Many people have asked me how and why Third Wish was first published in the Czech Republic. It all started with the request of my Czech editor and friend, Evá Slamová, the editor-in-chief of Argo Publishing. She knew I was working on a novel. She asked if she could take a look at the manuscript of Parts 1&2.
Much to my surprise, she announced that she wanted to publish the novel forthwith, despite knowing that more than half of the book was still to be written. Argo had produced translations of all my previous books, and sales in the Czech Republic had been strong. Having them publish the novel first seemed like a fine idea, but, from my point of view, risky for them. When it came time to discuss a contract, I wrote down one sentence: “Publish it well, and if you make any money, send me some.” The president of Argo, Milan Gelnar, laughed and shook hands. Done. Later I received a framed Czech koruna encircled with the calligraphed words of our contract. They kept their word. Published it well. Made some money. And sent me some. A remarkable business relationship built on trust. The people of Argo have become dear to my heart.
In November, 2004, the first two parts of THIRD WISH were published by Argo as Volume one. The translated title is TRETI PRANI, with marks over letters that my computer won’t reproduce. In my office, we call it “Treated Prawns.” The book was a number one best seller in Czech.
The first volume of the Czech edition of Third Wish
The second volume, THIRD WISH, The Rest Of the Story, Almost, was released in
October, 2005 and contained parts three and four. Another best seller.
The second volume of the Czech edition of Third Wish: The Rest of the Story, Almost
The third volume, “THIRD WISH, Granted,” (part five) was released in October, 2006.
Now the full novel was complete - and continues to be well received.
The third volume of the Czech edition of Third Wish: Granted
Argo did a superb job with the publication: quality paper, faithful reproduction of handwritten notes in the text and careful printing of illustrations in color, a built-in cloth bookmark and the inclusion of a CD with the music. I could not have asked for more.
According to feedback from Czech readers, the translator, Jiří Hrubý, who also translated all my non-fiction work for Argo, did a superior job. It is my conviction that my books are successful in Czech because Jiří is a much better writer than I am.