Monday, November 14, 2011

God Bless America

A large number of my readers live in the country that is the new home of the English language: the United States. These people seem to have found my work by chance, which isn’t surprising when you consider that more than half of the world’s native English speakers live in America, and most of them have access to computers.

I grew up believing that American English was inferior to the British variety. Americans, I was told, play fast and loose with the language. Americans have no real love for the subtlety of English; they do not understand its nuances.

One only has to read Shane, or To Kill a Mocking Bird, or Lake Wobegone Days, to realise that this view is wrong.

This view of language in the United States is particularly unhelpful to the aspiring author. The American book market is massive when compared to that of any other English speaking country. To ignore it is foolhardy to say the least. The American book market creates trends that influence the kinds of books that will be written in the future.

If you live outside of the United States it is worth considering whether your story will make sense in America. Did I mention that more than half the world’s native English speakers live there?

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