One of the things I’m pretty good at is mimicking accents. My in-laws’ brogues, for example. “There’s the great man himself! How are you keeping?” Boston and Cape Cod: “I’ll have a lahge cahffee, cream, no sugah.” New York: “Oh, my Gawd! Stawp! Yaw killing me!” Below the Mason-Dixon line, I’ve been known to say, “Bless your heart, darlin’!” which we all know Southern for “Are you sure you’re allowed out of the house?” When I take Willow to the vet, my voice leaves its flat Yankee monotone and becomes much more musical and lilting, because Dr. Kumar is Indian.
I don’t actually mean to imitate people. It sort of slips in. My dad was the same way. In fact, my family starts giving me dirty looks when I do it, and I cringe and whisper “I’m sorry!”
Tom Barlow, the hero of THE PERFECT MATCH, is British. Blue-collar, boxing, Manchester, son-of-a-butcher Brit. He uses words like wanker (and now so do I, of course). Bloody. He calls his friends mates. Instead of “too,” he says, “as well.” I’m getting swoony just thinking about that.
My research for this accent involved watching a lot of Tom Hardy movies (granted, my research for any book seems to involve this). I Googled British phrases. Watched British crime movies. Read Nick Hornby books.
Like a lot of Yanks (see? I just spoke British!), I love non-American accents. British, Irish, Scottish, Indian, whatever…it’s all so exotic and just adds to a person’s appeal. After all, would we love Colin Firth as much if he were from central California?
Let us not even think on it.