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Friday, October 5, 2012

BOOK CLUB FRIDAY - GUEST AUTHOR ALEXA BOURNE


Today’s Book Club Friday guest is Alexa Bourne, teacher by day and romantic suspense writer by nights, weekends, and all school holidays. When she's not concocting sinister plots and steamy love scenes or traveling and exploring new cultures, Alexa spends her time reading, watching brainless TV and thinking about exercising. Visit her at her website or blog

Alexa is offering a copy of Her Highland Champion to one of our readers who posts a comment to the blog. -- AP

Anyone who knows me knows how much I love Great Britain. If I could move tomorrow I'd go without reservations. I love the food, the beer, the culture and especially the accent. Whenever I hear a British man speaking, I get all gooey inside. I swear even hearing a Brit read the phone book would make my knees weak. Of course I don't judge him COMPLETELY on his accent, but that is definitely a starter.

Speaking of accents...can I tell you a secret? Promise you won't tell? When I read a book set in Great Britain, I hear the accent in my head. It makes for a more interesting story for me to “hear” it. I'm also one of those people who loves to have the words and phrases of the culture in the book because it puts me right in the center of the action. It helps to make me feel like I'm there in the story with the characters. Some people, I know, don't like a lot of the “different language” in their reading. Maybe it makes the reading harder when the reader has to stop and figure out what the characters mean by the strange words. With Britain, I’m familiar with deciphering the language since I have relatives there. Huh. Maybe that’s another reason I love to “hear the accent” as I read.

Not only do I hear the accent when I read, I actually hear it when I write, too. Now, many industry professionals will tell writers not to bog down the story with words and phrases of a different culture. They request we put in just enough to give the readers a feel for that setting or that character. As a writer, I follow that bit of advice, but not right away. When I'm writing my rough draft, I usually toss in A LOT more of the British terminology. As I go through each draft, I throw out more of the complicated words and phrases and revise the story for the majority of readers. Hearing the accent in my head even while I’m writing makes me love the process even more.

So, what about you? Do you hear accents in your head when you read a book with a character from a country different than your own? Or am I alone in this? Leave a comment here and be in the running for a copy of my contemporary Scottish romantic suspense, Her Highland Champion. (Then you can “hear” the accent as you read my book!)

Buy link for Her Highland Champion

Thanks for joining us today, Alexa! Readers, let’s hear from you if you want a chance to win a copy of Her Highland Champion. Don't forget to either include your email address in your comment or check back on Sunday to see if you've won. We can't get your books to you if we can't contact you. -- AP

18 comments:

NoraA said...

A wonderful interview Alexa. I have sort of the same thing in my head. When I read a book I hear the characters talking to me, and if I close my eyes I can almost see the scene unfolding.

I hope I'm the winner so that I'll get to read this book, and then gift it to my daughter in law who loves contemporary romance novels.

traveler said...

I enjoyed this great post about your writing and this novel. Yes, when I am reading a book that enthralls me I hear the voices, accents and picture the locale as well. Best wishes.

Evelyn said...

This is one of the reasons I don't listen to books on tape- I want to "hear" accents, intonation, etc., in my head.

petite said...

Reading a memorable book transports me to the era, setting and allows me to hear the conversations, thoughts and hopes of the individuals.

Anonymous said...

Love it when a book transports me to a different place and accent.


boots9k at wowway dot com

Alexa said...

Thank you, NoraA and traveler!

Evelyn, I hadn't even thought about the whole "books on tape" angle. Good point!

Petite, exactly! That's what a good book SHOULD do!

Anonymous, that's the best. I love being able to close the book, sigh and have a warm fuzzy feeling inside!

Jessica Subject said...

I do hear accents in my head as I'm reading. It draws me even further into the story, as well as cultural references.

All the best, Alexa! :-)

Jan Hudson said...

I love to get a "flavor" of the accents with an occasional word or phrase thrown in (as long as it doesn't go too far and get tedious). Loved your Highland lad.

Judy Alter said...

The dialect of a region indeed makes the book more real to me. I'm as partial to the Scots brogue as you are to the Brits speech. Reading Gigi Panidan's Artifact right now and loving what she does with the brogue in Angus and Fergie.

Anna Taylor Sweringen said...

I love it when authors do a great job with accents. I find without cues from the author, I don't hear the accents at all. I realized this when I heard an audiobook of J.D. Robb's Survivor in Death. Hearing an Irish accent used for Roarke was the first time I'd actually heard the Irish J.D. Robb so eloquently describes on the page.

Mandy said...

I totally hear the accent in my head! I read Harry Potter and I actually read all of Snape's lines slower and in my mind, every word is spoken by Alan Rickman. LOL!

I do love when authors throw in little words, such as terms of endearment, if the character speaks, say, Italian or French. Those small words express that little extra love and I can almost hear them rolling off the characters tongue.

Kathy said...

I like to read books that take place in Ireland and I definitely do hear a brogue in my head.

Tinab said...

Always...and I love accents too.

Alexa said...

It's fascinating to me to hear everyone else's comments! Thanks, ladies!

Jan, that's the thing. Most people don't want A LOT in, but I love it. And thanks for loving my Highland lad. LOL!

Cassandra Dean said...

I agree with you, Alexa! I think it's very important to get the 'accent' right on the page. The way people structure a sentence totally gives away where they're from, and it's such a delight to read when an author does that!

I know I like to do it in my own work - in fact, I had such trouble with my latest book, Rough Diamond, BECAUSE of the accent - it's a western, and I couldn't 'hear' the western accent for the longest time! Hopefully, it's now there... ;p

Alexa said...

Cassandra, doesn't it feel like winning the lottery when you finally get the accent right? Good luck with your western work!

ANASTASIA POLLACK said...

Blogger is not playing nicely this morning and is refusing to allow me to post the winner of Alexa's book on a Sunday post. So I'm posting the winner here and wll try again as a post later. The winner of a copy of Her Highland Champion is NoraA. Please send your mailing address to me at anastasiapollack@gmail.com so I can forward it to Alexa.

Alexa said...

Congratulations, NoraA! I hope you and your daughter-in-law love the book!

Anastasia, thanks so much for having me!