How I Write a Novel: The Anaerris Code by guest author L.K.Kelley

My friend, L.K.Kelley, has a new book, The Anaerris Code coming out soon. I can’t wait to read it. This is how she went about writing it.

The Anaerris Code – Release Date: February 14, 2017

As has kind of become a tradition with my Publisher, DragonEye Publisher, my initial book will always be released on February 14! What better day to release a Romantic novel?

wolf 3Many people already know my personal and writing background, so I’m going to give an overall into how I write. But, since my first book series, I want you to know that the first book in my White Wolf Prophecy series has won an award for best ebook sales, and the series, itself, is 5stars!

 

I have been asked where the heck I came up with the name, Anaerris. Well, here’s how! I just bandied some words around, until I ended at Anaerris. Truth. I already had the story, and just needed a great new title that would grab your attention! I began the story of Gemma Elwood with barely a concept. As many know, by now, I write in scenes. I got the idea from commentaries from many different DVDs. I always enjoy listening to those just as much as watching the movies and shows! I know many writers use outlines, but I can’t use those. They are just too boring, and honestly, I cannot write by one. I couldn’t when I was in school, and it’s a totally useless way to work for me.

So, I “storyboard” my books. While I don’t have a huge whiteboard to work with, I do the acting, dialogue, and actions in my mind, until I have what I want. This lets the story flow smoother, and it’s a bit harder to lose continuity. Not that it cannot happen, but for me, it’s less likely. I guess I would have been diagnosed with ADHD, if that had been around when I was little. But, since I obviously have it, I use this method to help with that as well. My attention span can be relatively short-lived. My biggest problem is that my mind thinks so much faster than my fingers will allow me to write. And, for that reason, I write in scenes. It also allows me to write wherever I am! I can write in my head, and when I get home, I write the entire scene down.

The Anaerris Code is different. First, the name itself is different, but the characters in my book are as different as my 5 star, awardwinning,White Wolf Prophecy Series. In that series, I took the supernatural in different directions than the stereotypical supernatural characters. In the Anaerris Code, I do the same. Can you say Angels, Demons, other worlds, other realms, fae, and so much more! Gemma Elwood is adopted, and has a pug named Lola (most will recognize this name, since she is my cute little PR agent)!anaerris-code

The entire book centers around some strange things, which begin happening with increasing frequency. Gem works at the local library, which houses ancient documents, and she is charged with carrying for them. Unknown to anyone, though, an ancient book, the Anaerris Codex, has faded into nothing but myth. Gem is the one to find it, but she cannot read it. When something deadly happens to Gem, she and her friends begin to realize that she is more than just human. They have always been around her, but had no idea who she really was. Jaxxon Phillip Hawkins is a professor at the local college, and has little patience with either Gem or her bestie, Taylor Tamson, who also works at the library. He makes no bones about telling them their faults, either.

Massive storms have been erupting in the area, yet most are so localized, they blow up with pinpoint accuracy – something that is not found in nature, of course. When Gem is almost killed by flying shards of glass within the library, he comes to her rescue. But, when the next storm comes, Lola is almost killed at a small store not far from her own home. Her truck destroyed, and Lola almost killed inside it, next Gem’s home is also destroyed. As time goes forward, Gem discovers something about Jaxx that stuns her, and now, he won’t leave her side if he can help it! He was honor-bound to the Council of Ancients to never mate, but he certainly hadn’t seen Gem coming! Danger continues to follow Gem, especially one night when a storm follows her and Jaxx as they try to outrun it, only having disastrous consequences. It was here that everyone began to truly realize that Gem is no ordinary human. She is, in fact, not human. And, people are beginning to suspect Eloran and Delinear for they are the only ones who could effect the weather.lk-kelley-pic-3

Taylor, Rick, Stan, and his mate, Stacy, bind together to save Gem from some really evil beings who have control of the weather! Trouble after trouble follows constantly, keeping Jaxx from taking his mate, and his patience is tested when Gem disappears from the Earth, while he lay unconscious in the backyard of his estate. From the second that Gem awakes, it is very hot, and it takes her minutes to realize that she is being held prisoner in a volcanic prison! She desperately tries to find a way out, and when she does, something amazing happens! Later, she must retrieve the book. Without it, everything and everyone else is doomed! Three things must come together to change Gem into what she needs to be – the Anaerris Code, a crystal, and her mating with Jaxx.

