How Sweet the Sound will be released in late May (God willing and the creek don’t rise). You can get a sneak peek of the cover and a complete book description HERE.
Getting the Dialect Right
I love it when my characters spout off in southern Illinois dialect. Like this pioneer who is describing how rich the soil is rumored to be where they are going to settle (in the American Bottom on southern Illinois’ western boundary.) Suddenly one of my dad’s sayings came out of my character’s mouth:
But God’s leading us to a better place. Colonel Clark and his men say the soil is rich enough to grow doorknobs, if we have a mind to.
I had not heard that saying is many years, and yet there it came out of in the recesses of my brain. I wondered if my dad had made up that colorful saying or did others say it, too? So, I did a quick Google search. (Love, love, love doing the research and love Google for making it so easy.) In 1.5 seconds I found that same southern Illinois saying about growing doorknobs in this book about Harlan County Kentucky by G. C. Jones:
The downside to having Google find anything my little heart desires is that it often leads me to books such as this that I think I just have to have. I’m going to resist this time, but you should probably get it because it sounds awesome. You can find it here: Growing Up Hard in Harlan County
The fact that Kentucky folk also describe their soil in terms of doorknobs is just another example of the close ties between southern Illinois and Kentucky. I was reminded of the fact while researching for How Sweet the Sound. Not only did lots of settlers come from (or at least through) Kentucky on their way to Illinois, but so did lots of bad guys. You’ll have to read How Sweet the Sound to see how bad.
The fact that my character spouted that saying about doorknobs without my conscious thought is proof of the saying, you are what you eat, or at least the Writer’s Corollary of it: You are every one you’ve ever met and every experience you’ve ever had. So thanks, Dad, for the great saying to add to my new book (even if you didn’t make it up yourself). I think you’d be proud.It would be so nice of you to share!