Anyone who has read my Masters and Mercenaries series knows that I have a thing for Bond. Yes, as in Bond, James Bond. When I began the series in 2011 with The Dom Who Loved Me, I set out to marry two genres of entertainment I dearly love—romance and Bond films.
In some ways, Dungeon Royale is the absolute pinnacle of what I set out to do. The main character, Damon Knight, is an actual MI6 (or SIS as he would call himself) 00 agent. I’ve previously set other Masters and Mercenaries books in exotic locales like London and Russia and India, but Dungeon Royale is the first time I have two British leads. Liam O’Donnell from A Dom is Forever is Irish, but he’s spent the majority of his adult life in the states, so he doesn’t count. I wanted to bring Damon Knight and his heroine, Penelope Cash, to life in a realistic way when it came to their language.
That proved to be a challenge because Brits might speak English, but not the way we do.
I’ve spent a bit of time in England, but I rapidly discovered that writing like a Brit is harder than it sounds. Cursing is very different and requires intent as well as proper words. Brits use words differently than we do and figuring out the differences between arse, ass and bum was a spectacular challenge. I won’t even go into what happened when I tried to use the word fanny pack. Fanny doesn’t even enter into the aforementioned backside challenge of words. Fanny apparently means girl parts and I was told not to put a pack over those.
It got even worse when I brought in an Aussie. I found a book of Aussie slang and thought I had it made. My favorite Aussie phrase? Go put hot cocky cack in your eye. No idea what it meant, but it sounded so fun to me. It did not sound fun to my Aussie writer friend who stared at me and asked where I’d dredged up something like that. She also vetoed “You’ve got a few loose ‘roos in your upper chamber, mate.” Again, the Fiona stare and then the question. “You do know that Crocodile Dundee was back in the eighties, luv? Right?”
So it was back to the drawing board.
All in all I deeply enjoyed my foray into Brit speak. I hope I captured the flavor, the precise sexiness a James Bond character should have. I have to thank all my friends from across the pond and down under.
Dungeon Royale releases on February 18th.
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Lexi Blake writes contemporary romantic suspense and her latest novel, Dungeon Royale, releases today at Amazon, B&N, iTunes, Kobo, All Romance eBooks, and Smashwords.