Guest post: Author Susanne Matthews talks about typos and her newest release

Happy Sunday everyone! It’s rainy and windy here in Romania, but whether you’re having a sunny time or snow up to your knees, I’m sure you will enjoy my post today. I am honored to welcome my friend and fellow author Susanne Matthews, who talks about her newest book, and about writers’ biggest nightmare: editing.

About Susanne Matthews:new picture of me

Susanne Matthews was born and raised in Eastern Ontario, Canada. She’s an avid reader of all types of books, especially those with a happily ever after. In her imagination, she’s travelled to foreign lands, past and present, and soared into the future. A retired educator, Susanne spends her time writing and creating adventures for her readers. She loves the ins and outs of romance, and the complex journey it takes to get from the first word to the last period of a novel. As she writes, her characters take on a life of their own, and she shares their fears and agonies on the road to self-discovery and love.

Follow Susanne on her: Website

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Typos! An Authors Bane! Can anything Ever Be Error-Free?

No matter how many times an author reviews his or her work, there’s always something else. I pride myself on being careful, but, whether I like it or not, errors slip right passed me and at the most inconvenient times and places—not spelling errors, per se, but those typos—words like “out” instead of “our”. So how do they get by unseen until the reader bumps into them?

The answer is simple. The author knows inside his or her head what’s supposed to be there and as he reads, he or she “sees” what’s supposed to be there not what is. A screen reader helps, but then, many times, the author “hears” what he or she thinks is there. It’s a vicious circle.

How do you fix it? That’s the six million dollar question. Books published through conventional publishers have editors and proofreaders who are supposed to find the errors, but sometimes, the process breaks down and you end up with a few break through typos. You curse a blue streak when someone points them out to you and you think, damn it, I was sure I fixed that but with multiple copies flying back and forth between you and the editor, who knows.

Case in point. My latest novel, The Price of Honor, is 93,000 words long, and in the final version, there are 18 typos. I’m mortified. What can I say, but mea culpa and I sincerely hope it doesn’t spoil the story.

The Price of Honor is intended to be the first of two books set in New France in 1664. Not many people know about the colonization of early French Canada and the problems faced by the settlers in a strange new land. At the time, there were just over 6,000 inhabitants facing both external and internal enemies bent on their destruction.

About The Price of Honor: The Price of Honor

What price is a woman willing to pay to restore a man’s honor?

When her husband is falsely accused of treason and murdered, Isabelle de Caen vows to find those responsible and see justice done. Of royal descent, Isabelle is stunned when the king orders her hasty marriage to one of his favorites, a man she detests. To save herself from a fate too awful to contemplate, she disobeys the king’s edict and commits treason of her own to find the truth.

Childhood friend, Guy Poirier, an aristocrat in New France, has always loved Isabelle. When he discovers her hiding in his cabin aboard ship, he agrees to hide her from her fiancé and help her clear her husband’s name. It doesn’t take them long to realize there’s more at stake here than her husband’s murder. With the fate of the colony in their hands, can Isabelle and Guy prevent a war and find love in the new world?

EXCERPT

Isabelle came out of the cabin, her emerald eyes bright with tears, and her cheeks damp, but she still took his breath away. Her eyes had haunted him for years and would continue to do so for the rest of his life. He reached for her to comfort her, gave her a quick hug, and then led the way up to the weather deck.

Just as Sophie was obligated to marry within a year of her arrival in New France, so was he, especially if he wanted to keep his land and acquire more. Children to populate the colony was the price the king exacted for his generosity. No doubt, with is mother’s help, he could find a woman who would be a suitable companion, bear his children, and maybe in time he would come to care for her deeply, but it would never be the gut-wrenching, soul torturing love he had for Isabelle. Would such a relationship be fair to Sophie? After all she’d lost, she deserved to be loved for herself, not because she resembled a woman who could never be his.

Isabelle would never return his affection. Pierre had had her love, and any other she had to give would go to her children. Would she grow to love the chevalier? He hoped the man would treat her with the care she deserved. The memories of their brief time together would warm his heart on cold winter nights. Silently, he led tearful Isabelle from the ship.

She stopped to thank Monsieur Martin and wished him a safe voyage. “When you return to France, if your ship sails into Le Havre, be sure to come and see us at Caen. I’m sure that if you ever decide to visit New France, Sophie will be pleased to welcome you too.”

Isabelle walked a few paces ahead of him as she went towards the carriage, but instead of getting in on the side she’d gotten out, he watched her step around to the far side. Guy followed her, indicated to the waiting driver he’d help her in, and opened the carriage door. Isabelle stopped in front of the door and turned to Guy. “I don’t have the words to thank you properly for everything you’re doing for Sophie. Half of my heart is buried at Caen. The other half sails on that ship. You’re a good man, Guy Poirier. I wish you’d come back to Caen years ago. I’ll never forget you.” She stepped closer and raised her lips to him.

Acting on instinct, Guy took her into his arms, bent his head, and claimed a prize beyond price. The kiss began tenderly, but soon the longing driving him deepened it.

Isabelle didn’t resist his onslaught. Instead, she returned his ardor. This wasn’t a chaste kiss, but a kiss full of passion and longing for what could never be. He hardened as he pulled her more tightly to him. Suddenly, she pulled away. Her eyes brimmed with tears.

Without a word, she climbed into the carriage, and he closed the door. At its sound, the driver shook the reins, and the horses pulled away from the pier. She didn’t look back, but he stood on the dock beside Monsieur Martin until the carriage was no longer in sight. He turned and limped back to the ship. The memory of that kiss would have to last him forever.

He walked along the wharf and climbed the gangplank. He went to the forecastle to see if Sophie would like to join him for a noonday meal. He stopped at her closed door but the sounds of her sobbing tore at his heart. He’d leave her to mourn alone. Food was probably the last thing she wanted now.

The Price of Honor is available from Amazon and/or Solstice

Cover art: Classy Designs

 

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8 comments

  1. Amen Sister! We all are in the same boat. I find errors with books written by the big stars of the literary world. When someone tells me they found an typo in my book, I thank them and think to myself, “Well, I’m not James Patterson.” I always dump on James, not because I find a lot of mistakes but because I like his work. One day when I’m on the New York Times Best Sellers list I will have a line by line, word by word proof reader and editor and hope for less typos.

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    1. I’ve reached the conclusion there is no such thing as perfect editing. Two editors of the same publishers write the same expression in two different ways. Who’s right? It’s the content of the books that matters, not the small details.

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  2. Oh, the pain of typos. Over the years since my first novel came out, it has been edited by about a dozen people—and that was after the manuscript went through a painful 13-step editing process by me spending several hours with each chapter using some of the top editing programs on the market to help me discover the little demons (the last step was to edit the 250,000 word manuscript backwards using a ruler)—and a few of my editing helpers were English teachers and one was a professional copy editor, but a review on Amazon will still occasionally appear pointing out errors that are clearly properly spelled typos—the wrong word—but are not identified as typos by the reviewer who claims they are there because the manuscript wasn’t edited or was edited sloppily. Sigh.

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