Guest blogger: Hayson Manning
A chilly bin is a what? When word worlds collide
Being a Kiwi and living in Los Angeles has made for some interesting conversations between my forever-patient editor and myself. I have been picked up on Kiwispeak a lot. I put a cup on a bench. Nope, it’s a countertop. No point writing a cheque, but I’ll take a check. What’s rocket and why is it in a salad? Oh, right it’s called arugula here.
If an entrée is a main then what’s a starter?
I see the confusion. In New Zealand and Australia, we have an entrée followed by a main, which is the reverse of having a starter then an entrée. Mind you, if I’m at the Cheesecake factory all bets are off and I go straight to pudding. Wait, I mean dessert.
You have tea for dinner?
When I was growing up, dinner was called tea. My aunt still asks what do I want for tea. ‘A bit of milk, skim if it’s available’ brings a blank stare. In my first book Wife in Name Only, my forever-patient Ed commented that my characters didn’t seem to eat a lot, but powered through a lot of tea, which she thought was odd. Dinner is back on the menu.
Isn’t queue a letter of the alphabet?
When the grunty teen was younger, I was the responsible parent at a school outing in Los Angeles. (A side note: never volunteer to take a group of ten-year-old boys who have dined out on sugar for breakfast to the Natural History Museum, unless you want to see them try and climb through the glass and dismember a woolly mammoth.) I asked the boys to form a queue, which of course brought me nothing but blank stares. Flustered and feeling like I was herding feral cats, one child finally asked. ‘You want us to line up? You know that queue is a letter of the alphabet only’. Yes, well, lesson learned and I was rooting for the woolly mammoth.
Do you mean a bin full of chilies?
Lovely Ed wrote that in a comment box. It was three am. I was chock to the gills with Turkish coffee, doing edits and I’d turned my internal convert NZ speak to US dictionary off. I cackled like a Macbeth witch. My heroine was in the kitchen looking for a chilly bin in a book I’d set in New Zealand. If she were in Australia, she’d be looking for an esky. In California, she’d be looking for the cooler. Three countries, three different meanings.
How come they are in a lounge?
This one confused me. Growing up we had a turquoise sofa, an orange sheepskin rug, grey shag pile carpet, a drinks cabinet and the precursor to the Soda Stream bottle. In hindsight, my parents were colourblind. All of these were in the lounge. In the US a lounge is considered a bar, in the South, it can be a honkey-tonk bar. I always forget and get pinged. Still, it makes me smile to think of my characters hanging out in a honkey-tonk bar.
Are there any words you get blank stares at when you’re at home or travelling?
I love Princess Bride, Young and the Restless, Days of our Lives—the drama is deliciously addictive. Big Bang Theory, but will take Wolowitz over Cooper. Star Trek, not Star Wars. Undercover Boss, Secret Millionaire—any story that shows the little guy making it. I follow the Buffalo Bills like a religion. I am spellbound by showjumping and equestrian eventing. I love curling up and reading all books—no genre is off-topic. I like ironing, I hate peas, love donkeys. I play a killer game of Scrabble. I will often be heading towards the fridge for another Diet Coke. I eat nothing with legs and believe wine goes with everything, oh and I’m an expert at finding new and inventive ways to avoid exercise.
I am a Kiwi girl live in the sparkly beachside suburb of Redondo Beach in California with my infuriating shoe-dropping husband and my two boys who speak in mystifying grunts.
I write sexy, alpha males and the women who tame them.
Books out in the world: Wife in Name Only, Winning the Boss’s Heart, Bound to the Bounty Hunter.
Books coming into the world: Taming the CEO, June 2017 release. Ten Days with the Highlander, date to be confirmed. Bound to her Enemy, date to be confirmed.