Sunday, February 22, 2009

Across the Pond Review + Q&A

Across the Pond by Storyheart

Review by: Lauren

Across the Pond brings us the story of Englander Fred who goes on vacation to the United States, where he stays with a family friend. This family has a daugther, Brit, who becomes quite attached to Fred, and vice versa. However, when Fred learns something about Brit's past that she hasn't told anyone else, he decides that he has to do right by her and make sure the offender learns his lesson. While his stay in the U.S, Fred works on a project that focuses on the differences in the English language, which you find throughout the book.

Across the Pond is a short, fun read. I liked Fred's character for the most part and enjoyed the mishaps he found himself in due to the language "barriers." His project was fun and I really liked seeing the various words and their meanings between the U.S. and England. It was exciting to see that I knew most of them as well!!

However, I did have a slight problem with Brit. She's overly emotional and I felt that their relationship happened really fast. I like romance in books, and it worked okay for this story, but Fred's trip didn't seem long enough to fall that deeply "in love" with Brit. Again, I'm sure it's happened and I know teens often have quick, fast relationships so it's not a really big problem...just a thought I had at points in the story.

Now, here is a Q&A with the author, Storyheart:

1.Instead of using your actual name, you are called Storyheart instead. Why did you do this and how did you come up with the name?

It’s quite a long story. I have been chatting online for around 15 years, going back to the days of the old html chat rooms before you had pretty faces and everything was either in html code or abbreviated letter lol, rofl, *L* etc..

About ten years ago I met my now wife online, she was chatting under the name of “tenderheart” so as I wrote stories I changed my name to “storyheart” to fit with her… think Care Bears *grin*

From then on I used that name to write me romance stories, stories that came from the heart, the name of my first book was actually called “Stories from the heart” The book was actually terrible full of mistakes the company that was meant to do the editing actually used the wrong version of the final draft when they published it. Still it was a learning curve. I have basically re-written all those stories plus created plenty of knew ones since that time, so perhaps one day I’ll re-produce that book. One final snippet… When my wife and I first met we were both still technically married going through divorces, and of course we were also 3000 miles a part from each other. I wanted to purchase her something special for our first Christmas as “an item” so purchased our first domain where the stories and everything else first came into fruition. The domain I gave her for that first Christmas is still one we use. It is purchased for Tenderheart my now wife.

2.As someone from England who moved to the U.S., you have a lot in common with the character of Fred, who visits the U.S. on a trip. Did you put any of yourself in his character?

Oh my goodness yes, Fred is basically me well a lot of me, many who have read the book and know me can see certain parts and incidents that Fred runs into that I have myself. When I write I also become the character, which I think makes the character more believable. Like Hitchcock I am in many of my stories. My favorite watering hole gets a mention, and what happens at the BBQ, with the X rated drink that looks and taste like a fruit juice, I experienced first hand seeing it effect people during a promotion night where I was hosting a karaoke night. So yes Fred and I are blood brothers lol.

3.Brit is a huge fan of baseball in the story, and as such introduces Fred to the sport. What are your thoughts on the sport? Are you a fan or did it simply fit the ideal of the U.S.?

I am a fan of sport, no matter what kind, all my family are, my sister was a national level swimmer as is my nephew. I have 3 members of my family who are or were physical education teachers. At school I represented the school in ever sport they took part in from chess to athletics. So yes I am a sport person, though these days mostly watching. I played rugby for 35 years and before moving to the US I was a county (state) level athlete. I ran four London marathons from 1197 to 200o all in fancy dress ( Unlike American Football we do not get baseball on UK TV, so the knowledge I had was from films and going by Naked Gun baseball means a lot of spitting, hmm perhaps they are right…

4.I loved Fred's project to keep track of the differences in the English language between England and the United States (and it was cool to see I knew most of them as well!) What are some others that never made it into the book, but maybe could have?

I originally was going to add a final section just of the words, but when the book came back from the publishers they’d mixed many of these into the index, so it was missed from the book.

You can find hundreds and I mean hundreds that are different and don’t even start me on phrases and spellings.

Here are just a few more for you.


nappy- diaper
dummy- binky/pacifier
powdered-milk- formula
push-chair- carriage

corgette- zucchini
aubergine -eggplant
biscuits -cookies

windscreen- windshield
petrol- gas
van- truck
lorry- tractor trailer
spanner- wrentch

pavement- sidewalk
lift- elevator
braces- suspenders
suspenders- garter
holiday- vacation

And as for food, I mean… I’d like “toad in the whole with bubble and squeak followed by spotted dick…”.

5.What are your current writing plans?

I have started the next book, it is called “Across the Pond and Back Again” and carries on from where Across the Pond finishes. I have taken note of many comments and helpful advice that has been offered re ways I can improve and will try and add a new person or two who have a little more of a jagged edge to their character as well as bringing some of the old characters back into the new book. Some of the readers have also been generous enough to allow me to use them as a sounding board (and of course they will get credits) so I will not lose the rhytm and voice in this new book.

Thank you so much for allowing me this interview.

1 comment:

Dorothy Thompson said...

Great review and interview, Barry!