Having a Little Fun with the Grammar Police and #giveaway

Please welcome Friend of the Wickeds, Kaitlyn Dunnett back to the blog. Kaitlyn is here to celebrate the release of Murder, She Edited, the fourth book in her Deadly Edits Series.

One lucky commenter below will win a hardcover copy of the book.

Here’s the blurb

As the hesitant new owner of a rundown property outside of sleepy Lenape Hollow, New York, freelance editor Mikki Lincoln must get her facts straight about an old murder on the premises–before the killer returns to meet the next deadline!

When Mikki inherits a nearby farm from a woman she hasn’t seen in two decades, the unexpected arrangement comes with a big catch: forgotten diaries hidden in the neglected house must be recovered, edited, and published across the internet within one month. The lonely locale is like an untouched time capsule from the 1950s, and it was left behind for good reason.

While searching for the mysterious memoirs and clues about the former owners, Mikki discovers that the once peaceful place was punctuated by an unsolved homicide and other rumored crimes. Worse, suspicious activity in the creepy, dilapidated barn suggests it really hasn’t been abandoned at all…

In a remote farmhouse with only her observant calico cat, Calpurnia, keeping her company, Mikki must swiftly crack an eerie cold case from the past and stop a clever culprit from leaving red markups on anything other than pages of revised copy…

Take it away, Kaitlyn!

Thanks so much to Barb and the gang for inviting me to visit the Wickeds again. This time it’s to talk about the fourth Deadly Edits mystery, Murder, She Edited. The series features a retired teacher turned book doctor, Mikki Lincoln, as the amateur detective, and in this one she’s plunged into intrigue and danger when she inherits—with conditions!—an old farmhouse in the countryside near her home in Lenape Hollow, New York.

The main plot concerns a murder committed in that house way back in 1958 and a current crime (or two) in the present. In order to inherit, Mikki has to find and edit several diaries left behind by the former occupants, diaries that don’t seem to exist. But there’s also a subplot. It, too, grew out of Mikki’s career as a freelance editor.

I love creating subplots. They give me a chance to shine a light on secondary characters. And, in this case, they offer a bit of comic relief. Mikki, you see, has acquired a stalker.

Bella Trent is Illyria Dubonnet’s “biggest fan.” Who is Illyria Dubonnet? That’s the pseudonym used by Mikki’s friend Lenora to write steamy romance novels. Mikki has been retired for several years, but Lenora is still teaching and is not eager to have her double life exposed to the conservative local school board. She did, however, mention Mikki by name on her most recent acknowledgements page, leading Bella to believe that Mikki was the editor who missed two—count ’em: two—typos in Illyria’s last novel.

Every writer I know has received helpful mail from readers pointing out typos and other errors in the text of published books, despite the fact that such mistakes can rarely be corrected by that point. Most of these correspondents are well-intentioned, but a few are just . . . strange. Although Mikki herself runs a business called the “Write Right Wright” she isn’t anywhere near as much a stickler as Bella. Mikki is all for correct grammar and careful proofreading, but she knows how rare it is for a 70,000+ word novel to end up without one or two small errors. Those typos are tricky to find, especially when the human brain tends to see what it expects rather than what is. No matter how many times the writer, editor, and copy editor go over the manuscript, it’s almost guaranteed that something will slip through. On occasion, the result is unintentionally hilarious.

I’m not making fun of readers who care about accuracy, but in order to inject a bit of humor into the story, I did exaggerate Bella’s obsession and her self-assigned role as one of the grammar police. Or at least I hope I was exaggerating.

Fellow writers—have you had any unusual experiences with readers anxious to offer corrections and advice? And readers—how do you react when you find an error, grammatical or otherwise, in a book by a favorite author?Answer the question below or just say “hi” to be entered to win a copy of Murder, She Edited.

