Monday 9 September 2013

Readers - a cautionary note!

Hey guys;

I have just had a three star review of 'Jack Ketch's Puppets' with a few comments that annoyed me. I appreciate the comments or the review rating could have been worse, but something that was said worried me.

Why did it worry me? Because a few weeks ago, another friend of mine said a similar thing. It was only when I sat and talked with him that he understood what I had done, and thus, I understood what he had said.

'Jack Ketch's Puppets' and my 'Borough Boys' series is set in 1850s Leicester, England.

Much of the way that it is written reflects the language and dialect of the time, where I have chosen to use it. Consequently, what my friend thought was carelessness and spelling mistakes or grammar inaccuracies were in fact deliberately 'penned' to reflect the age and the background of my characters.

To someone who has been taught English to rules, it must seem that it is festooned with errors, but please, believe me, many are actually there as the words people would have used in that period.

Remember, in 1850, England, very few people received formal education. School was the domain of the rich; poor schools and raged schools were designed to take the poor off the streets and try and give them some foundation. However, few could read and / or write, and most signed their names with a cross or a mark.

So - the cautionary note!

Do not read my series expecting it to be written in 21st century 'Queen's English'. It isn't. The language, terminology and grammar is based on then , not now, and reflects the age.

I have a team of proof-readers who have done a sterling job, since revised first edition was republished, and in book #2 I included a glossary of terms, against my better judgement, and will do so in book #3.

However, what I will not change is the words that a man or woman in 1850 Leicester would have used, spelling and grammar included!

Please be aware, and do not assume them to be careless errors on my part.


  1. You just can't win can you?! A while ago I remember you were criticized for using a word from a later period and now you're accused of spelling errors for words you've used correctly from that period. Pah! Who'd be a writer?! I suggest you scribe your suicide note now and make those reviewers suffer for their outrageous comments:))

    I can't wait for reviews of my book. I just know folks will love/hate my sterotypical portrayal of a German matron with boobs as big as Mount Etna. I'm going to place bets on how quickly I can get a one star review and then I'm going to frame it and put on the wall in my toilet.

    Right, I'm going to the gym to work on building up my thick skin. Join me if you're free:))

    1. Hi Jayne; How is it going? Your absence is apparent on LAHK - you ok? If I wrote a suicide note I'd probably confuse somebody with that too! I have a fairly thick skin, but some people just have the art of getting hyperdermic!

  2. Yes, I'm fine thanks, Phil:) Just had a really busy summer with my boys so I turned off the notifications from LAHK to be fair to the family - otherwise I can't resist a bit of silliness and can be too easily distracted:)) It's been my longest absence ever from net (and from writing) so I have shall have to make up for it really buckling down next week.

    Don't take those that comment too much to heart. It could be worth getting a consensus of opinion about the use of old spellings for your next book though - then if you decide to do the same you could put a note in the forward by way of explanation.


A short promotion - Book four - 'A few silver threads'

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