Sunday, June 16, 2013


Hello H.K. It's wonderful to have you on myblog today. You pose such an interesting question for our readers. I've always wondered about an accent myself. I'll be curious to know what our commenters have to say.

From the moment that the idea for my latest historical romance with MuseItUp Publishing The Devil Take You, took shape in my mind, it was one of those magical tales that I am afraid might be a once-in-a-writer’s-career kind of experience. (but I hope not) From first draft, to submission, to edits, to art and release, I have had the most amazing time. With a combination of one of my favourite genres, and the Scottish and British history that I love, I set out on a journey with my anti-hero, bad boy, Gard Marschand that will stay with me for a very long time.


But while I was in the middle of editing The Devil Take You with my fabulous editors from MuseItUp Publishing, I came across an interesting question posed on Facebook.


When writing a book with characters that have an accent, is writing phonetic dialogue good or bad? What would the reader like? More or less? Or not at all?


I am a historical romance reader from way back and I love phonetic dialogue, that’s just my opinion. Not to the point where it becomes difficult to read or imagine or it is so lacerated that the understanding becomes obscured, or that you have to continually go back and read the sentence again, but just enough to give you that distinct brogue or individual bit of identifying enunciation, so that you can hear it while you read it.


But the consensus on the post seemed to be that most readers would like it clearly stated in the beginning of the book that a character has said accent and the rest left up to their imagination.


We were knee deep in edits of a 147,000+ word manuscript and I was left wondering if I was doing the right thing by keeping the phonetic speech in my book.  After careful consideration with both of my editors I believe we did what was best for The Devil Take You. Thank you Susan and Nancy. I think we did good. (and that sentence alone, is why I have editors) :D


So, I’ve come ta the conclusion, tha’ wha’ the people want is, the age auld adage, Less is More.  But I’ll most like, still do wha’e’er, fits righ’ with the next character I write wit’ an accent. (I’ve been toying with a hockey player with a French Canadian accent. He’s quite ‘th’ challenged. They all come out as d’s.) J LOL


Readers and Authors alike, I would love to know your opinion on this. Leave a comment and I’ll give away a copy of The Devil Take You to one lucky commenter, at the end of the three days. Don’t forget to leave an e-mail address.


Thanks so much for stopping and thank you, Lorrie. You are a wonderful host.


(Reader advisory : (I hope) No Scotsman, Englishmen or Frenchmen were harmed in the making of this post)





Blurb The Devil Take You:


Scotland—1307—During the Scottish Wars of Independence


Gard Marschand will stop at nothing in his pursuit to regain what is lost. Concealing his true identity, he will associate with his enemies, kill his own countrymen, even sell his soul to the devil if all else fails. He will lie, cheat, steal, rape and siege his way across two countries gaining power and reputation in his malevolent wake. His determination all consuming, until King Edward commands Gard to lay siege on Ross-shire holding, where Braelynn Galbraith obliterates his single-minded purpose.


Braelynn Galbraith wants peace for her beloved Scotland, marriage to her childhood sweetheart, Callum, and a house full of children. In that order. But evil incarnate in the form of Gard Marschand, turns her life inside out and destroys all hope of a decent marriage.


Can Gard abandon his deep-seated need of revenge for a love that might just save his soul, or will he succumb to the demons that hound him and surrender to the devil within?


I believe you stay in purgatory has only just begun…




Brae knew not what woke her. She was loath to move lest the security of the

strong arms abandoned her, so warm and content. Brae breathed deeply filling her lungs. The foreign but appealing new smell pleased her senses; she wanted more of it.


Awareness came slowly, ’twas not a dream, nor a nightmare, but her reality for

the moment. She opened her eyes and stared into the blackness of Marschand’s chest.


“Braelynn,” a harsh whisper reached her.


Her gaze darted to the man holding her and she waited to see if he’d heard it too.

He did not move; his deep even breathing signified sleep. She turned slowly onto her other side. Her leg ached deeply. She peeked out from under his black cape.


“Brae.” Hovering just above the lip of the dais she looked into the blue eyes of

Callum’s best friend.


“Duncan,” Brae quietly acknowledged. He was to stand up for them at their

wedding. His eyes opened wider as he reached toward her nodding his encouragement for her to take his hand and escape her captor.


Brae knew, even if she attempted to flee, it would be bad for her but even worse

for Duncan. She knew not what these men were capable and she would not test it out on her friend. This brave man putting himself in jeopardy to help her. ’Twas more than Callum had done. She could not risk his safety.