About Kaitlyn

Kathy Lynn Emerson/Kaitlyn Dunnett has had sixty-four books traditionally published and has self published several children’s books and three works of nonfiction. She won the Agatha Award and was an Anthony and Macavity finalist for best mystery nonfiction of 2008 for How to Write Killer Historical Mysteries and was an Agatha Award finalist in 2015 in the best mystery short story category. She was the Malice Domestic Guest of Honor in 2014. Her newest books are Murder, She Edited (the fourth book in the contemporary “Deadly Edits” series, written as Kaitlyn) and I Kill People for a Living. She maintains websites at www.KaitlynDunnett.com and www.KathyLynnEmerson.com. A third, at A Who’s Who of Tudor Women, is the gateway to over 2300 mini-biographies of sixteenth-century Englishwomen, now available in e-book format.

44 Thoughts

  1. I just correct it in my head and just keep on reading. It can be very annoying if there are a lot of them like in some ebooks that I have read. Thank you for this chance! pgenest57 at aol dot com

  2. Welcome back to the blog, Kaitlyn! I welcome readers pointing out errors. I pass them along to my editor at Kensington and he always says he’ll correct it in the file for the next reprinting and for an ebook issue. The new book sounds like lots of fun!

  3. Congratulations on the much anticipated release of ” Murder, She Edited”! I know it’s been on my TBR since it was first talked about as I am sure has been for so many.

    When I see an error, I just figure it was one that slipped through all the many check points and keep reading. Life is full of little boo boos and if your sweat over the small things how will you ever survive the big ones. 🙂

    Thank you for the wonderful opportunity to win a copy! Shared and hoping to be the fortunate one.
    2clowns at arkansas dot net

  4. I keep reading. If there a multiple errors that take me out of the story, I’ll mention it to the author.

  5. I notice errors when reading but just move on. I always figure the many proofing eyes reading it just slipped over it. If there are too many though it does get annoying!

  6. First of all, I’m so glad The Wickeds have introduced me to your series! Looking forward to meeting Mikki Lincoln. As for errors, I’m that uptight lady who would happily mark every misused apostrophe in plural words around the grocery store with a thick, red, indelible marker. But generally for editing errors or oversights in books, it’s easy to forgive and forget one here or there. However, a favorite author of mine consistently uses incorrect pronouns in prepositional phrases which pulls me out of the story wondering if I’m the one who missed a change to the rules of grammar or if there are different rules for different parts of the world (she’s from Down Under). And this happens throughout her multiple series! *sigh* Yet, I’ve devoured all her books. 😊

  7. I tend to ignore grammatical errors and focus on the dtory, but I have been known to pencil corrections in the text!

  8. Hi, Kaitlyn (Kathy Lynn Emerson to me, cuz that’s my maiden name lol), your new series sounds like a blast! Spelling or grammatical errors drive me bonkers, but just for a second and then I simply move on. I focus more on the story…that’s the point of reading, right?

  9. I love this series and can’t wait to read the new book! Grammatical errors make me crazy, but I understand that publishers are human too. I think it’s still rare to find grammatical errors in properly published books, but life happens. I find that in some of the smaller publishers, grammatical errors seem to happen more. While the publishing world is not perfect, I think for the most part, they do the best they can. And blaming the author… not cool. Leaving a bad review; some books are just poorly written and I scratch my head at wondering how in the world it was published??

  10. When I find grammatical errors, mostly I just say the proofreader missed this one and move on. Some do drive me nuts but they are usually few and far between. However, I have found a couple of mistakes that are not grammatical and show that the author didn’t either think about what they were writing or didn’t do their research, and those I really object to. I did write to an author once about it, just because it was so wrong! Anyone who’s ever been to CA and the PCH knows that you can’t drive north on that road and have the ocean on your right. I am much more likely to find grammatical errors in the newspaper these days than in a book.

  11. Yay! Another book of yours to read! I hate finding typos — it’s so frustrating. And I’ve gotten mail which is fine — nothing creepy — always polite! I LOVE the premise for this book!