While two have come together, the crystal is an unknown catalyst! The one who actually has the stone, no one knows, but Jaxx does. Together, the six of them must find a way to protect the book and try to find the crystal! One of the required acts has taken place. Gem and Jaxx are now mates, and they just have barely retrieved the book. Now, the crystal. Where is the crystal? No one knows – except three beings. But, while Gem knows she is special, what she doesn’t know is that the five around her, and the two who hate her guts, are from another place – that isn’t on Earth. But, it’s their true identity that can be their downfall!

I had so much fun writing this book, Val, that I’m already working on book two. I hope everyone will give it a read, because it’s full of angels, fae, other worlds, other realms, other characters! As with my White Wolf Prophecy book series, these are characters that have been taken out of the stereotypes, and put into roles that was never meant for them!

Thank you for letting me tell your readers about my new book, Val!

LK Kelley

The Riverman by Alex Gray

alex-gray017_0When you meet Alex Gray, you meet a charming, elegant woman and it is hard to imagine the vicious crimes that emanate from her pen. Of course, she would argue that she is merely relating the actions of her characters. This she does very well.

Although I only read Riverman recently, as it was book of the month at my book group, it is one of Alex’s earlier novels.Even so, the story had so many twists and turns that I was struggling to keep up with all the possible suspects, their motives, and the reasons for killing each victim.  It is the fourth crime novel featuring her DCI William Lorimer character.

Glasgow’s River Clyde gives up a dead body, a probable accidental death, but that 2642770probability is tossed out the window when forensics and an anonymous call point to something far more sinister. As he probes deeper into the life and business of the deceased accountant, Duncan Forbes, a seemingly upright member of the community, Lorimer find only yet more unanswered questions. Then the firm’s human resources manager is found dead in her riverside flat these questions become only more complex and more disturbing.

Lorimer must follow the trail of deceit, greed and personal agendas as the bodies begin to pile up while the answers remain allusive. Someone knows what is going on and they are not talking. This is a taut, thrilling, murder mystery. It is hard to believe, as The Riverman is so good, but Alex’s writing just gets better.

Valerie Penny

The Turncoat by Alan Murray

I was given the novel, The Turncoat by Alan Murray’s publisher for review. It is a debut novel by Murray but he has written many factual pieces previously and that is somewhat reflected in the language and layout of this book.

The Turncoat opens with a prologue detailing the death and destruction wrought on x160Clydebank, immediately catapulting the reader into the chaos of 1941. On night of March 13, 1941, German bombers targeted the shipyards and munitions factories in Clydebank, trying to disrupt the British war effort, it is a horror of World War II that is often overlooked in the history books.

When the story commences, there are two main protagonists. The first, Major George McLean, a former journalist at the Glasgow Herald, who an educated and well-read man and hopes to return to his old job when the war ends. The other is Sergeant Danny Inglis. He is more of a never afraid to get his hands dirty should a suspect require some persuasion. Both are veterans of World War I and together they scour the west of Scotland for spies and traitors from Room 21A, military intelligence. This gives them the freedom to investigate wherever they see fit. The men report to Brigadier Ewen Stuart, a posh old buffer. He provides some light relief but may not be quite as ineffective as he seems.They are joined in their investigations by the very proper Finola Fraser, who the Major knows from his Glasgow Herald days. She has a nose for a story and network of people happy to tip her off to anything newsworthy.

fb_turncoat_hi-270The plot is clever and revolves around a rumour that the second night of the Luftwaffe bombing was so accurate and destructive because the Germans were being fed information from someone local. The only strangers in town are two Irishmen, “Cafflicks” passing themselves off as “Proddies” to get a job on the docks. The Major suspects that the IRA might be helping the Germans out. He and Inglis organise a manhunt to find the Irishmen before they escape back to Ireland and try to find Chrysalis, the mastermind behind the spying operation.

Meanwhile, Rudolf Hess crash lands in Scotland, and military intelligence must find out why.

The Turncoat is a nice mix of fact and fiction cleverly woven to produce a gripping crime story in a historical setting. Although, Murray’s characterisation is sometimes a bit thin, The Turncoat offers a complex plot and plenty of authentic details make for an absorbing and informative read. I highly recommend The Turncoat, not only for general reading, but also as a way of immersing reluctant history student into another era.

Valerie Penny

 

Bad Boy by Peter Robinson

220px-peter_robinson_20100328_salon_du_livre_de_paris_1Those of you who read my site will know that I particularly enjoy the crime and thriller genres. I also have a lot of time for Peter Robinson, whom I find to be one of the most generous and entertaining writers. So, to you it will come as no surprise that I thoroughly enjoyed his book Bad Boy. It is the nineteenth in Peter’s Inspector Banks series.