Her eyes filled and she managed to convey her sorrow. She shook her head and

turned back into the warm dark man at her back. She silently sobbed into his chest, feeling as if her life might never be the same.


Just when she thought she’d managed the small deception without waking her

captor, his deep voice broke the silence. “Good choice.” His arms tightened once

again around her.


The Devil Take You © 2013 by H K Carlton


Book Links The Devil Take You:








Author Bio:


H K Carlton is a multi-published Canadian author of historical, erotic and contemporary romance. She lives in Ontario with her hard working husband and lovely teenage daughter. She also has two grown sons.


Author Links:






Amazon Author Page

So, what do you think readers?
Don't forget, one commenter will win a free download, so let's read them.
Besides, we do love comments.



  1. Great post, ladies! As a writer, I do Irish accents in my stories, though not too over the top, and any slang is easily understood(hopefully) by its context. As a reader, I enjoy being immersed in make-believe worlds, and well done dialogue adds to the flavor, IMHO. Keep up the good work, H.K.!

    1. Thanks so much, Pat. I'm with you, I love an accent in dialogue. I think it just adds just another dimension to the character. It's a part of them. Thanks so much for stopping and sharing your view as an author and a reader.

  2. I LOVE the way you used phonetic dialogue in THE DEVIL TAKE YOU. I'd keened well whatcha meant. LOL! (Clearly I'm not as good at the brogue as you are!)

    And a French-Canadian Hockey player? You had me at hockey!

    1. Thank you so much, Mary. I'm so glad you enjoyed it.

      AND Hockey? Are we new best friends? LOL :D We have so much in common!

      Thanks for stopping by and casting your vote.

  3. Great excerpt, HK! On the phonetic dialogue front, I'd have to say I usually find it distracting. But it really depends on how it's done. I'd rather have the author show the accent and then not feel like I'm struggling to untangle what's being said. I hope that helps...

  4. Hi Sabrina. I'm so glad you enjoyed the excerpt. So many great opinions. I am loving this! Thanks so much for stopping.

  5. Use sparingly.

    As Little Eddie would say (West Texas): I don't rightly know, but writin' most likely should be sumthin the reader ken read.

    As King Connor would say (Scottish Trow): I dinnae know, but if'n I be payin' ta gold, I'd like ta be readin' the words.

    That's what my characters would say about phonetic accents.

    On the other hand, Seonaidh would say: “Aan gille, mayhap an brĂ thair. I dunnae ken him. Ye’ll hae ta be sleekit tae win. Dinna pay heed ta da mingy duine dubh.” But he's one of a kind.

    1. Ah-ha, Marva, that's awesome! :D Well said, all of you! :D
      Thanks for stopping.

  6. I enjoy characters using phonetic dialoge, it makes the characters come more alive to me, plus I've learned some facinating new words & phrases.
    The excerpt ist sae gut (PA Dutch, very good)

    Mindy :)

    1. Hi Mindy. It makes the characters come alive for me too. I can hear it as I read. You are so right, I've learned some great new words or words that we use every day that mean a different thing to someone from another place and sometimes another time.
      Thanks for your comments.

  7. Yoo-hoo,*waves hand in air* I want to chime in here, too. I don't mind accents as long as I don't have to struggle to understand the dialogue. The closest I've come to writing something like this is, I had a character use broken English. What can I say, he was from across the pond.
    But if it's heavy, my eyes cross and I won't read the book.
    Just a pinch of accent for me. A very small pinch.

    1. As I said, I love the phonetics when reading, but I agree with you, it's not fun when you have to keep backtracking and reading the text again because you can't understand it or follow the story. As Pat stated if its done so that the reader can understand the slang within the context of the story or the description around it, then it's all good.

      Thanks so much for having me today, Lorrie. I'm having a lot of fun finding out the differing opinions. This is great.

    2. You're right. This is great. A pleasure to have you and to discuss this subject. It's a learning lesson for me.

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  9. I can't wait to read this. Loved You Found Me, HK.

  10. Waves Marian. Thanks so much for popping over. I hope you like My Devil, Gard just as much. ;)

  11. Like many others, I love to read the accents. Sometimes I find myself saying them out loud but it helps me get deeper into the plot. When reading a good book, I'm along for the ride, feeling for the characters. All accents are so unique, take advantage of them.
    Heather G
    Natasha's Dream

    1. Hi Heather
      I know when I'm writing the brogue, I tend to hear it. I'm not very good at speaking it, but it sounds right in my head. (if that makes any sense) It just kind of flows. Thanks for your input and for stopping by.

