The Mistress of Pennington's Tour

Monday, 5 September 2011

Welcome Wild Rose Press author, Lynne Marshall!

Today, I have Lynne Marshall visiting my blog with her own post instead of the usual interview which I am thrilled about! I do worry about my visitors wanting something different and so I was really happy when Lynne asked if she could write something for us. This one is a great one for stretching about the pond...both ways, lol!

So, over to you, Lynne - hope you enjoy your time here...

Rachel, howdy and thanks for letting this yank visit your blog. 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 book, 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 trip-A, 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

Petrol = gas (we all know that, but what do you call diesel fuel in UK?)

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. 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. 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.

Country and western info for UK!/pages/Country-and-Western-information-for-the-UK/281489102588?sk=info

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?

And if any of your readers would like to read an excerpt, they can find a good portion of the first chapter, HERE.

Thanks so much for having me, Rachel. One day I’d love to take a caravan trip around England on the open motorway, though I’m not sure I’d want to do it with four rowdy musicians! D’Anne had to be one plucky character to manage that.

Here’s where I’d like the readers to chime in. What US/British terms would you like to share with us? I’d love to learn some new ones.

What a fantastic post, Lynne! Feel as though we understand each other after all that information with our different word usage, lol! I am the opposite as you in that I have to agree with what I will and won't Americanize in my books because I write for the US market but my books are set in the UK. Great stuff, over to you, guys...



  1. Lynn, I dated a Brit for 8 years and learned all sorts of colorful expressions (mostly slang). He wasn't Cockney but sometimes he'd use some of that rhyming slang just for the heck of it! I have an English hero in my romantic comedy, Kick It Up, and I have a lot of fun with the term "pissed" for drunk. When he asks the heroine if she's "pissed" a hilarious exchange ensues! One for the Road sounds great. I haven't bought it yet, but I will.

  2. Hi Carol,
    Thanks for breaking in the comments! I was getting awfully lonely here. :) I actually have a British English ! to Zed dictonary, and it is fascinating! I love how we (US/Britain) are similar yet very different in many of our word choices.
    And thanks for thinking about One for the Road down the line. :)

  3. Hi to Lynne and Rachel. I have to say I have the opposite problem. As a Scot I naturally write in 'British' spelling and vernacular etc and when I submitted to TWRP I had to painstakingly go through lots of editing changes for American publication. Thankfully my ever-so-patient editor Cindy went through the ms very carefully and made sure we got them. (hopefully all)I sometimes have to ask my American sister-in-law for an American word or two. Good luck with One for the Road.

  4. Hi Nancy - I would be nervous writing an English story as an American, so I know how you feel. good thing you have a SIL to help out.

    Any fun words you'd like to share that you stumbled upon with those edits?

    Here's one - You might say: One-eyed village. We'd call it a "whistle stop" town.

    Fun stuff, eh?

  5. Hey Lynne - great post about the differences between British and American! I've read so many British romances over the years, that the words don't bother me any more. I've even used British bushes in Scrabble - my hubby actually challenged me on the word "gorse" !

    And I'll just add - I LOVED One For The Road. LOVED it. Hugs!

  6. Hi Christine - thank you so much for commenting. I'm especially glad you enjoyed One for the Road.
    I agree that most of us have seen British movies and read English version of books, but the slang is tricky to keep up with. their is a fondness for "sod" in UK, and in US that is a surface layer of earth, not what they mean at all! :)

  7. Hi Lynne and Rachel

    As a Brit I can certinly empathise with this post! I write futuristic, so it's not quite so much of a problem, although it does crop up occasionally.

    It's the spelling rather than the actual names for things that tend to be the problem for me - I've set Word to American spelling - but words like 'gotten' which I was taught was a big 'no' and 'fit' instead of 'fitted' seem so alien that I try to find alternatives at all costs! :)

    By the way, my dh and I have a diesel 'SUV' and I imagine it's the same fuel as in the US, although there's also agricultural or 'red' diesel which is illegal to use unless you're a farmer - I wonder if those differences exist in the States?

    As I said to my long TWRP suffering editor, Laura Kelly - we're 'divided by a common language'.
    Makes life interesting though, doesn't it!

  8. Hi Lyn - "divided by a common language" puts it perfectly! Thank you.

    So funny about got/gotten. Also Quieten vs quieted. So many little things to watch for.
    We don't sort out we straighten out over here. And we don't collect people, we pick them up. LOL - we can go on forever over this one, right?

    Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting.

