Hi Bonnie! How are you doing today? I hope you’re feeling better after your flu. Spring is always the time for sniffles – typical, just as the weather changes and you can actually go out and enjoy the sun, the flu turns up and puts paid to that!  

About learning new languages… I went to a grammar school (I don’t think you have these in the US?), which taught French and Latin from the first year, and if you can grasp Latin then you’ve got an inside line to all the Romance (in both senses of the word!) languages of Europe: French, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese. Then I opted out of French and took German, which is totally different to Latin but very ordered. 

The rest of my polyglot languages I learned as I went through university and when I needed them. Ancient Egyptian, for instance – now that was tough. Fortunately, my professor was incredibly handsome, so it was worth getting up for an 8.30am lecture on Monday morning just to see him! But apart from the eye-candy aspect, Ancient Egyptian was fascinating to learn. I can still wander around the Egyptian galleries in a museum and translate bits and pieces. 

Of course, the best thing about learning a new language is putting it to the test on holiday! A lot of people in Europe do speak English but it’s nicer if you can at least try to speak the language when you visit a new country. I learned Turkish before a trip to Istanbul, and it came in very handy when me and the OH took a wrong turn into a dodgy-looking area. We just kept walking and hoping we weren’t getting even more lost, and we were the only tourists around so we were sooooo obvious. A gang of children followed us around, so in the end I managed to ask one of them for help to get back to the city centre. Well, they thought my accent was funny but they showed us the way. LOL. 

Bonnie, I totally understand about husbandese! Of all the languages in the world, this is surely the toughest. The rules keep changing… and sometimes there are no rules at all! Ah, well – isn’t that why we love men? They’re always so surprising ;) 

With the co-authored books, they’re all from Midnight Showcase, which puts out over a dozen digests (anthologies) a year. Usually each digest follows a specific theme chosen by the senior staff. So, for example, last year they had a fantastic series called ‘Jaded Beasts’, based on the Chinese zodiac. Each volume had four stories, two on each animal. I wrote about the Monkey, as did Marguerite Turnley, but aside from the animal and the mention of jade, we could write whatever story we wanted. 

So mine, ‘Softly, Softly, Catchee Monkey’, is a contemporary romance between a Chinese woman who steals for her government and a Greek tycoon who becomes her latest mark. Marguerite’s story has more of a sci-fi/action flavour to it. Combined with the other two stories, each volume really does offer something for everyone :) 

That’s the best thing about writing in an anthology, I think. There’s so many different types of story you can write, so many genres, that even if you’re given a set of rules, each author will turn in a different story. This is good news for the reader, because even if they’re not keen on one story in an anthology, there’s plenty more for them to fall in love with! It’s also a great way to try out a new author’s work. I really do recommend anthologies, both as a reader and especially as a writer. 

Well, I’d better go and make my breakfast now. I’ll catch up with you later, Bonnie. You have a good day! 

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