  12. Hi Kathy, Congratulations on the book, please don’t enter me in the drawing, though. Murder, She Edited is already on my Kindle!

    Typos are the bane of my existence. I wince when I find one in my books. I’ve been fortunate to have such wonderful editors that it rarely happens, but those pesky typos do sneak in. Of course, it makes me much more compassionate about them in other authors’ books.

    Funniest reader correction? Someone told me that one of my dive scenes was impossible and advised me how I could correct the scene to make it accurate. Unfortunately, scene came directly from my dive log – it had happed to me just as I wrote it. Goes to prove that truth is stranger than fiction.

    1. Yes, I have found some errors while reading. It normally does not bother me very much, especially if the author is one that I especially like. However, sometimes I am annoyed by previous readers who have made a correction in a library book that I am reading. Sometimes they write notes expressing their complaints. I don’t want the librarian to think that I was the one who made the note!

  13. Errors can be annoying. While it would be really satisfying to get out a red pen and correct them, I always just keep reading. ckmbeg (at) gmail (dot) com

  14. I am enjoying all these comments and stories and intended to reply to each individually, but I had surgery for carpal tunnel on Monday and overestimated how long I’d be able to type at a stretch. Please know that I appreciate all your comments and that I will post the winner’s name here in the comments section tomorrow. All my best. Kaitlyn Dunnett.

  15. I admit it, errors drive me nuts. I definitely notice them while reading but I can ignore it as long as there’s only one or two. Several grammatical or continuity errors get distracting and can really take me out of an otherwise good story.

  16. Honestly, I rarely notice errors. I think it is partially because I’m bad at spelling and grammar myself. There’s also the fact that I’m probably mentally correcting them myself. In fact, we’ll go with your explanation of seeing what I expect instead of what is there. I like that one so much better.

  17. When I find a misspelling or a word or two missing from a sentence, I just ignore it and keep reading. I know errors are inevitable, but for the price of books nowadays I feel that a lot of these errors should have been corrected before publishing. I know they go through a few edits and you would think someone would see the error if I’m noticing it.

  18. Congratulations on your new book and thank you for the opportunity to win a copy of it. Now to answer your question, I usually just chuckle and keep on reading. Sometimes I have to reread it to make sure I saw it right. Then I chuckle and move on.

  19. I am completely intrigued by the concept behind this (new to me) series. I’m one of those people whose reading eye comes to a screeching halt when I see a grammar, punctuation, etc. mistake, and on occasion I’m given a manuscript to look at for a line-by-line assessment. I am picking up all the books in Kaitlyn’s series today!

  20. I notice spelling and grammatical errors but just keep reading.
    There was a book I read that changed one of the characters names in the middle of the story. I can’t remember what book it was, just that it threw me off for awhile.

  21. I’m usually pretty surprised to find mistakes in published books. But it happens, so I just sort it out for myself and, if it’s amusing like they often, are I share with my wife. Thanks for the chance to win this obviously error-free book.

  22. Oh, I had a review on Goodreads that mentioned the “shaky” editing on my first book because she found “four or five typos.” In a 300-page, 90,000 word book. Another reader contacted me to say she loved the book, “but I found a typo, do you want to know where it is?” I thanked her, but said it was too late to correct the issue, so not to spend her valuable time. My own personal opinion is that if a typo makes it through me, my critique group, my developmental editor, a line editor, a computer-read through AND my proofreader, well, it is to be commended and allowed to live. LOL

    Because of that, I’m rarely bothered by typos in the books I read – unless I start finding them on every page (which I don’t).

  23. I keep reading. If the number of errors becomes an issue, I notify the publisher.

  24. Basic typos don’t bother me unless there are so many of them that it distracts from the story. If I find I’m distracted by the typos or find bigger mistakes, such as wrong names used which can completely change the meaning of that part of the story. I’ve nicely contacted the author explaining the errors and a few times I’ve offered to beta read for the author.