  9. Lynne : ) You wonderfully witty wordsmith woman!!! I am so glad that you shared this very enjoyable post! I have read countless category romances through the years, and I enjoy both the UK and the North American versions--and also awesome Aussies! It's great fun for me as a reader to become involved in different variations of "English"--come visit me here in VA, and you'll learn about the variations on a variation! Lynne, you are a wonderful storyteller--in any version of any language. I highly recommend "One for the Road" as a terrific romance read. It made me want to hit the road and finally find that handsome cowboy hunk of my dreams ; )

  10. Smooches to you, Virginia! thanks for stopping by. Yes, US English and US Southern English are definitely two different things. I'd love to learn some of that slang.

    I too, love to read British books. I click right into the language and have no problems. It takes a little bit of time for my ears to become adjusted to British movies, though.

  11. Still smiling at this post. What a great way to start my lunch hour! This is one my favorite reads of the summer Lynne. It's a great story and I love the secondary characters as much as D'Anne and Tyler.

  12. I have been smiling at these posts all day - great topic choice, Lynne and I will be downloading your book tomorrow. It sounds fab!

    Got to say, I've never heard of the phrase 'one-eyed' village!


  13. Thank you, Maria. I loved writing those secondary characters, too. You may be eating your lunch, but you've brought a smile to my face today. Thanks so much for reading and commenting.

  14. Thank you for letting me come and blog today, Rachel. OK, I'll cross out that term from the British English A to Zed book. I'm sure there are many others that are out of date or only regionally known?
    Did you know that your biscuit, which is our cookie, is also known as the derrier (in it's biscuit form) in some areas of US? As I've said, slang is really hard to keep up with!
    I'm smiling that you enjoyed my topic, and thanks so much for giving my book a chance. Greatly appreciated.

  15. Great post on the differences in our common language. I love watching British movies and TV but the slang can really stump me. Thank goodness for Google. Congrats on the book!

  16. Hi Lynne,
    I'm intrigued by your book - I may let the moths out of my wallet and buy this one!
    I find Americans and English have differing senses of humour(humor)so if the above didn't make you smile, then just think of it as a cultural difference perhaps?
    I'm a New Zealander and agree with Hywela's comment on 'fit' and 'gotten' - a big no-no in our British-based education here. I still cringe when I read them, but again that's a cultural difference which I guess I'll eventually get used to.
    I've recently visited Seattle and my son's partner was puzzled when I used the term 'naff'.
    I'll leave Rachel to explain that word...

  17. Hi Georgie! Don't you write Regency Romance? (aside from your contemporary romances?)

    I think historical English would be very different than today, so it makes sense the fast-paced lingo on Brit TV and movies would stump you.

    Thanks for stopping by. I'm glad you enjoyed the blog.

  18. Hi Cherie - yes I read that wonderful post about Seniors in Seattle! LOL. Still want that title for future book. :)
    Well, I believe naff means cheap (as in shabby or inexpensive) However, add another word to it and it becomes something altogether different, right?
    And I did smile over your opening line. It made sense to me, even though I may not use it. All I can say is - I HOPE YOU DO let those moths out.
    Thanks so much for commenting today, and for reading the blog.
    You're also right about humor and how it doesn't always translate. I think of British humor as dry humor. You have to be quick or the joke goes right over the head.

  19. Hiya, Lynne! Great post.

    As you know , I live in the UK but I'm actually from Barbados which is very Americanized. I remember when I first came to England I was very aware of the difference in pronunciations of a lot of the same words. For instance, the word garage. Here it's pronounced gar-rage and US/Barbados it's ga-rage.

    So not only is there the different words for the same things, we also have different pronunciations of the same words!

    How cool is that?

    Love One For The Road! :)

    Monique DeVere
    Author of humorous, feel-good romance

  20. Hahaha - yep - another Kiwi here going to let the moths out of her wallet - or do you call it purse??

    I can't believe no-one has mentioned the word "shagging"! What a great word this is - but when I first heard it, it reminded me of a 70's carpet. Where's the excitement in that?!

    I had an interesting thing happen with my novella. The words 'Greymouth' and 'greyhound' were spelt as 'Graymouth' and 'grayhound' AFTER I'd approved the final copy. I know American's spell the colour (color) with an 'a' so I imagine this is how it happened. It's been corrected on TWRP copies, but not Amazon copies unfortunately. Kiwis especially have picked up on the mistake.

  21. Lynne
    Such a clever post! It never crossed my mind just how aware (and knowledgeable) you'd become on Brit-Speak. I had a British boss once and it took a good 3 months for me to completely understand what he was talking about...

