It has recently come to my attention that The Chronicles of Anaedor has been doing fairly well in the UK (for those of you thinking uck, no. UK stands for United Kingdom). Say, “hurray!” Hurray! I have never visited these countries, yet I feel as though I have. I just know I would love them at first sight. The thing is, I am your typical American mutt – no pedigrees here, you see. My heritage is a mixture of Irish, English, and Welsh (along with 4 other ethnic groups). Could it be that I have inherited this love through my collective unconscious (i.e., memories from our ancestors that have been genetically passed down)? It’s possible. I’m not sure about the Scottish part since I’m not Scottish, as far as I know. But I have watched Monarch of the Glen and loved it, so maybe there’s a hidden Scot in my ancestry just trying to get out.
Anyway, my point is that I live for the day when I can actually go to these countries rather than only visiting them in my mind or on the BBC. Maybe I could manage to finagle a book signing over there and write off the expense! Yeah, right…I’ll probably just have to go the old-fashioned way. As a stowaway, or an au pair.
What is it about these countries that inspire the romantic in us (or in some of us, anyway)? Is it the colorful characters? The moors and mountains? The endless green? The ancient houses and haunted castles? I imagine it’s all of that and more. In my American mind, I think of the UK as the land of fairies and druids, elves and magic. To us Americans, these countries offer the possiblity to find fantasy in reality. There is also something so enduring about these cultures that our country does not yet have (and may never, with all these depressing strip malls we have). I think we are searching for roots. We look to connect to something deeper and more ancient than we could ever find in our own culture.
Mostly, I think we just like the way that they speak…
I was recently asked to write a blurb for someone’s book (a cool fantasy) written by a Scottish author. He said that I didn’t need to write anything if I thought the book was utter “tosh.” Tosh. What a great word! I’ve decided to steal it and make it my own. Don’t be surprised if it shows up in one my books. He also uses the phrase, “ye numpty!” in his book. Priceless! Now I can say to people, “That’s absolute tosh, ye numpty!” I can only imagine how awed they’ll be at my command of other languages.
So when you read my book and you happen across an English housekeeper and an Irish cook, a Dwarf with a Scottish accent, or some welsh-like character (I’m sure I’ve got someone in there who’s welsh-like), don’t be surprised. It’s just my inner UKer trying to express itself.