Due to the murder of my family and the resulting court cases, police investigations, and FBI investigations, I no longer have time to daily update this website.

Likewise ALL novel, short story, and article writing projects are on hiatus.

All book releases, book signings, workshops, and convention appearances for 2015 (and unknown amount of time after) are on hold while the murder investigation of my family is ongoing.

Writing advice for the worldbuilding, character creation, and other writing how to articles are on hold.

From now on, the bulk of updates here will be about the investigation into the murder of my family.

No, NOT just THIS author website, not JUST the EelKat pename, not just self published books: ALL 15 (fifteen) of my penames are on hiatus, that includes traditional published books as well, newspaper reporting jobs, editing jobs, my work for Harlequin Romance Novels, my work for Disney... EVERYTHING is on hiatus. Every publishing house I work for, every series I write, every penname I write under: they are ALL on hiatus, ALL projects.

There is NOTHING being published under ANY penname, not for ANY series, not for ANY publisher, from 2015 onward. EVERYTHING is on hold due to the murder of my family. I do not know when or even if, any of the projects will be restarted or finished.

Yes, BOTH the magazines I owned are indefinitely shut down because of this as well, with no plans for either magazine to return. The publishing house I own is also closed to submissions from now on, we will no longer be publishing anything. It is unlikely we will reopen the publishing house either.

All book signing tours, workshops, letures, PAX events, ComicCon events, carnival/festival/state fair/car show events are also canceled. I will not be attending ANY of them. If a venue still has my name listed as a guest/speaker/etc it is because they've not yet removed it. I WILL NOT be there, no matter where it is! 


The ONLY thing continuing from this point on, is THIS website, where I'll post updates on the murder investigation, hopefully every week, but, you know how it is when 10 members of your family are beheaded, it's kind of difficult to have a schedule for anything anymore.

Accents in Dialogue

Accents in Dialogue

Accents in Dialogue

I know there used to be a thread about this, but the last entry was from 2005. If need be, though, go ahead and consolidate them.

Two words: just...don't. Have mercy on your reader and don't try to write thick accents. I love the Brontes, but good grief. Some of their dialect is so unintelligible that modern editors translate it in the footnotes. Don't put your readers through that kind of work.

I have lived in England. I never had any trouble understanding the accents while I was there. The main difference was the choice of words and phrases they used. Do your homework and find out how the other culture speaks. I'm currently working on a novel set in Edwardian England. I have read many books actually written during that period, and have made a list of words and phrases that will convey that time.


 Originally Posted by Azkaellion Sorry. Can’t take anyone who claims they ‘can’t follow’ Irvine Welsh, James Kelman or Roddy Doyle’s dialogue at all seriously. I suspect the real problem lies elsewhere.


And as for the Brontes, I can confirm that while most people find Joseph of Wuthering Heights unintelligible when we begin the novel, they are able to "understand" him by the end of the unit. In Wuthering Heights, dialect plays a key role in communicating nuances of class and social hierarchy (even among the servants), and this prompts essential discussion. If one considers Emily Bronte's use of dialect in her novel pointless, then one is missing the point. Society has evolved since the 19th century, but taking the time to consider what elements of a lost culture are communicated via Bronte's use of dialect is valuable, and I find it sad that there are people who fail to recognize that there may be more going on with the dialect than things a 2017 reader would recognize from our world. 

Trainspotting would be a different text entirely if rendered into standard English. And I don't think I'd care to read a "translation" of TS. 

I find that people who "can't follow" Irvine Welsh or Roddy Doyle (or the Bronte's dialect-speakers) are the sort of people who give up after a page or two.


I find accents really interesting in much older works like the Brontes', because it does give a window into the time period. In modern writing, I find it mostly annoying. But I suppose the literary professors of the future will thank us for writing thick accents for them to analyze. 



Accents are like spices: a little bit goes a long way.

Laer Carroll 

I always find it interesting when readers comment on my books and they'll email me a list of "all the 20,000+ misspelled words I found in your book" and will say they had trouble reading the book "because of all though accents/phonetic spellings you added".


the list of misspelled words will be stuff like:

  • colour vs color
  • neighbour va neighbor
  • travelling vs traveling
  • windea vs window
  • centre vs center
  • eejit vs idiot
  • me vs my
  • clim vs climb
  • oot vs out
  • auld vs old
  • hae vs have
  • aboue vs above
  • did'na vs didn't
  • svá vs also
  • njósn vs news
  • ávalt vs always
  • dair vs there
  • wurd vs word
  • lum vs chimney
  • bairn vs child
  • waefooy vs woeful
  • chookie vs chicken
  • bahookie vs bum
  • aye vs yes
  • wuids vs woods
  • ance va once
  • jeekit vs coat
  • Alba Nuadh vs Nova Scotia
  • ný-kominn vs newly arrived
  • weifs vs wife
  • spelt vs spelled
  • moose vs mouse
  • ceevil vs civil
  • mys vs mice
  • jeek vs jack
  • isne vs is not
  • cud vs could
  • herest vs heard
  • brjóta vs broke

All the words in the first side are Scottish English spellings. All the words in the second side are American English spellings.