Thriller aficionados have long applauded Peter’s succession of thoroughly authoritative crime novels, in which the very human Banks has been one half of a team with Annie Cabbot.  It is interesting, because for a large part of the novel, his usual main character, DCI Alan Banks, is on holiday in the USA and quite unaware of the problems and crimes affecting his patch in Yorkshire.bad-boy

In Bad Boy, Banks’s impulsive daughter Tracy has fallen under the spell of her flatmate’s handsome boyfriend, who turns out to be a very dangerous individual with, ultimately, the police on his trail. The dazzled Tracy goes on the run with him, and the grim events that follow turn into a nightmare.

Neither the setting nor even the characters that make Peter’s work so satisfying, but the plotting of a Swiss-watch precision. By the time Banks returns to the UK, jet-lagged and fractious, a series of crimes have beset his colleagues. I will avoid any spoilers, but suffice to say, when Tracy takes her flatmate’s boyfriend to her father’s empty house to hide out, it transpires not to be her best idea.

The reader is treated to a masterclass in the organisation of narrative, all too rare in a field that now trades in the messiness of modern life rather than cohesion. That  is not to downloadunderestimate the centre of gravity in Robinson’s books that is his doughty copper, DCI Alan Banks, whom the reader meets on the pages of Peter Robinson’s books is the thing and Bad Boy is a very good read. DCI Alan Banks has made it to the small screen in the form of Stephen Tompkinson, however, those who love books know where the master of crime may be found.

Valerie Penny

The Water’s Lovely by Ruth Rendell

ruth-rendellThe most recent book of the month for my book group was The Water’s Lovely by Ruth Rendell. The author, Ruth Barbara Rendell, Baroness Rendell of Babergh, CBE, who also wrote under the pseudonym, Barbara Vine was an acclaimed English crime writer, known for her many psychological thrillers and murder mysteries and above all for Inspector Wexford. Although this is a genre I enjoy, I had never read any novels by Ruth Rendell, so I was pleased to have an excuse to read The Water’s Lovely. This is a stand alone novel and not one involving Rendell’s most famous character, Inspector Wexford.

The story starts about a dozen or so years ago when Ismay’s younger sister Heather, then aged 13, drowned their stepfather in the bathtub while Ismay and her mum were out shopping. Or at least that’s what Ismay assumes: she and mum have been acting on the principle that, if you do not talk something through, then it is easier to deny it. Besides, the cops and everyone else assumed it was an accident. Now Ismay and Heather live in the downstairs of the family home; upstairs, mum, driven bonkers by the death and its aftermath, is tended by their Aunt Pat.

Back to the present day, Ismay’s boyfriend Andrew is a snobbish spoiled brat, and psychologically abusive of her; nonetheless, she’s completely infatuated with him. Heather, by contrast, has just begun a wonderful relationship with Edmund. Ironically, Edmund only ever asked her out on a date in order to dodge the ghastly Marion, whom his hypochondriac mother was trying to match make with him. Almost every character in the novel is self-serving or self-engrossed, a ninny, or is pompously self-deluding, weak, or airheads, or even downright criminal and potentially murderous. Furthermore, by the end of the novel, all of those characters, from deficient to vile, get what they wanted, or at least some part of it.The only people for whom there are no happy endings are the two we like and respect: one of whom is a murderess.ruth-rendell-book

I found this book a bit depressing in its portrayal of the characters. The Water’s Lovely started out fine, lots of promising elements including a long-ago mysterious death hidden by the family and never discussed, a sociopathic blackmailer, the foreshadowing of old people to be bumped off for money, an incriminating cassette tape moving from hand to hand, as well as an emotionally abusive relationship escalating, a killer on the loose and a loving couple whose happiness might be destroyed by an explosive secret. Still, none of the strands of plot fully developed. The end twist did not surprise me either.

I am sure I will read other crime novels by Ruth Rendell in the future, but as an introduction to this author, The Water’s Lovely was a bit of a disappointment.

Valerie Penny

 

No! I Don’t Want to Join a Bookclub by Virginia Ironside

This book was on the list for our book group recently and, with the amusing title, we were virginia-ironside-booklooking forward to reading No! I Don’t Want to Join a Bookclub by Virginia Ironside. Many of our members were familiar with the columns she writes in newspapers too.  No! I Don’t Want to Join a Bookclub is written in an epistolary style, as if the reader was reading the narrator’s journal. The style enveloped the reader in the narrator’s head quickly and easily.