  22. What a fun post! I'm a southern girl so when I write, I have to remember not to write as southern as I talk. I call RV's campers like the Brits but that's probably as far as the similarities go.Southerners cut out the lights instead of turning them off. We crank the car instead of starting it. And people are always fixin' to do something but they don't usually get around to it. lol!
    I could go on. But I won't. lol!

  23. Hi Monique. I didn't realize you were from Barbados. Ah ha! Very interesting about pronunciations being different too.

    Oh, yay, about OFTR. Makes me smile. :)

    thanks for stopping by and commenting.

  24. Hey La Verne! Thanks for popping in. OK, so right off I'm thinking "spelled" instead of spelt, and I'm sorry about the other misspellings. Too bad about the Amazon copy - it should have been greyhound if you were talking about a dog. So confusing!
    BTW, you mentioned purse. Well, I'm from the west coast (California) and I say purse, but my friends and relatives back east call it pocketbook. And my mom, who was from West Virginia, always called it her bag. Go figure!

    Nice to see you here, Ms. Kiwi.

  25. Too funny, Maggie. I must say that my first copy edits with Mills & Boon were a nightmare. I had a plucky heroine and they called her Bolshy. The US readers would never have a clue what that meant. I had to look it up, and though it did fit her, it wasn't the right word.

    I spent a lot of time with a fine toothed comb fixing simple terms. How dare became how dared. I think one quieten slipped by, but overall the book read like a US book. I hope!

  26. Hi Lilly! You are so right, regional speak is as different as you can get. Recently, M&B medical line bought some new authors from the deep south and I got to meet them at NYC conf. What a kick they were, and I think their southern infusion (as I called it) will be a great addition to the Medical Romance line.
    And to take fixin' one step further. I used to work with a lady who said "finnin'" to do something. We could go on and on and on, as you've said.
    Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting. I'm glad the blog was entertaining. That's always my goal. :)

  27. Hi Lynne!
    It took me long enough to get over here, but I finally made it! Great post. Growing up in Texas, I've found that there's a Texas version of the English language too. Learning to speak a more generic version took some time. I think I've mastered it though. What do ya'll think?


  28. Very fun post, Lynne!
    A good bok is a good book either side of the pond. One for the Road should be a particular draw to Brits as it is about the American west and country music--both very popular in Old Blighty.
    My highest recommendation for this book. It is wonderful!
    Warm Regards,
    Christine London

  29. Hey Roz, I think U da bomb! LOL. Yep, yep, yep, Texas, in many ways, is its own country with its own language and customs.

    As the saying goes - don't mess with Texas.

    thanks for reading and commenting. Better late than never, eh?

  30. Christine London - you are too kind. I was fascinated to discover how popular country and western music is in the UK. That gave me hope this book might appeal across the pond.

    Thanks for reading and commenting, and especially thanks for the high recommendation.

    Mmmwhaa! (Dinah Shore kiss)I'm using my hand and all. :)

  31. Lynne,

    Great post!
    Like Roz, I'm from Texas and sometimes you'd think it was a different country by some the slang used. I wasn't sure what Roz meant at the end though.
    Did Y'all? Haha. Had to.

  32. I'm laughing and nodding here in Oklahoma, Lynne. My daddy was a truck driver (trucker) almost all my life so when I heard lorrie (sp?) in a movie it threw me for a loop (confused me). Yeah I know all about that southern language. My gramma was raised in the Alabama hill country so I guess she's as close to a hillbilly as my family gets. In case anyone doesn't know- hillbillies are people born and raised in mountainous or hill country of the south. Oh- and they have another altogether differnt langage in them hills, also. lol

    Can't wait to read OFTR Lynne!

  33. I had to pop in to congratulate and thank Lynne for such a wonderful topic and visit...your visit has resulted in the most page views in one day I have ever had !30!!

    Thanks so much - off to buy your book, right now!

    Rachel x

  34. Hi everyone

    This is my kind of topic - I'd been planning to blog about the differences in English and American English but I'm delighted to join the discussion here!

    As a Brit, I think the language divide is narrowing - certainly from the UK perspective. We see so many American films (not movies!) and TV programmes (note spelling!) that I think we’re very comfortable with most US words and phrases. I know what a cellphone is, although I would only ever call it a mobile phone (and when I write I avoid by just saying “phone”. Truck is probably used as much as lorry these days, but we’d never fill up with gas – only petrol, or diesel. However, we might “put our foot on the gas” if we were in a hurry while driving though I’m not sure my parents would. I think we’re becoming more Americanised (using an “s”, never a “z”) though as a journalist and writer I’m not sure it’s something I like.

