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August 23, 2016


Hank Phillippi Ryan

Oh, yes, yes, I want all the stuff! That's part of the fun. And if there's a word or phrase I've never heard before--hurray. That's why I read.

Americanizing a Brit. Huh. The name is Bond, Jimmy Bond. Fab idea.

Ann Mason

Catriona again: with two questions for readers.

1. when you read a British (or Irish or Aussie or anywhere) book, you want all that stuff, right? Right? All the red buses and royal highnesses. What do you think of editors who water it down?

I think editors who water it down should be fired. Of course we want all that "stuff."

2. What's the hardest thing to get right /funniest thing you've seen wrong?

The hardest thing is getting the idiom right I think. Often this happens when something is translated. The funniest thing I've seen written was a reference to the exudate of a suppurating wound as a "pussy discharge." Yeah, really.

Karen in Ohio

It's annoying that American publishers don't trust their readers enough to allow for learning anything new. When the Harry Potter books came out they were sanitized into Americanisms, and when my daughters found out they were incensed.

Armchair traveling is one of the best parts about reading, experiencing other cultures and places.

Deb Romano

I want all the British-isms; that's why I read books about British characters. Some of those words and phrases do make their way into my own vocabulary- thank you, British authors! (This reminds me that a couple of years ago a friend mentioned having heard a "new" word, and she was trying to figure out the meaning. I instantly recognized it from all the British mysteries I read, and explained it. Wish I could remember now what it was.)

Deb Romano

Keenan Powell

First, with 22 years of rejections, this man is my hero. Second, I read a lot of Irish writers. I like all the tea Adrian McKinty's characters drinks. I like the pubs. If I don't understand an idiom, I can google it. The reason I'm reading them is because I want the experience. In fact, when I buy audible, I insist on Irish narrators for Irish books and Scottish narrators for Scottish books because only someone who really knows the culture will get the little things right.


I like some of that, need it if the book is set in England, but if there is too much, I can get lost. Culture clash and all that.

LJ Roberts

If I want American, I'll read an American author. If the author is British (English, Irish, Scottish, Welsh), or if the character is any of the aforementioned, I want jumpers, and boots, and windscreens.

Elaine Viets

I want authentic Brit books. That's why I bought them. Stick to your guns -- or however you say that.

Matt Hilton

Thanks to Catriona for having me as a guest. And thanks to you all for kindly commenting. I read many US writers, so don't get into too much trouble when writing (thankfully) American characters. But it's always fun when there is some confusion over the meaning of my words. I always wonder what my northern English phrases translate to in other foreign language editions when there is a disparity between two English speaking countries like ours. And Elaine, yeah, I'll stick to my guns (we use that phrase too). And Ann, I think I'd best stay with "the exudate of a suppurating wound".

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