Marie Sharp may be a little creaky in the bones as she heads toward the big 6-0, but she’s fine with it. She is not interested in  parasailing or taking Italian language courses nor will she welcome comments about suggesting she join a gym. Marie has done it all: drink, drugs, sex and rock and roll. She has already led an exciting life: She came of age in the 1960s, after all.  So her friends don’t tell Marie to take a gourmet cooking class, and whatever they do, they shouldn’t tell her to join a book club. Marie has a new grandchild and a new man on the horizon, all she wants to do is make the most of what she considers the most interesting stage of her life.

virginia-ironsideNobody thinks 60 is old, but Marie thinks it is time to let go of dreams of love, forget about manners and plans. I found this attitude rather depressing and old fashioned. Parts of the book are funny and it is well-written. However, the book bored me. After my initial interest in the idea and format, the lack of plot and constant reference to sixty being old, I found that the book became tedious. I found No! I Don’t Want to Join a Bookclub to be a collection of dated ramblings by a self-absorbed, unremarkable narrator. The title tickled me, but No! I Don’t Want to Join a Bookclub did not tickle my fancy. I have not read any other books by Virginia Ironside, and on the basis of this, I will not be looking for others.

Valerie Penny

 

 

10 ways to break through writer’s block instantly by guest author Maja

This article first appeared in Business in Rhyme published on 26 December 2016 at https://businessinrhyme.com/2016/12/26/10-ways-to-break-through-writers-block-instantly/.

writers_block

Writer’s block: a detrimental feeling that many of us encounter at least once in our writing life when you simply can’t pull yourself together and produce some satisfying work – at least in your own eyes. You feel lack of inspiration, like you have nothing to say and your imagination simply doesn’t exist.

But let’s think about it for a second – who is actually ‘blocking’ us in writing? Is there a concrete block standing on your keyboard, preventing you to type? Who is making us feel that our ideas are not worthy, that we are not creative? We are. We are the only ones standing as an obstacle to our creating.

And though this term is very popular, a modern notion coined in 1947 by Dr Edmund Bergler, a famous Austrian psychiatrist, I don’t truly believe in writer’s block.

I believe that we often fall in monotony, where we are caught by inertia – just like in a river stream. We might find ourselves in yellow, muddy waters and if we long for fresh, clear flow of ideas – we need to swim, move, get out of or change the conditions that clog our thinking.

One thing that years of writing taught me is that you can’t force it. It’s like pedaling upstream – you soon get tired, out of breath and strength, but you haven’t actually made any progress.

Better way than forcing your writing is provoking your writing. This is where your power and control lies. There are many ways you can stir up your imagination and here I will share some of the practices I use to find my way to writing:

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1.When you struggle with writing, do something completely the opposite.

I have noticed when I’m not completely in my ‘writing mode’, leaving that aside and doing other activities that are on my TO DO list can be enough to jumpstart my inspiration. This maybe due to subconscious feeling of worry are we going to do everything planed for that day: simply giving us time again for writing when you have the feeling you’ve accomplished your objectives for the day, can be enough for a productive writing session.

2.Free write for 10 minutes to get rid of monotony

Just write without thinking. How you progress, new and exciting ideas will start to appear. Give yourself a chance to play with words and enjoy – you will much more appreciate your writing and the creative process. Here on the blog are many creative exercises you use can as a prompts and inspiration pointers to instantly break any writing barrier.

3.Research

This might be more applicable to non-fiction writing, but anytime I’m not focused or I have maybe to many ideas, I perform a research on the similar subject. I find this to be very beneficial in terms that similar work I encounter can serve as a guidance on which topic to write or not – or give my own opinion on something that is stereotyped and could use a new input. Getting insight on what other people are doing on similar topic is always helpful.

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4.Indulge in some art

Listen to some music or visit art exhibition  – I have found this to be one of the most helpful ways for me. By listening to my favorite bands or just looking at some of the De Chirico paintings as an instant recentering for me. On Pinterest I have even a board ‘Surrealism’ which I often use as my favorite muse.

5.Limit yourself

Set some rules: Start with what if clause or focus on using specific words. It has been shown that limited creative freedom can have a positive impact on generating new ideas as it provokes you to think differently.

