I am ashamed to admit it, but when I first starting writing Ankhari (my first novel) I used American english (well I attempted to anyway). As you may or may not know, I am not American, I am, in fact, Australian and as such we use British English (with a few unique Aussie inclusions).
Why, I hear you asking, would I have attempted such a feat? Well, here in Australia we are quite used to reading books by American authors, and as such I thought that if I was hoping to compete against these books in an American market, my book should be written in their language. Also my book is set in America with an American protagonist!
If you are confused as to exactly what I am referring to here are some examples.
First of all there are the words that we spell differently (don’t worry I am not planning on listing all of them):
Then there are the words that don’t even exist in the other language (or even worse have a different meaning entirely):
Then there are the differences between the Metric and Imperial systems:
degrees Celsius/degrees Fahrenheit
I think you get the picture.
After writing the first draft of my novel I realised (ah there is another one!) what a ridiculous task this was – there was no way I would be able to do it well. So I went back through my book and I changed all the words back, all the measurements, everything. I figured, that if my book was ever sold in America that the publisher could fix the book if they saw fit!
Now, however, the conundrum is back! I am seriously considering the self-publishing route for Ankhari, and as such I have to choose a language.
So, now I need your help. I am after your opinion. Does a book about an American need to be in the corresponding language? Will American’s happily read a book written in British English?
Looking forward to hearing your thoughts.
The Exasperated Novelist