|Burlesque Print Cover|
A Little Burlesque is set in the Canadian Maritimes, but not in the heart of the vaudeville era. The little burlesque house by the sea is distant from city life, in time and place. Burlesque went out of fashion ages ago, as far as the rest of the world is concerned. It's the last house clinging to the tenets of classic burlesque, and they cling to their lingo as well.
Writing A Little Burlesque required a lot of research, like all historical fiction, but what I most remember focusing on was the language of the burlesque house. I wanted to get it right. I wanted my characters to use the right terminology, but I didn't want to go so overboard that all the reader saw was a wall of lingo. It had to flow.
Kitty took a step in Orchid’s direction, but it was Madame who said, “We’ll make a hoofer of you yet.”
Burlesque ebook cover
"A what?” Orchid squealed.
"A dancer,” Ginger clarified. “Get it? Like hooves on a horse?”
Orchid scrunched up her nose until it wrinkled. “But horses don’t dance.”
“Depends which circles you run in,” Madame said with a shrug. “Anyway, it’s just an expression. Don’t give it too much weight.”
“How could an expression have weight? It’s not a thing.” Orchid ruminated for a moment, and then shook her head. “There are so many funny words you use here. I hardly know what the girls are talking about half the time.”
A Little Burlesque is published by eXcessica and is newly available as a paperback, so yay about that. I love paperbacks. To me, they have a lasting quality... but my burlesque beauties probably thought the same of their language.
And where did I do most of my research about burlesque lingo? On the internet, of course.
So maybe ebooks will ultimately win the space race to posterity. Who knows?