I can’t believe how quickly the past few months have flown in and that Smokeless Fire will be available to buy in 30 days, and that the blog tour kicks off in 27 days’ time. I am loving the world of the Fire Spirits. For this release I decided to go with US spelling for the novel which is a step I hadn’t been sure of taking in the past. When I first started out self-publishing I was fully aware of the spelling differences between the US and the UK but I had hoped it wouldn’t be a problem. For the most part it hasn’t been. However, I was completely unaware that the grammar is different. My editor pointed it out and I’m like ‘uhhhh what now?’ There’s nothing I can do about the grammar unfortunately. It might sound lazy, it might sound reasonable, but I really don’t want to have to relearn written English language skills :-p
Spelling is a different matter.
The UK spelling in The Tale of Lunarmorte I never saw as a problem because I never specifically state where the pack are located (this was intentional btw – I wanted my audience to feel as if the pack could be living anywhere, in the same town as the reader etc). Again with Slumber the UK spelling is a non-issue because it’s set in the fantasy world of Phaedra… like everything within that world I can spell anyway I please :-p
But I started to really think about the spelling when I wrote Warriors of Ankh. Part of the series is set in Michigan. US spelling or not?? I mused, I pondered, I… mused. In the end I decided against US spelling because the other half of the series was set in Edinburgh.
Smokeless Fire (for the most part *she says secretively*) is set in Ohio. As I was writing it, discussing counties, food chains, trees native to OH (and now you’re like ‘uhhh what now?’ too), I said to myself (and others) can I really use UK spelling? My decision was nope. So Smokeless Fire is written with US spelling and although the grammar is UK (sorry!) I hope this will mean a smoother read for my US readers since you do make up the vast majority of my readership J. These are all the things I didn’t think about when I first started out self-pubbing. Surely it would be easier if I just based all my books in the UK? It might. But we don’t have the same easy flow to our dialogue, or fifty wonderful states to play with, or the genius insults (douchebag, tool and asshat – I can’t get through a day without saying one of those [through my characters or at people on the TV, I’m not abusing people I know :-p]) and I guess after living with and befriending a number of Americans at university, as well as admitting an addiction to US drama/teen drama and comedy, I picked up an awful lot of ‘American’ habits and a certain way of speaking (I drive one particular relative crazy because I say awesome all the time. I even called my mobile my cell a few days ago – the horror!). Moreover, I don’t know what it is - whether it’s film or books - there is a grim, raw quality to British media, and don’t get me wrong I’m a huge fan of British film and literature, but not for my own writing. I like to be dark and sinister in my novels but I also enjoy the openness and the light that an American ‘accent’ brings to my books.
But most importantly, as I say, the biggest target audience for my books is American readers.
Anyhoo… after all that gabbing (about spelling of all things :-s) here’s a vlog post I put on the Fire Spirits blog showing off the swag that is up for grabs on the Smokeless Fire blog tour.