To prove that I am a human being and to hopefully connect with my readers, I occasionally like to do “about me” posts. This time, I thought I would write ten book-related confessions about myself. Seems fitting for a blog about writing and books… and writing books.
- My favorite classic is Jane Eyre. I read it in 2013, and I was in love with Jane and Rochester (especially Rochester). Since then, I think I’ve read bits and pieces of it about four times. There’s something about a man whose ugly-handsome, scandalous, and willing to dress as a woman just to troll his date(s).
- I have a bracelet of some of my favorite novels. Yes, I’m a lit nerd, so much so that I commissioned an artist on Etsy to make a charm bracelet for me of my favorite books. The books in the pic are The Night Circus, The Mummy by Anne Rice, Jane Eyre, Souless, Frankenstein, and Johannes Cabal: Necromancer.
- My pets names have a literary theme. My dog’s name is Edgar, after Edgar Allan Poe. My cat’s name is Sherlock (Holmes), even though he’s more like a pudgy, blundering Watson, and my other cat, who passed when he was a kitten, was named Erik after the Phantom of the Opera.
- My favorite type of writing is that which is sensual and well-written. I love great plots and I love characters that grow, but what really draws me into a work is being immersed in it body and soul. I want to see it, I want to hear it, I want to experience every emotion that character is feeling. If the sentences aren’t good or the writing is flat, it immediately drops to three stars in my mind.
- My preferred format of book is paperback. I’m warming up to ebooks, but a paperback is still my favorite way to read a book. I like to hold it, display it, let others borrow it, and show it off, and with ebooks, I can’t do that. I tend to not read hardcovers because they’re cumbersome to lug around. My bag already is cripplingly heavy, and a two pound book doesn’t help. Also, I just find their bulk harder to hold. That and the ever shifting and sliding book sleeve.
- I’m a book-finisher. I can probably count one hand the books I’ve put away permanently because they were so bad. No matter how god-awful the book is, I feel the need to finish it. It may be cutting off my nose to spite my face, but there’s a part of me that still hopes the book will get better. Plus, no one can tell me that I missed the good part. No, my review stands because I read and finished the book.
- I will read erotica or romance, but I hate naked people on book covers. It’s a pet peeve of mine. I know sex sells, but not to me. I hate half-naked men and women equally. I don’t want to see your giant man-pecks or your pert derriere. An understated cover that is closer to sensual or intriguing than arousing is more my style. I tend to avoid books like that. This is also why I am on the look out for a better version of Teleny. I am embarrassed by the cover (not only half-naked but hideously drawn).
- Of my two books thus far, The Winter Garden is my favorite. I know we aren’t supposed to have favorite children, but I really, really love book two more than book one. There’s been so much personal and professional growth since I wrote The Earl of Brass, but I also just love the characters. Out of all of my characters, I think I connect the most with Immanuel. The Winter Garden is also a much darker story, and as a writer, I thoroughly enjoy writing twisted characters and delving into some rather complex emotions.
- I have a thing for fancy bookmarks yet rarely use them. I love fancy bookmarks. Ones with tassels, fabric ones, paper ones, metal ones, ones that are silly, ones that are artsy. It doesn’t matter, I want them. Oddly, I tend to use scraps of paper or folded post-its most often. Over the years, I’ve lost a lot of beautiful bookmarks, so now, I’m afraid I’ll lose them. Currently, I’m actually using adorable silicone seedling bookmarks my cousin got me.
- My favorite genres are: historical fiction, historical fantasy, and Gothic horror. When I say Gothic horror, I’m thinking like Dorian Gray or Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles. Horror with some upper class panache. If the book has a tie to the past and is able to submerge me in it from cover to cover, I’m sold.
Well, there you go. Ten bookish things about the Awkward Authoress.
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I had a minor rude awakening this weekend. My proof copy of The Winter Garden came last weekend, so I decided I would give the book one more round of proof-reading to find some leftover typos and make sure everything was in order. I quickly found out, it was not perfect.
Somehow italics in certain chapters magically disappeared. No idea how it happened, but somewhere between the original file and the paperback, half the italics in the book did not translate. Luckily, I discovered the issue Saturday night and fixed it using Word’s compare draft feature along with control-find. At times, I wish I didn’t reference so many books or have my characters think so much, but the issue did make me very aware of what nearly skated under my quality-control radar.
This is why when you create a paperback, they send you a proof-copy to check over. At first, I didn’t notice it because half the book had italics (sprinkled throughout), but chapter two didn’t along with many others. Comb through your manuscript with eagle eyes. Take your ebook or original copy and compare it to your paperback because that is how issues like this are spotted. I didn’t notice it until I was correcting typos and had my Word file for the ebook and paperback editions both open and saw that a book title wasn’t italicized.
Apart from the italics issues, I also caught quite a few typos or awkward phrasings that were easily smoothed. Proofing is a time to put the final polish on your novel and make sure everything is up to snuff. Luckily, now it is all fixed, though I’m sure I’ll find more silly errors within the coming months, but the issues have been caught and the both formats have been finalized for publication.
What am I going to do with the 35 days between now and March 31st when The Winter Garden is released? Hopefully work on book three. More about that will come as I get further into it.