  12. Great post, ladies! HK, I love your blog, too! When I read a book with accents it usually takes me a little time to get used to it, but once I do, the character's voice becomes seamless and I feel like I'm experiencing a theatrical production rather than just reading words on a page. I also enjoy listening to books that have a narrator who can do various voices "in character"--it makes the entire story so much richer!
    --Kathy Rygg, kathyrygg(at)hotmail(dot)com

    1. Hi Kathy. You're so right. Can you imagine being able to narrate books and do all the accents? That would be awesome.
      I love getting into a book that you can hear the dialogue and imagine the scene just from author's description. That's when an author knows they've done their job. There's nothing better. (as a reader or a writer) Thank you for sharing your views and for coming on over. :)

  13. With H K's permission, I thought this would be a great example of the use of accents. Enjoy.

    Never Choke in a Restaurant

    Never Choke in a Restaurant in the DEEP South
    Two hillbillies walk into a restaurant. While having a bite to eat, they talk about their moonshine operation. Suddenly, a woman at a nearby table, who is eating a sandwich, begins to cough. After a minute or so, it becomes apparent that she is in real distress. One of the hillbillies looks at her and says, 'Kin ya swallar?' The woman shakes her head no. Then he asks, 'Kin ya breathe?' The woman begins to turn blue and shakes her head no.The hillbilly walks over to the woman, lifts up her dress, yanks down her drawers and quickly gives her right butt cheek a lick with his tongue. The woman is so shocked that she has a violent spasm and the obstruction flies out of her mouth. As she begins to breathe again, the Hillbilly walks slowly back to his table. His partner says, 'Ya know, I'd heerd of that there 'Hind Lick Maneuver' but I ain't niver seed nobody do it afore!'

    Are you laughing yet?

    1. Yep, I'm laughin'. LOL..Gotta tell my DH that one, Lorrie.

      H.K.-I have to admit I just about quit reading the best seller, The Help, because the maid's dialogue was so hard to decipher. Eventually, I kept reading because the story was so interesting and well, just darn good. I even reached the point when I read through the pages and the dialect didn't even stop me!! Best wishes on your new release!

    2. Still Chuckling, Lorrie. I'm going to share that one with my hubs too J Q. I'm one of those people too, J Q, I give a book every chance before I'll give up on reading it. You never know when you might miss out on something really great if you give in too soon. Thank you for commenting and your lovely best wishes.

  14. LOL! Lorrie that is just too funny!!!!

  15. I am like a few others, love the accent/dialect unless it's so heavy I can't understand it. Your book sounds very interesting.

    Lorrie, I laughed when I first read that and still thought it was funny to read again.

    I apologize to many whose books I haven't had a chance to read yet. I thought I had a allergy that messed up my eyes, but when I finally saw my eye doctor, I had a granular eyelid infection that has been hell trying to clear up. I'm on my second different type of eye drops, a 30-day pill regimen, plus a twice daily inner-eyelid wash with baby shampoo. Not fun.

    My email:

    1. Thank you, Leona. They Aye's and Nays are quite split, I'm finding. Almost leaning more towards using an accent, which is the opposite from the poll I saw on FB. Very interesting.

      I'm very sorry for your eye trouble. That sounds quite awful. Baby shampoo or not, it's still soap in the eyes and we all know what that's like. I hope that this second set of drops and round of medication will do the trick, Leona, and you'll be as good as new soon. Thank you for commenting. All the best. And take good care.

  16. hehehe! Wouldn't be as good without the accent. Love it.
    There are a few of us in Ontario. It is a big province. Where are you? Send me an e-mail.
    Heather G
    Natasha's Dream

  17. And the winner is...

    Let me say first, a big thank you to Lorrie. I had a blast with you and all the guests who stopped by and left us a comment. And special waves to our MIU sisters for their great insight and support. I saw some familiar faces and some new friends too. (waves to you also) This was very interesting and the complete opposite to the FB post, I'm happy to say. And completely entertaining. :D

    The winner of a free copy of The Devil Take You, chosen with the help of is...

    The lovely Kathy Rygg. I'll be in touch soon, Kathy.

    Thanks again, Lorrie
    Cheers, everyone.