I was doing a radio interview on a Seattle station this morning, and thinking that these radio interviews have been one of the most interesting and fun things I’ve done on this tour. Maybe it’s because I like to hear myself talk. I can’t be sure… But most of them have been done in non-Southern states, and it seems that people are very interested in seeing whether these things that I write about are really true. “Is this really what the South is like?” They all want to know. “Is it really as magical as it seems?”
In a word: Yes.
One of the things that these reviewers and interviewers seem to like the most in the book is all the colloquialisms, similes and metaphors in this book, which they’re so excited to learn I mostly made up. And that makes sense because while, sure, there are some phrases that stick, I feel like most colloquialisms are made up on the spot. Kind of like statistics.
I was raised in the South, in North Carolina, but I have to say that the only person I had ever heard talk like this was my grandmother, who was raised in Eastern North Carolina. And, when I moved there myself, I realized that these little sayings and comparisons and figures of speech pepper the speech patterns like sprinkles on a cupcake… First thing that popped into my mind… Now I want a cupcake. Or some fried chicken. (Oh, gosh. Sorry chicken in above photo. Now I feel terrible!)
Anyway, I do not talk like that. I never have. So it was a bit of a surprise when I started writing DEAR CAROLINA and these things started flying out of my fingers. It was even more of a surprise when yesterday, my child looked at me and said, “Mom, I’m as thirsty as a chicken on Sunday.”
Now, I don’t know what that means, if it means anything at all, but it cracked me up because, clearly, this kid is picking this stuff up.
Later, in the bath, “I’m as wet as a puppy in a barnyard.”
Again, I don’t know why a barnyard puppy would be wet, but it just goes to show that people do talk like this because my Eastern-North Carolina raised child is picking it up left and right!
This is just one of the things that makes me love where I live, that makes it unique and inspirational. And being able to share it with other parts of the country — and seeing how interested they are in our little part of it — is amazing!
What some of my favorites are saying about DEAR CAROLINA:
“A tale of female friendship, family bonds, and, oh yes, falling in love with a cowboy, DEAR CAROLINA is the right blend of humor, heart and romance for whiling away a day on the beach.” — Huffington Post, Summer Reading: Women’s Fiction Style
“I was hooked!!!” — Reviews She Rote