  25. I understand when I run across a typo but if there seems to be quite a few I’ll send a quick message to the author to let them know, perhaps the books needs to be rechecked before final publishing if it’s a review.

  26. When I see typos, I usually ignore them. Factual errors are more irritating but if I like the story, I’ll ignore them, too. I love all your series. Thanks for the chance.

  27. When I read a finished book and spot a spelling error, or on the rare occasion when I notice a grammatical mistake, I might comment to myself, “Oops, someone didn’t proofread that very well”. And then I move on with my life. I know authors sometimes put out a notice that if readers spot a mistake that they can let them know but I have never done that with a published final edition.

  28. Hi, Congratulations on your new release! It sounds like a great read and I love the book cover! Errors don’t usually bother me , especially if it is a very good story, I keep on reading. I think if a book had way, way too many errors, the author would like to know about it, I have never run across this though. Have a Great weekend and stay safe. Thank you for sharing about your awesome sounding book.

  29. I can ignore a few, to err is human. I might correct some, in pencil, as I have retired the red pens. If there are many, it will pull me from the book. Once, hearing an author (proudly) declare that she couldn’t be bothered to follow “so-called rules of grammar,” I decided not to read her works. It was a panel of authors at the library, and there were many other authors I found more appealing. We’ll never be able to read all the books we want to, so I’ve learned to move on to find the ones I love.

  30. As a teacher, who taught English and art for 38 1/2 years, I can see the typos and t bothers me. That is because of all of the editing I had to do for years on student’s papers. But I get over it. You are right about the moving over errors because of the brain’s ability to see the first and last letter and read the word. I used to write things for the student’s for handouts, read the and re read them, corrected mistakes, printed 150 + copies and lo and behold, I would find another error. You get too close to your own writing and miss stuff, but that is an editor’s job–to edit. Read, re read, etc… Don’t let it go out with errors. It is a lot easier today because it is all done on computer and there is no typeset…. Just sayin’…

  31. If I spot an error I correct in my head and wonder how it was missed.

  32. Hello. If I see an error in a book, I correct it in my mind and continue reading. I know that errors occur. We are not perfect. By the time a book has been released, it has been read many times. I let it go. Thank you for the opportunity. God bless you.

  33. If and when I see errors I will just correct it in my mind and keep reading. Errors happen and things can be missed. It there is a recipe with errors I may contact the author to let them know. Thank you for the opportunity.

  34. Congratulations on your book!! Love the book cover! I usually just keep on reading when I see an error.

    Thanks for the chance!!!

  35. And the winner is violet2233. Thank you to everyone who left a comment.

  36. We once had a set of short stories with so many errors that I told students to make corrections as we read. At a conference, I got to speak with a rep. of the publishing company. I mentioned the book. He laughed and then explained that it was one of their first using computer files instead of lead type, and someone had uploaded the wrong file. They had offered credits or replacements when the books were new, which was long before I transferred to the school. We liked the stories in SHORT STORIES & YOU, so we just kept making corrections. 😉

  37. Hello!
    Congratulations on your new book release!!! It look and sounds very good!!! I’ve only seen a couple of typos in books I’ve read. I just read right pass them. It’s no big deal to me.🥰
    Thank you for the chance to win your wonderful book!!!

  38. If I have contact information for the author, I tell them about errors I come across. A particular bugaboo at the moment is “reigns” used for a horse’s “reins”. Then there is “chicken fried stake”. Booksprout’s form works great except when my computer crashes midway through a book. I’ve let as many as a half-dozen errors slip without penalizing the author, but a REALLY sloppy ARC results in losing a star in my rating of the book.

  39. If I receive an ARC from a publisher or author. I know it’s going to have bloopers in it. If it annoys me enough I’ll send an FB message to the author with the offending page numbers and ask POLITELY if he or she had noticed them yet. I will never knowingly offend the writer whose books keep me sane.

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