Sue Brown and I have been friends for years and she said to me one day, “Wanna write a series set in the quintessential English village?” Well, words to that effect, it was more like, “Oi, you, we’re writing a series.” But I digress. I readily agreed (it was the threat of violence but sssh don’t tell I told you) and after a long ten minute discussion we decided we would write six books in the series which would be called Left at the Crossroads. And, instead of writing a chapter each as most writing couples do, we decided to write a book each wherein the next book’s characters would be introduced at some point… it all sounded a lot less complicated in my head! Anyhoo, the whole point of that ramble will become clear.
I have to confess I usually write more books in US English, than in UK English. Why? Dunno really, probably because I had my start in the Supernatural fandom so the more Americanised way of writing became the norm for me. However, as you know, my lovelies – I am English, born and bred, and an Essex girl to boot so really English, and it’s a lot more difficult to switch from one vernacular to the other.
In my first novels my publishers were pointing out my Briticisms, and now my editor sometimes points out my Americanisms, so it’s a very fine line to remember which head you have on. And while I wrote Un-Expected which is the first book in the series, I had to keep telling myself I was English, the characters were English and the village they lived in was in England, so it was alright to use words like car-park, lift, pavement, wally and arsehole instead of parking-lot, elevator, sidewalk, idiot and asshole.
Then there are the words that don’t cross the divide and translate from one into the other. I know one of my writing pals had a problem with her very English story and the fact that a US reader didn’t understand the word ‘locum’… which in itself is weird ‘cause I’m pretty sure locum in the UK means exactly the same as locum in the US, but that’s another blog post entirely!
Also, not that there is anything wrong with the American sense of humour/humor, but something someone living in the UK would understand and find funny, doesn’t necessarily get the same reaction from a US reader. For example, I was telling a US friend the story of how my boss used to forget something from home every day and his wife would bring it in and one day she said to me, “That man would forget his balls if they weren’t in a bag.” I cracked up and my friend just stared at me and said… “I don’t get it.” As I said, it’s a very thin line between understanding and the penny dropping. Good grief it took me ten minutes to get the joke Lee Mack (english comedian) told that had my friend laughing like a drain. “I used to be a freelance journalist, I was crap, Lance is still in jail.”
So you see, you don’t have to be English to understand English humour, lol! Hopefully Un-Expected will make both sides of the pond smile and laugh… and maybe cry in the right places, too!
Don’t forget the giveaway here.
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