Meet Dianna – Art by @nuggiedraws

We’re nearing the release date for Vermin and I’m so excited. I’ve been trying to think of how I’d like to celebrate the release date but I haven’t decided yet. Maybe I’ll just have cake?

I’ve been trying to think of what I want to post for today’s blog post, and thought that I would share another one of the pictures I had commissioned by @nuggiedraws.

Dianna by @nuggiedraws

This is Dianna, Peter’s younger cousin. They’re close and grew up together, but they also tend to get on one another’s nerves.

Dianna is an only child, and grew up on a small farm with her mother and father. They have a few apple trees along the property, and keep chickens. Her relationship with her parents is strained. Despite loving them, she still feels guilty about something that happened in the past.

One of my favourite things about her character is that when she sets her mind to do something, there is no stopping her. She’s also a very caring person, and puts a lot of thought into the decisions she makes, especially when those decisions concern those closest to her.

In this picture Dianna is wearing her hair out, but when she was younger she always had it braided into pigtails. She still braids it, usually when she’s doing work or before she goes to sleep. Other times she has it up, or pinned back. She also wears a lot of scarves and sweaters. She doesn’t have a favourite outfit, but she does have a favourite yellow purse.

The Two Languages in Vermin

In today’s blog post I thought I would discuss the two languages in Vermin.

In the novel, you will notice that certain phrases Nicholas says are italicized and unfamiliar. This language is called Valdin Zungta, which is comprised of real life language, whose pronunciation I am familiar with, and two of which I speak a little of.

I incorporated this language into the series during my second draft. I’d always thought it would be interesting to do but it wasn’t until I was finishing an assignment on root and origin words for my linguistics course that I began building a dictionary for this series. Initially I only intended on having a few slang words here and there, but in the end I had stayed up for 24 hours straight, and had formed everything from pick up lines and insults to numbers, directions and the weather.

I went from that to writing songs in this language, as well as translating popular real life ones so that I could test out the sound and feel of it. I wanted to hear it spoken before changing certain lines in the text…and I really liked it.

When I’m writing I will speak the sentences in Valdin aloud to make sure they translate properly.

Before I was accepted to publication, I made sure that I was conveying the meaning behind what was being said by character’s speaking this language through their actions. I watch a lot of shows in other languages, and over the years came to realize that you can get the gist of what someone is trying to communicate based on how others react. I applied this to my writing in hopes that it would work and was thrilled when I learned that it was one of the things that got my book accepted for publication, as it added to the world building!

I’m hoping that readers will pick up on the meaning of certain words throughout the book, but I’d also love to share a few phrases in the near future and translate them for you. Perhaps I’ll share one of the popular songs I covered in today’s post so that you can get a feel for the language!

I also got permission to share a sample of an early chapter, and will announce when that will be posted as soon as I can. It will most likely be next week.