Those are all actual words, from an actual language, spelt correctly.

I'm not sure where they found any accents in my books, because I don't add accents to them. Likewise, I don't know where they found any phonetic spellings in my books either, because I've not added any.

Interestingly, they completely overlooked the fact that at the start of the book is a notation which states:

"The author of this book is Scottish. The story you are about to read is written in Scottish English and has not been translated into American."

I think the thing that gets me, is the fact that they are reading a book written in a different language and then complain that it's not using words from their own language, and then because they don't realize it's NOT their language to begin with, they accuse it of having accents added to it. LOL!

I find it interesting, that 90% of the 1 star reviews I get are ALL saying my books were unedited and had grammar errors and spelling errors... Here's the thing: 100% of those reviews were written by AMERICAN readers. I'm Scottish. I write in Scottish English, which yes, is not only different from American English, but is also different from UK English, and also different from Canadian English, Quebec English, or Maritime Canadian English, as it is also different from Irish English and like wise different from Welsh English, all of which are also different from Australian English and African English.

I could go on listing the variations of English that exist, as there are many more, but those are the most common and enough to give you an idea ignorant Americans tend to be of the world they live in. It's a big planet and America doesn't own it yet.

I've got at least a dozen 1 star reviews that come right out and call me "retarded" and a few that call me "illiterate" and one that says "written like it was written by hill billy mountain folk"... why? Because I'm not an American and do not write in American English and Americans think ALL books on the planet are published JUST for them.

One American reader, got so pissed off that I did not TRANSLATE my books out of Scottish English and into American English before selling them to an American market, that she created 52 fake accounts and left 52 fake 1 star reviews on EACH of my books, all identical, and reading: "retarded author, writing retarded books, about retards, for retards" citing that "only retards publish unedited books". 

And yet, she lacked the intelligence to know that there existed languages other then American slang speak. I'm sorry, who was it you were saying was retarded again? Name calling is something that is done by people of low intellect. Tsk. Tsk.

My books go through 30 alpha & beta readers and 7 editors before being published, including an American editor and American betas, to check that they are readable to American readers. The problem is that American English is a German based Language, while Scottish English is a Gaelic based language that uses completely different root words, has an entirely different alphabet, and has many words that are not translatable into American English, because Americans simply do not have enough words in their vocabulary. Its like the Inuits who have 300 different words meaning snow, and no matter which word they use, Americans just translates all 300 of them into "snow" because Americans have such a small vocabulary.

It just shows how incredibly racist, bigoted, stupid, illiterate, and arrogant some Americans can be. 

Stupid because they think American English is the only type of English out there. 

Illiterate, because they call other more complex types of English "gibberish" simply because they have too small a vocabulary to be able to translate non-American English words into American English. 

Arrogant, racist, and bigoted because they expect UK, Aussie, Irish, African, Canadian, and Scottish English authors to have their entire book rewritten and translated in American English just to pamper their ignorance that other types of English exist.

You don't see UK English speakers lashing out on American English books, calling the author a "retard" because they wrote the book in American instead of English, do you? No.

Do you see Aussies slaughtering American books with 1 star reviews simple because the author refused to use OZ-speak before selling the book in Australia?

And Americans wonder why so few European authors are willing to allow their books to be sold in America? This is why. Americans only want non-American books IF the author has the book TRANSLATED into American English first.

Now not all Americans are like that, no, but, there are far too many non-American authors having their books attacked by mean spirited, hate filled 1 star reviews that are nothing more than an American showing off how ignorant they are that not everyone on the planet is an American like them. American readers simultaneously demand more diversity in their books while raging unwarranted fury at any book that actually is diverse.

If Americans TRULY want more culturally diverse books being sold in America, maybe they first need to learn how to stop making culturally diverse authors feel unwanted in America?

There are tens of thousands on European, African, Australian, and Canadian authors who simply REFUSE to allow their books to be sold in America because the bitterness and hatred for any book written in a form of English other then American English is so out of control among American book reviewers (and not just talking self-published authors here - I means regular big house published authors who come right out and tell their publishers they DO NOT want their books sold in America).

American reader-reviewers really have a bad reputation in the world of non-American authors, to the point that America simply is not getting the diversity of books, it supposedly wants.

Now there's nothing wrong with leaving 1,2,3, star reviews, no. Certainly not. But to do so, simply because you are an American and the non-American author did not write their book in American English, that is just ridiculous.

Oh well. Haters gotta hate.

I do find it funny the wide and varied reactions American readers have to reading non-American English.

Have you ever noticed how it's Unicorn that gets the biggest reactions from readers? LOL!

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