6.Leave unfinished sentence

This is fun and clever thing to do. You just leave out there a word to linger and next time you have to deal with it  – it will hang on the tip of your tongue, tickle until you figure out what to write!

7.Return to your favorite authors, phrases, quotes that you like

Lately I have been writing, by hand in separate notebook poems and quotes that I like. It helps me with that feeling of insecurity sometimes I have about my writing. A simple encouragement that you can give yourself and easily destroys doubts is reading and believing in words of your favorite authors.

8.Go on a date with yourself

As said in the beginning, we are the only ones blocking ourselves in doing what we love. And why does it happen? Maybe it’s a message, a sign that we need rest, that we need more attention and time to be kind towards ourselves, destress and restore creative energy. So make room in your schedule to spend time with yourself, doing what makes you feel good -pamper yourself. Your creativity will come rushing back to your arms, making you eager to write again.

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9.Do some squats or go for a walk

Physical exercise makes your heart beat faster, supplying your brain with oxygen. It helps with brain fog we sometimes experiences and your thinking becomes clearer. Going for a walk helps with your senses where change of scenery offers insights to new possibilities and opportunities.

10.If nothing else works – eat some chocolate!

But not any chocolate – with at least of 75% of cocoa, as some researches have found that consumption of cocoa flavanols results in an acute improvement in visual and cognitive function, giving your brain more power to deal with difficult tasks. So eat your way through writer’s block. 😉

The Balance of Guilt by Simon Hall

simon-hall-photoThe Balance of Guilt is a brilliant title! This is also a well paced and clever crime novel by Simon Hall. I would expect no less! Another of Simon’s novels, The Dark Horizon is also reviewed on this site at https://bookreviewstoday.info/2016/06/03/the-dark-horizon-by-simon-hall/.

In The Balance of Guilt TV reporter, Dan Gloves becomes embroiled in a mystery, notwithstanding that he is injured and in hospital when the matter breaks. The story is set in and around Exeter, a part of the country the author knows well and the perspective of a TV reporter is interesting and original when considering a crime novel and the relationship between Glover and the police, particularly Detective Adam Breen affords different ways to set expectations for thethe-balance-of-guilt reader.

In The Balance of Guilt a terrorist outrage in a sacred building shocks the UK. The country is transfixed by the bombing, a radical Islamic plot is suspected, a secret service double-cross is muted, and a murderous cover-up suspected. Throughout this, television reporter Dan Groves lies unconscious in a hospital bed so the reader becomes increasingly intruiged as to what part he could have in the murder. It seems incredible that he might be able to assist in solving the problem as he was unconscious when the scandal broke.

I really enjoyed the relationships that develope between Groves and his daft dog, his camera man and Adam Breen. Simon Hall has created a realistic scenario that is frighteningly topical. In The Balance of Guilt, Simon Hall has a neatly created murder mystery. Simon Hall, is best known as the BBC’s Crime Correspondent in the South West of England. He is also the author of The TV Detective novels and regularly teaches Creative Writing. Indeed, I first met Simon at The Swanwick Writers’ Summer School in 2015. In his novels he describes some of the remarkable events he has witnessed in his time as a television reporter.

Valerie Pennyswanwick outside

 

 

Cross and Burn by Val McDermid

bloody scotlandAs a writer I am in awe of both the quality and quantity of Val McDermid’s novels. As a reader I revel in both. Several of her books including Torment of Others and The Skeleton Road are reviewed on this site: https://bookreviewstoday.info/2013/05/16/torment-of-others-by-val-mcdermid/ and https://bookreviewstoday.info/2016/07/09/the-skeleton-road-by-val-mcdermid/. I bought Cross and Burn the last time I met Val at the Bloody Scotland Crime Writers’ Festival in Stirling, Scotland, 2016. It is the eighth book in her series about Tony Hill and Carol Jordan. Tony Hill is a forensic psychologist and Carol Jordan is a police Detective Chief Inspector who team together in order to solve particularly brutal crimes of all kinds.

Their relationship is ambivalent and hovering between close and distant. Still, they are a great pair for the reader even though they cannot seem to work out their important to each other personally. Ms. McDermid  manages this personal part of their story with admirable restraint. This is the first book where  Hill and Jordan are separated due to the events of McDermid’s book, The Retribution. In Cross and Burn, Jordan is trying to move on after a personal loss, she is not working and refuses to have anything to do with Tony Hill. Meanwhile, Hill is struggling to go on with his life cross-and-burnwithout Carol in it. But when Tony is suspected as a serial killer it is Carol Jordan who must come to his rescue. She is still angry with him, but she knows he is innocent and out there is the real killer.

