It’s an arse! ~ GRL Spotlight Stop with Victoria Sue

Join Prism Book Alliance® as GRL 2015 Supporting Author Victoria Sue talks with us today.

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Or at least it was for over forty years on this planet. For the past five anyway – it’s been an ass.
Hi – I’m Victoria Sue, and Prism has very kindly let me rattle around on here for a few minutes. You’re still wondering how I can possibly spell incorrectly a word containing three letters, aren’t you?

I live in sunny Florida, but up to five years ago I lived in rainy England!

We moved here for no other reason than a strong sense of adventure and optimism. It took two years, and it has been the hardest thing I have ever done in my life, but I’m here to talk about writing not the insane mid-life crisis my husband and I had seven years ago.

I started writing two years ago. I changed my computer settings to US word, googled an awful lot, and submitted to a US publisher. I got my manuscript accepted – yay! This was a doddle! I just had to change petrol to gas and rubbish to garbage. Remember our biscuits are your cookies and our chips are your fries. Make sure my characters drove on the left side of the road…

I got my first round of edits and the wheels fell off the bus.

I honestly think my editor thought I was an alien.

Take FAG for instance – In American it’s a very insulting name. In Britain, it’s a cigarette. British people might say they are fagged – and before you say what the hell – it means they’re tired.

Now I knew this. I know your pants are our trousers and pants to us are underpants or knickers. In America a subway is an underground railway, in England it’s a pedestrian way beneath a road.

This was all quite simple stuff for anyone that watches TV with any regularity.

What I didn’t realize was that from a writing and editing standpoint, our sentence structures are different. In America I would play guitar. In England I would play the guitar.

(Actually I wouldn’t play a guitar in either country as I am tone deaf.)

I’m honestly not sure why I didn’t give it up there and then and reset the book.

Oh yes – I remember actually. I write about werewolves and any sort of wolves have been extinct in England for hundreds of years. They just ran out of space. So it wasn’t really practical to set a werewolf series there.

For any of you that know my alter ego on facebook, you know I post weekly asking my friends if a particular expression is common to America or definitely for English eyes only.

These have caused quite a few hilarious arguments. Apparently Americans not only don’t wriggle their bum (it has to be ass) but they don’t wriggle anything. Just wiggle.

Americans don’t use the term “cupboard love” either. In fact I had one reader asking me if I’d started writing about domestic violence.

So there you have it – I’m still writing stories set in America, my editor is still pulling his hair out (so long as it’s not his pants down, huh?)

I’m getting better. I even said something was awesome yesterday – I don’t know whether to be thrilled or scared.

If you see me at GRL please ignore the offered handshake (that’s a hard habit to break) and give me a hug. I know there’ll be a few aliens at GRL. KC Wells, Clare London – so I won’t be the only one talking funny.

And thanks America – for truly being accepting of this English writer trying to be an American one.

Y’all are awesome!

~Victoria Sue

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Farewell Giveaway
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.

Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,

Brandilyn
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16 thoughts on “It’s an arse! ~ GRL Spotlight Stop with Victoria Sue

  1. Love this! As an Australian co-writing with a Canadian for an American audience, I can commiserate. 🙂

    I’ve lived in the US for long enough to have a fair handle on the lingo, but the sentence structure thing still crops up, as do extraneous ‘u’s, and that pesky little ‘r’ keeps wanting to tuck itself in before the ‘e’.

  2. This made me giggle and I really understand the confusions. I personally dislike ‘lucked out’ where we would say ‘in luck’, but having heard it on the telly the other day…looks like I shall be wearing a ‘fanny bag’ without blushing and admiring men’s ‘asses’ in their tight ‘pants’ :p

  3. My favorite–that I still screw up all the time–is when I tell my British friends I’m pissed about something. I always get an odd look, then have to amend it to “Oh, I mean, pissed off. I swear I’m not drunk, although I’m so mad, I could use a drink.” 😉 And it’s acceptable in the US to say “Can you give me a ride?” and mean, “Can I have a lift?” and not at all what it means in England. I learned that one the hard way (ahem) while hitchhiking in England a number of years ago.

  4. LOL – these are all great – The Aussie ‘speak’ is interesting though – I have a few fb friends that before they knew I was English thought I was Australian. Lots of similarities!

  5. *waves from another author stranded somewhere between the 2 continents LOL. The one that often catches me out is “mad” – to us it means lunatic, to the US it means angry. And the one word I won’t allow in any MS, in any country?? “gotten” LOL. I understand its purpose – but it sticks in my UK craw :).

    • That’s really funny Clare, my editor actually changed something I had written to “gotten” If I’d have said that as a kid, I would have got my “arse” smacked!

  6. Thanks for the fun post! I love Britishisms and sometimes use them, even though I have always lived in the western US. (Like “fagged” – I say that for tired sometimes.) But “cupboard love” was a new one on me – had to go look it up.

    Hope you have a great time at GRL!

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