Losing the Americanisms

Although my only physical visit to the US was one rather unpleasant transit through LAX, I’ve been slipping across the Atlantic for years. 

It’s happened as a result of the gradual and grudging acknowledgement that the US is a more lucrative market for SF than the UK. Not that ‘lucrative’ is a word much associated with writing, especially in SF, but if you want your stories read, you need to sell them. And that has meant writing in the increasingly ubiquitous dialect called ‘American English’. 

With the sale to Gollancz, this has changed. Although I’ve now got to grips with the next book in the series (series title tbc, book title ‘Consorts of Heaven’), I’m also doing some small edits on ‘Principles of Angels’ (we lost the definitive article over lunch), including ‘de-Americanising’  the language. And – with apologies to our cousins across the water – it feels good. I no longer have to check my text for words that will confuse the yanks. I’m writing entirely in my own language. And I’ve decided that in future I’ll write my shorts in the Queen’s English too, though I’ve no plans to go back to change the dozen or so extant stories currently in slush piles over in the US. In future, I hope that a simple ‘Please note that this story is written in English English’ should stop editors assuming my spelling is incorrect when it’s merely what I was taught at school. 

Now all I have to do is get the bloody software to stop trying to impose US spellings.


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