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Showing posts from April, 2016

Change the spelling and you're done?

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I’m an Australian author, writing about Australia. I use Australian English, with all its weird slang and strange usages. What should I do to make my writing more accessible to international readers, especially the giant USA market? Tricky. I can change the spelling , of course. Turn “colour” into “colour”, “centre” into “center”, “organise” into “organize”. Fairly easy to do. But spelling isn’t everything. It’s hardly anything at all. There’s usage . I would say “he parked the car behind the shop”. An American might expect to read “he parked the car in back of the shop”. I would write, "that wasn't as big a surprise as he expected", not "that wasn't as big of a surprise as he expected". In fact, that seems rather quaint. There’s vocabulary . A knitted woollen garment is a jumper in Australia and the UK. Not in the USA, where people don’t know what I’m talking about. We say “autumn”, not “fall”. A glossary might help a little bit, but p

Lies So Deep (Book 2 in the Tender Spies series)

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I used to live in Canberra, and sometimes there was time and money enough to enjoy a few days at the beautiful Sapphire Coast. The towns have wonderful musical names like Bermagui, Tilba, Tathra, Merimbula, Pambula and Eden. Lies So Deep is set in the hinterland behind these coastal villages, somewhere in the dairy country. Of course I never met any smugglers there, and there is no Little Buckthorn Creek. My story is entirely fiction. The terrifying Pambula River sandbar, on which Stephen nearly comes to grief, is, however, completely real. Daredevil surfers seem to like it though. Pambula River Bar [photo: P Kelley] About Lies So Deep It’s just another mission for Stephen Zammit and his partner Andrew Corrieva — infiltrate a smuggler family down in the dairy country and find out how they are eluding Customs patrols. The stakes are high; the last investigator didn’t survive to make his report. But for Stephen, the stakes become personal. He falls for Honey,

Book review: Taken at Night by Christa Ludlow

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A historical mystery set in Australia, can’t get enough of them. This great story, set in pre-Federation Sydney, Australia, in 1900, features a female photographer, Beatrix Spencer, and a detective, Fergus Blair, trying to get to the bottom of mysterious disappearances and nasty deaths. The author cleverly weaves in historical elements that are still part of the fabric of Sydney today. Beatrix and Fergus fight against police and political corruption, the criminal element that inhabited The Rocks area (now a tourist precinct), the fear of plague, the banishing of foreigners to an island quarantine station, and healthy doses of racism and misogyny. I liked this book for a whole host of reasons. It included the multicultural threads that have always been here, Indigenous Australians, Chinese, and Pacific Islanders. I liked Beatrix (a popular name back then, my grandmother was called Beatrice), she was persistent and clever without being pretentious or precocious. I loved