Thank you so much for hosting the book tour for A Solitary Man! Today is release day and I can’t tell you how excited Aisling Mancy and I are that it’s finally here! Be sure to read to the bottom of the post for a chance to win a cool A Solitary Man swag bag full of fun stuff.
A Solitary Man is set in the fictional Dare’s Landing, near the North Carolina coast, a small city on the Neuse River with a long and colorful history of fishing, pleasure boating, and even pirates. The hot and muggy North Carolina summer serves as a great backdrop to the steamy romance that underlies the mystery/thriller part of the story.
But even more important to the ambiance of the story are the colorful people and language of coastal North Carolina. Aisling and I wanted to make sure we portrayed the characters in the story in a loving and respectful way, and since neither of us grew up in the area, we reached out to people who did for their help. We also had a lot of fun exploring “southernisms,” the wonderful and vivid expressions that pepper conversations in the part of the United States where Dare’s Landing is located. And oh what fun we had!
First off, I wanted to share a fabulous Pinterest board with some of the best southern expression memes I’ve seen, by the wonderful Mel Leach: Song of the South. I may be Northern born and raised, but I grew up with a lot of these expressions too! Here’s one of my favorite memes, which explains the quintessential of all southernisms: “ya’ll” or “y’all” (both spellings are correct!). And let’s face it, either is SO much more convenient. Short, sweet, and to the point.
Southern expressions are not one size fits all. The biggest mistake non-Southerners make is to assume there is one “Southerner.” Folks in Texas may share some expressions with folks in North Carolina, but only some. And the accent is entirely different. In fact, even in North Carolina there are a slew of different accents, from the slow drawl of the North Carolina mountains to the brogue of the Outer Banks.
Highlighting the wonderful expressions you hear in Eastern North Carolina was a perfect fit for A Solitary Man, and a perfect balance for some of the darker moments in the story. Chance Fairchild is a southerner at heart, although he’s learned to disguise his accept after attending a “highfalutin” law school up north. Xav Constantine serves as a perfect foil for Chance and all the southerners in the story. Xav soon learns that “bless your heart” isn’t a compliment, and that some of the deputies he works with think Chance “has his nose so high in the air he could drown in a rainstorm” (what a northerner would call “stuck up”).
Aisling and I hope you’ll enjoy all the wonderful characters and colorful language that add to the ambiance of A Solitary Man. Southern charm is alive and well, and a heritage to be treasured! -Shira