A Question of Language

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I’ve almost finished faffing with The Early Birds. Peggy has been granted a bit of love interest (credible, I hope) and I’ve trimmed some of what my editor deemed to be excess baggage, but not all. We don’t always agree.

One moot point in this book has been how many characters I should kill. I don’t enjoy doing it. Well okay, sometimes I do. But given the advanced years of most of these characters, one has to be realistic. And then there has been the question of language. I was very surprised when my publisher queried my use of American spelling. As my narrator is American it seemed logical to me. It’s not as though I’ve written it in Sanskrit. Am I wrong? I’d be interested to hear people’s opinions.

I now await jacket designs with everso bated breath.  Please, please God, don’t let it be unbearably crap.


  1. Lesley Powell on September 18, 2016 at 9:47 am

    I’m with you, Laurie. American spelling for American narrators. Can’t wait for the book!

  2. Helen Atkin on September 19, 2016 at 5:41 am

    Writing in American is a difficult one. I can understand why you have chosen to do it. However, sometimes British writers seem to be actually required to write US usage if their book is also intended to be marketed in the States. I can remember one example in a book by quite a well known author, the book set in England, the character being English, who used the American expression ” a green thumb”, when the English expression is “green fingers”. At the age of around 30, I can remember being fairly outraged: we have to accustom ourselves to American; why can’t they do the same for us? Broaden their horizons a little, perhaps, is what I thought.

    I am sure what I’ve written is no help at all. Sorry – and lots of luck.

  3. Lucy Mitchell on September 19, 2016 at 10:47 am

    I’m with you on the American spelling. I hope your publisher sends a copy to Marian Keyes, she does a weekly vlog where she recommends reads she likes and isn’t she a big fan?

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