Out of the blocks and over the first hurdle. The e-book edition is out on Kindle and now the waiting begins; I’m looking forward to the criticism to start pouring in. I’m particularly worried about the way some aspects of the dialogue are going to be received.
Trinidad is a place of many accents and flavors of English; it’s a highly stratified society in which speech still carries the mark of socio-economic class. After the country gained political independence from the British Empire in 1962, things changed, a bit, and Education was democratized. I guess that most Historians would not disagree with me when I write that a new class, a new educated class with political clout, emerged. (Comment please.)
These people were pretty fluid, linguistically, able to communicate comfortably with their fellow citizens of whatever class. In literature, writers struggled with the ‘dialect’ and in life some high-achievers were heard to adopt ‘mid-Atlantic’ accents, with speech patterns that contained new American overtones.
I’ve struggled with that legacy in Dagger, hearing the characters in my head move between the ‘low-class’ and ‘high-class’ talk. In real life, people adjust their speech patterns depending on their situation. If you limin on de corner wid de boys, is one t’ing, but if you’re in a room full of educated people, you adjust your speech accordingly.
I expect that an American reader is not going to understand that kind of inconsistency in the way I present ‘Trini-talk’ and will see the odd contractions as typographical errors, or worse.
Now that’s the kind of problem that makes me wish that I’d had the benefit of my writers group (Buffalo Writers Meetup) before publication. I’ve been here in Florida for several months now and I really miss the support.
So let the criticism begin and I’ll incorporate suggestions in the next edition, the CreateSpace print-on-demand book that I’m looking forward to holding in my hands, sometime in the near future.