Lucy from RBL asked me a very interesting question this morning via email. She wanted to know if the Scottish dialect in my books had received criticism. I told her that, indeed, some people didn't like the way I represented a Scottish accent in Surrender. I only heard objections from a few people, but still.
All authors write dialect differently. Some pour it on very thick. Others add just a dash to flavor their prose. Often a reader gets used to the way a favorite writer portrays dialect, so that reading another author's work seems jarring when they do it differently.
I derived my way of portraying "brogue" — not really an accurate word — from the way Scotts portray it themselves. I've been a fan of Celtic music forever and I have the advantage of having studied several languages. I'm fluent in Danish, and there are many Scandianavian-derived words in Gallic (Scottish Gaelic).
So I took the way the accent was portrayed in Scottish documents, including transcriptions of lyrics from medieval folk songs, and then I toned it down a bit, because it's quite possible to lay it on so thickly that most people can't understand a word of it. When I play my favorite Scottish CDs, my kids and my brother can't understand the majority of it, while it's totally transparent to me.
sic = sikke in Danish = such in English
sten = sten in Danish = stone in English
ben = ben in Danish = bone in English
And so on and so freaking on...
So here's what Lucy, who is a very talented writer, wanted to know: What turns a reader off when it comes to reading dialect? On the RBL board some said they didn't like reading dialect from the heroine, and I'm guessing that's because we all want to identify with the heroine. Make her too exotic, and that becomes more difficult.
Jump in and share your opinions!
Coming this weekend: Get lubed for Unlawful Contact!
Let me put it this way: Before you crawl between the covers with badass Marc Hunter, you need to feel the heat of Julian Darcangelo. Therefore, I will be offering an authographed copy of Hard Evidence to a reader who hasn't read it yet. Once I announce the contest, just post, tell me that you haven't read it but would like too, and I shall draw a name out of a hat. It's as simple as that. Or email me at pamelaclare @ earthlink.net (remove spaces).
Those of you who have read both books — yes, I have a sneak-preview team — feel free to explain why Julian's story serves as great foreplay for Marc's.
I hope everyone is having a safe and Happy Hallowe'en!