I got in touch with Saori Kumi to let her know about my plans to translate the novel, and to give her my general fangirly regards. Luckily, she was nice enough to write back to me with some kind words. This might clear up some questions regarding an official publication of the English version.
Thank you for your e-mail.
I’m glad you liked the MOTHER novel!
As for an English translation, the copyrights to the novel (publishing rights, etc.) are not only with me, but the owner of the rights of the original—in other words, the game production company (Nintendo), the original creator, Shigesato Itoi, and all of his staff. So while it is my novel, I cannot decide the various other matters at my own discretion.
This is unfortunate, as I’d like to tell you to just “go ahead,” since I’m sure there are many people who would be pleased with an English translation.
For the time being, I’ll show this e-mail to the editor in charge at the publishing company who published the MOTHER novels.
[In response to my expressing interest in her other works, undoubtedly, not just her tooting her own horn:]
By the way, I also wrote the MOTHER novel. People who read that ended up liking it, so I also wrote a spin-off novel for the popular RPG Dragon Quest (Was that released in America, too? I wonder if that one is also under a different name) as well as for the sequels, 4, 5, and 6. Personally, I like 5 the best. If, by chance, you happen to come across these and read them, I would be very grateful.
Thank you for such a happy e-mail. May you and all of your friends have many wonderful things ahead of you!
I was glad to see her enthusiasm for an English translation of her MOTHER 2 novel, and was even more excited when she offered to pass my message on to the editor at the publishing company. Unfortunately, I don’t think she’ll make much of a ripple against all the walls between our translation and the publication rights. I might as well hire Indiana Jones to scuttle through a booby trap-ridden Temple of MOTHER 2 Publishing Rights Doom.
This isn’t the end of the road, though, as we’ll be evaluating our options for how to approach the project later. In the meantime, the translation continues apace.