Interview with Gunnar Sewell

What's the story behind your latest book?
I wrote Informal French Expressions and their English Equivalents because, in translating a few "romans policiers", I repeatedly came across expressions that were not in standard bilingual dictionaries. So, I decided to document my research in order to have, at hand, a tool to assist in my translation efforts. After having compiled a lengthy list, I found that I had to verify that the list of expressions that I had compiled was also a list of expressions that are used in the present day. So, after months of research and numerous interviews, I came up with this compilation which is a list of informal and metaphorical expressions that are currently used.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
This is my first publication of a bilingual dictionary. I thought that, being as it is an unconventional dictionary, publishing it with a self-publishing indie publishing service would be the most appropriate publishing service for such a work.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
For the moment, I do not know if using Smashwords will lead to success.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Fiction that uses the kind of language that is used by certain marginalized groups of present day society is the greatest joy of writing for me. And, of course, stories that have good plot and character development is my aim in such endeavours.
What do your fans mean to you?
For the moment I don't really have any fans. Hopefully I will succeed in cultivating a following.
What are you working on next?
My next book will be entitled "Le Beau Langage". It will be a compilation of metaphorical expressions and idioms that might be classified as refined, academic or even highbrow. I will also continue to translate French novels that are neither regarded as politically correct nor use the language of the typical best sellers. Perhaps a book by Auguste Le Breton, Louis-Ferdinand Céline even Alphonse Boudard. Or, alternatively, one of Albert Camus philosophical works.
Who are your favorite authors?
Auguste Le Breton, Alphonse Boudard, Louis-Ferdinand Céline, Jean-Paul Sartre, Albert Camus, Boris Vian, Kurt Vonnegut, John Steinbeck, Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemmingway, Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoyevsky, Anton Pavlovich Chekhov, and Nejimakidori Kuronikuru.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
Work about which I am obsessed (such as finding solutions to challenges in my hobby of web design and development) or interesting work assignments (like tutoring students who have a positive attitude and who genuinely interested in learning French (I run a private French tutoring service in Toronto: http://learn-french
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I love cycling, watching movies and plays, listening to music and cooking.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
A new goal for me is to read more indie novels. I'm mostly interested in indie fiction.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Apart from my translation work I have mostly written poetry. I started writing poetry in the '80's.
What is your writing process?
First I develop a plot. Then I consider the characters who will be the means by which the plat will develop. I consider what these characters' traits will make the plot believable how these traits will illustrate something like certain archetypes with which most people are familiar. By this means I can develop a story that is believable and relevant to the personal experience of most people. As a consequence this approach will address the life experience of most people. Ir will ensure a story with which most people can identify.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
The first sort I read that had a strong impression on my was the Catcher in the Rye.
How do you approach cover design?
For the first work that I published on Smashwords was illustred by Ivana Obradovic, a young woan from Serbia. if you are interested in using her for illustration, you may contact her at In the future I may design my own book covers as I have studied graphic design for a number of years.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
Slaughter House Five, For Whom the Bell Tolls, The Brothers Karamazov, The Windup Bird Chronicle, and Camus' The Fall.
What do you read for pleasure?
For the moment I read a lot of non-fiction. I also sometimes read books recommended by Good Reads or the New York Times. I also discover new and interesting works through family and friends.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
"Informal French Expressions and their English Equivalents" is my first self-published book. Up until this point, I've only had my translation work published (in print). In all cases the publishers dealt with the marketing. The publishers paid me a set amount based on the number of words that I translated (ie: it was non-commissioned work). So I'm new at this game. I've tried promoting my new ePub through Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. The most effective of these social networks has been Facebook. I'm guessing that Facebook has been the most effective because I know that network the most intimately.
Published 2015-10-18.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Informal French Expressions and their English Equivalents
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 30,140. Language: English. Published: January 17, 2015. Categories: Nonfiction » Language Instruction » French
A collection of French colloquialisms and idiomatic expressions with their English equivalents and examples of usage totalling 30,146 words.