A short while back, I was a guest across the pond at Rachel Brimble’s blog, which prompted this post. I hope you enjoy the replay.
As a Mills & Boon category author since 2005, I am aware of a lot of differences between British and American English. I’ve had to stop many a copy editor from changing my U.S.
word usage and/or spelling to British in all ten of my Medical Romance books. Since all of my stories take place in the states, I am diligent about keeping things accurate.
With the expansion of the Internet, the world feels like a smaller place, and some of those language differences are, perhaps, better understood these days. However, if a Brit read my books, there may still be a few terms that would trip them up.
In my current contemporary release from The Wild Rose Press, ONE FOR THE ROAD, my character is stranded and penniless in Nashville in her forty foot RV, aka recreational vehicle. I believe in England this would be referred to as a camper or caravan. Also, the story begins at a campsite, which might be referred to as a caravan site or camper site. There is a license plate (numbers plate) on her old car (you’d call it a banger) that raises the hero’s eyebrows as to its double meaning. He interprets it as thinking she needs the AA (alcoholics anonymous) but you might think the AA is a roadside automobile service in England. We have triple-A, aka AAA, in the USA for our roadside service.
I like to use this short blurb for my heroine’s predicament. On the biggest detour of her life, D’Anne Palmer discovers there’s no place like home…and home is where the heart is.
If I lived in the UK, I believe the word would be diversion instead of detour.
The characters in the book spend a lot of time on the road, since this is a road trip book, and here are a few similar-enough-to-understand, but different-enough-to-make-you-think, terms:
Motorway = Highway or freeway
Slip road = enter or exit ramp
Tick over = to let your RV idle
Petro = gas. Diesel is called diesel in both UK and US.
Windscreen = window shield, and is the same with window wipers – windscreen wipers
When we first meet D’Anne, she’s wearing overalls (dungarees) and sneakers (trainers) and she uses her cell phone (mobile) to call her son. Because she’s broke, she tells him she’s going to rent out the RV (caravan), and she winds up with four country and western musicians as roommates. I’ve heard that roommate in the UK means to share the same
bed. Funny how that kind of works out for D’Anne and Tyler as both the book and road trip progresses. J This comes about when one night Tyler gets pissed (UK word for drunk, US word for being angry, though in this instance, Tyler is drunk!) and realizes how attracted he is to D’Anne.
At another point in the story, Tyler buys D’Anne a backpack, which is not to be confused with a British bum bag, and I won’t repeat what we call that in the US since the term “fanny” has a completely different meaning in your neck of the woods. L But the main point is, since One for the Road has a secondary mystery, that backpack, which looks like a floppy eared dog, holds an interesting secret. I hope that is enough of a nibble on the plot to get you intrigued?
Romantic Times Reviews – 4 stars – One for the Road “…a delightful, feel-good story that will have you grinning from beginning to end.”
One thing I was very happy to discover, since I hope a few of your local blog readers might give my book a chance, is that Country and Western music has a good-sized following in the UK. Here are a couple of examples.
This one comes with some fun pictures, too. Rockfield Country Music Festival
Here’s the official blurb for ONE FOR THE ROAD:
D’Anne Palmer and her husband had a life others dream of—traveling the US in a luxury forty-foot motor coach, going where they wanted. Suddenly, D’Anne finds herself a widow with her only asset being the motor home. Without funds to return to California, she decides to hire out the RV.
Tyler White was a “one-hit-wonder” ten years ago. At a crossroads, he decides to attempt a comeback. He’s hoping the three-week tour he’s put together will reignite his career. All he needs now is some cheap transportation, and the widow with the RV might just fit the bill.
D’Anne and Tyler discover a lot about themselves—and each other—as they journey from Nashville to Las Vegas, via Texas, with the band and Tyler’s dog. Can close quarters really help a has-been singer on the comeback trail and a widow with California style find love?
Until next week, make it a great one!