated the questions and answers into Spanish as a kind of illustrative exercise.

She is open to commissions. Contact her via: lucilacordonegmailcom

1. Is there a standard cost for translation of a work of fiction, or does it depend entirely upon the translator? Are there variables other than word count that affect the cost?

In Argentina, when working for Publishing Houses cost is usually regulated by them. When working for independent authors commissioning translations, we usually use the rates established by Translators Associations, which usually penalise translators if they charge a significantly higher or lower rate. Another variable affecting cost other than word count is time – the less time we are given to translate the higher the rate.

Translation of fiction is charged per thousand words, so, for example, assuming a three-month deadline for a 80,000 word novel the cost would be about US$2000.

1. ¿Existe un arancel estandarizado para traducir una obra de ficción o esto depende exclusivamente del traductor? Además de la cantidad de palabras, ¿existen otras variables que afecten el costo?

Por lo general, en la Argentina cuando se hace un trabajo para una editorial, el arancel lo impone la editorial. Cuando se hace un trabajo para un autor que lo pide en forma independiente, generalmente tomamos los aranceles sugeridos por las asociaciones de traductores, que penalizan al traductor si la tarifa que cobra es significativamente más alta o más baja de lo establecido. Otra variable que manejamos para establecer la tarifa es el tiempo: a menor tiempo, mayor tarifa. En ficción, el cálculo de la tarifa se hace cada mil palabras, con lo cual, suponiendo una novela de 80.000 palabras para hacer en tres meses, la tarifa daría unos US$2,000.

2. What do you think of a suggested model for "sharing" the cost of the translation by author paying a royalty (e.g. 20%) of the income generated by the translated work?

I think this might be a great opportunity for young translators who are starting a career in literary translation. Getting published is hard for novel translators too, so I guess this might work well for both self-published authors and young translators.

2. ¿Qué opinás sobre "compartir" el costo de la traducción pagándole al traductor en parte con las regalías (por ejemplo, el 20%) del ingreso generado por la traducción de la obra?

Creo que esto puede ser una gran oportunidad para los traductores noveles que se quieren dedicar a la traducción literaria. Al igual que para los escritores, a los traductores noveles también les resulta difícil que los publiquen, así que este sistema me parece que puede funcionar bien tanto para los autores que financian su propia publicación como para los traductores que inician su carrera en este campo.

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Print cover

Something of a learning curve, but I now have a print version of Exiles of the Bhel Sea in the works, with the full spread 6"x9" paperback cover shown here. I also have ePub versions of the ebook available through Smashwords linked over on the right and through the Order Books page. It'll appear in the individual ereader book stores soon.


Exiles of the Bhel Sea

Well this one took me a while. With a huge sigh of relief, I can now say that my fourth book is available. This is the first novel I have published electronically (Kindle version available now, other formats later this week), and while I will do a print version, it isn't the main focus.

And so, Exiles of the Bhel Sea is ready!

$5.99 for the full book, while of course one fantastic advantage of ebooks is that you can sample the novel for free and test-drive it.

Special thanks to my artist, Kentaro Kanamoto, my editor Amanda Le Bas du Plumetot, my cartographer-extraordinaire Matthew French, and my beta readers Amanda Le Bas du Plumetot, Steven Turner, Aidan Doyle and Alex Hong. Much appreciated.

Thanks of course to my long-suffering wife, Kristy, and my kids, Sophie and Phoebe. The main reason for the time this book has taken is the arrival of my daughters and that goes with raising children, and I hope that one day they read and enjoy this book.

It's a long one - about the same length as my Runes trilogy combined - but then epic fantasy novels are called "epic" for a reason!






Drive-by interview

A belated link back to an interview of me over at Angela Slatter's very informative blog: http://www.angelaslatter.com/the-runes-of-odin-drive-by-ben-julien/ .

Angela is a fellow Brisbaneite, a fellow inmate at Clarion South 2009, and the author of several anthologies and more published short stories than I care to count.


More artwork for The Bhel Sea

More work from Kentaro, this one is of the drought-stricken, poisoned flood plains of the Sentinels, a view from up high on Altlith, one of the surviving Sentinel cities built onto a gargantuan spire of rock jutting up from the plain below.

I had planned to have the book ready to go by now, but I'm in the midst of moving interstate, back to my home town of Brisbane, so a little delay is in order. Looking next month (February) to have it available on e-readings, in print soon after.


School interview, Erskine Park High, NSW - Part II

And here's the second half of the great questions from the students of Erskine Park High:

12. Why did you give Lena red hair? Was it because it was bright or uncommon? Thisuri

I wanted to use the idea of how unusual red hair is, particularly among blond Scandinavians, and use it as a symbolism of the power of the rune magic. Red hair is definitely uncommon, but even more so in Lena and Calum’s world where it indicated the latent power of a vala or duelva. Red hair is much more common in Britain, or the Isles of the novel’s world, so it also added an element of confusion and a reason why Bjorn might want to take Lena when he was raiding in the beginning of the book. Lastly, I had browny-orange hair and freckles as a kid. I don’t have much of my hair now (and it has become brown) but maybe I was putting myself in the story again.

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