    We used to fill in forms here, not fill them out. We live in a street – being on the streets is not very pleasant. (That song in My Fair Lady has always grated – no way would a well-brought-up chap like Freddy Eynsford Hill say “On the street where you live”!) We ring people on the telephone, rather than call them. We appeal against a verdict in a court case, rather than just appealing a verdict. And we have post-mortem examinations, not autopsies. We have rubbish, not trash or garbage. We make a booking at a hotel, rather than a reservation, and an aeroplane (not airplane) is heading for the airport, rather than is headed. We have railway stations not train stations, railway lines not train tracks. Gosh, this could go on forever!

    You do learn something new every day though. I've never heard the phrase "one-eyed village" either - wonder where that one came from! And I could never, ever use the American phrase for bum bag without feeling my Mum’s disapproval!


  35. Another thought (I love this topic!) re Lynne's point about detour (US) being diversion in the UK, if that's what the book's saying, it's not quite right.

    We have both words. I'd say a diversion is something that's forced on you (if I were driving to your housefor Sunday lunch , I might apologise for being late if there was a diversion after an accident which took me miles out of my way). On the other hand, I might leave 30 minutes early to allow myself to take a detour to visit the 11th century church in the next village. A detour is a pleasant thing - taking the scenic route, as it were.

    It's a subtle difference - I do pity people learning English as a foreign language because it's full of these little puzzles!


  36. Dee J - Hi and thanks for popping in! I think Roz meant to say - All y'all.


    We love our Texans. :)

  37. Hi Calisa! My momma was from the West Virginia hills so I know exactly what you mean about another language. One of my favorite phrases:
    I used to could. LOL.

    Lorrie, boot, hood, lots of different words.

    I hope you enjoy OFTR!

  38. Rachel - I am thrilled to be here and to have the opportunity to have some fun with my blog. thank you so much for letting me invite myself over a month or so back. You've been a wonderful and gracious hostess.
    And thank you for givine One for the Road a chance. I sincerely hope I don't let you down. Stomach all in knots now. :/

  39. Hi Claire - what wonderful comments. Yes this topic goes on and on. I discovered that you fall pregnant and we get pregnant. We are in "the" hospital, I believe you are in hospital. Same with flu. We have the flu, and Brits have flu. Right? Such subtle stuff.

    Actually, your further definition of detour states perfectly what D'Anne Palmer is faced with - the detour is forced on her (it turns out to be a scenic route, but it is a traumatic shift in her plans at first) so I think I may have accidentally hit the nail on the head. (as we say) Do you say that?

    Wonderful observations, and I hope you will blog on it and let me know when you do! I'm with you about poor people trying to learn and grasp Englis (either US style or UK)

    Thanks so much for commenting. :)

  40. Hi Lynne

    I think you have hit the nail on the head (on both sides of the Atlantic!) You're absolutely right about "in hospital", "fall pregnant" and "flu".

    It's often completely illogical, isn't it? You have fire trucks - we should have fire lorries but do we? Do we heck - we have fire engines.Goodness knows where that came from!


  41. Love this post! I totally love the RV premise, Lynn. And Rachel, our daughter spent her study abroad in Brighton. We had such fun learning to speak British. She still says "post" (mail" and "road humps" (speed bumps).

    Of course, Pup crawl is the same in both languages LOL.

    Ps. We go to go visit her..the trip of a

    Great stuff today, ladies! oxox

  42. Great topic.. Loved all the comments. Can't wait to have "one for the road" make it to the top of the list.

    I do wish books were not Americanized. I love reading stories from across the pond. Its like a trip with out the airports.


  43. Claire - you keep making me smile.

    Tanya - oh, yes, the pub crawl, some traditions are best left as they are -- perfectly fun. My daughter studied a semester in Oxford, and you know I went to visit her! Plus, I sold my first book to M&B one month after I got home. Too bad I could celebrate while I was in England!

    Hi Meg - I agree about books being trips without airports. However, if the story takes place in the US, it gets confusing with British terms unless the characters are British.

    Oh, I hope I make it to the top of your TBR pile, and more importantly, I hope you're not disappointed once you get there.

    Thanks everyone for the great day and a half - I had a ball. Now, back to you Rachel! Thanks for having me. I feel so fortunate.