Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Love Around the World with Raven McAllan

Welcome to Love Around the World with Evernight Authors! Today's featured author is Raven McAllan. Take us away Raven!

Love around the world… and men in kilts!
From that you'll guess I live in Scotland. Land of the deep fried Mars bar, Edinburgh rock, tablet, haggis, midges, Whisky (no E) and…men in kilts.

When I first moved here, ohh 25 years ago-ish, I had a head start on a lot of non-Scots who come to the land of the kilt. I was born and brought up in a town in England known as Little Scotland. During my childhood, the population was something around 93% Scots, 5% Irish, Latvian, Lithuanian, Welsh and Ukranian. And a wee token 2% English of which I was one. However as most of my friends were Scottish, I soon could mimic the various dialects and understand the slang.

Fast forward many (no I'm not disclosing how many lol) years, and DH and I plus two tiny children move to Scotland.

It was like coming home for me. The children soon had Scottish accents, and I even began to slip the odd 'wee' word into my speech. DH didn't find it so easy, and I got used to a whispered, "what's he saying," from a worried looking DH.

To be fair, he worked with an Aberdonian and a Glaswegian! Neither are easy to understand, and as for where we lived? Argh. Now a common Scottish slang expression is 'Ah ken'. As in 'I know". Where we first lived it slid into 'I caaaan".

Photo Credit: St. Ronan's Border Games
However we soon settled, had lots of friends who were local and got invited to be part of local customs. As in our village was one of those who had an annual Border Games. It was called St. Ronan's Games after the local saint. Our games were unusual as they weren't just male oriented but also included families, and lots to do for children. The local school picked good students to play a prominent role, there was games and flower parades, fancy dress, and for the adults, the Games Ball.  Think lots of men in kilts. And lots of younger men learning how not to sit in kilts. (fun for us women though.)

Oh and the Brass Band would play outside each main persons house. On the second last night of the week—all playing the wrong instruments. On the last might we all went up the hill for fireworks. I remember one year when a rocket set a wee bit of hillside on fire. Well the firemen were all up the hill as well and they used the tired and tested method, of peeing on the flames to put it out!

We've moved around a bit since then, and each part of the country speaks differently and has different customs.  As all children do mine adapted and changed their slang. It caused great hilarity at times as the same words could mean the total opposite just a few miles apart.

My DH works for a Whisky Company. Please note, no E no E in Scotch Whisky. My bugbear. Sorry. No, he doesn't get samples to hand out. But a family tradition when our children were younger, was wherever we were, see if any of Dad's Whisky brands were on the shelf.

Now then…Highland games…think men in kilts…are found all over the country, both big (Braemar) and small (Kinlochard) and are fantastic fun. Not just for the kilts, though they do add a nice touch. They're a way of involving the whole community, and whether as a spectator, an exhibitor, or a contestant, even if its raining (and it usually is) it's a great day out.

Where I live now, is very touristy. Rob Roy and William Wallace country. (yep men in kilts.) Sadly it's also very midge-full. Damned things get everywhere. The local custom here is seeing hoe long you can stand to be outside I the Summer before the wee blighters drive you inside. Then seeing who had the most bites, or a map of Australia on their tummy. All good clean fun. It does make you wonder how a true Scotsman fares though!

Raven McAllan is the multi-published author of Master!

Caden McCourt did not expect to find his estranged wife Diana at a BDSM club. When he does, the renowned Master is determined to claim back his errant wife. 

When Diana left him fifteen years prior, she lost a part of herself. Seeing Cade again throws her into a tail spin. 

She cannot be the sub he needs, but she can't walk away either. When she's challenged by Cade to face her demons, her old nightmares resurface. Can they overcome the chasm between them, or are the nightmares simply too strong?


Doris O'connor said...

Ah, I loved your insight into all things Scottish :-)

Raven McAllan said...

Thanks Doris, It's not so bad living here either. Especially the kilts!

Nicola Cameron said...

I'm working on a story right now that has some Scots characters, and I took your advice about NOT writing their dialogue in dialect. There's a word or two here and there to imply a burr, but that's it. I don't wish to offend people who throw 20-foot tree trunks for fun. :-D