Paula McIntyre, familiar to readers of the series, takes center stage as she tries to determine who is killing women who look just like Carol Jordan. Hill and Jordan, although in this book,the story is more about the people who worked with them, their team, and the sudden disbanding of that. Everybody has to move on after that, whether they want to or not. It was interesting to have McIntyre’s character fleshed out more in this book: also to watch Tony and Carol find some new ways to proceed in the world and to deal with the glimpse into the notion that while they are valuable, the world still goes on around them and without them.

Cross and Burn, although self-contained, and can be read alone, but follows on directly from the previous book in the series, The Retribution, in which disposable supporting characters were either murdered or mutilated at the hands of another savage killer of women. I did not enjoy Cross and Burn as much as most of McDermid’s other crime novels. That val-mcdermid-photodoes not make it a bad book, just slightly less awesome than most. Val McDermid desrves her place as a No. 1 bestseller whose crime novels have been translated into more than thirty languages, and have sold over eleven million copies.

She has won many awards internationally, including the CWA Gold Dagger for best crime novel of the year and the LA Times Book of the Year Award. She was inducted into the ITV3 Crime Thriller Awards Hall of Fame in 2009 and was the recipient of the CWA Cartier Diamond Dagger for 2010. In 2011 she received the Lambda Literary Foundation Pioneer Award. She writes full time, She is married and McDermid and her wife and divide their time between Cheshire and Edinburgh.

Valerie Penny

 

 

 

 

 

Editing – Mediorce Book -vs-Best-Seller by guest author L.K.Kelley

lk-kelley-pic-3This article by L K Kelley was published on 19 June 2019 and first appeared in https://whitewolfprophecy.wordpress.com/2016/06/19/editing-mediocre-book-vs-best-seller/.

Reading has always been my very favorite thing to do all my life.  But, since e-books have appeared, the book world of books has exploded, and competition is everywhere! Everyone writes today. That’s easy to see based on the thousands upon thousands of books published every day.

When I was first asked to edit a book for another author (before I ever began writing books), I had no idea what went into it.  Once I started, I had to make up my own rules.  I did a bit of research on editors, and discovered that everyone of them had their own way of doing editing.  Well, that left me to come up with my own method. I have always been a stickler for the way I read, and it seemed that editing a book was no different. I worked with the author directly.  After all, the book is the author’s idea and story. I was just there to make it read better, and correct errors.  As I learned, along with the author, the best way to do it, my rules actually came very easy to me. Thus, I began to edit books as a freelance editor.  I, now, not only am an author, but I also edit books for other authors, and am still a Freelancer.

After quite a while editing, I can say, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that the difference between a mediocre book and a best seller comes right down to editing. The former has little to no editing, while the latter has been edited.  Now, I know that some authors just don’t have the money, but if you are going to be serious about writing books, blogs, articles, and even websites, you need to have an editor.

Now, the reason for needing an editor is very apparent. The biggest thing other readers and I noticed while reading, is that the number of books with little editing, if any at all.  I even have read some excellent stories, but make not mistake…readers are VERY lk-kelley-pic-1sophisticated, and while they enjoy reading books, the grammatical errors, bad spelling, duplications, and especially the wide use of the improper use of “I and me”,  can turn them off of the book.

Let me use the analogy of TV and Movies, because the concept is the same.  Everyone has heard  editing in these. You have even heard of leaving “clippings on the editing floor”.  Every movie or TV series has multiple editors.  Without them, no movie or series would be worth watching, because there would be too many errors in them alon. And, while a scene may be really great, it adds nothing to the progress of the story, so they delete it out in favor of a more important scene.

Well, this is the way it is with books.  Books were the forerunner of TV and Movies.  They have always been edited. However, in this case, the editing is within the written word instead of on a screen.  It uses the “mind screen” within your head as a reader and most especially, a writer.  When we write, it is our responsibility to draw a picture within another’s mind.  But, if the words are spelled wrong, or used incorrectly, then that picture will be hard to form, and therefore, the book isn’t really very good even though the idea is pretty good. Oh, it might have a good concept, but it will lack grammar, spelling, punctuation, etc.  I know all of you have had this happen.  You begin a book, and keep trying to read it, but for some reason, you just “can’t get into it”.  So, what’s wrong? It’s a great idea, but something is missing.  As you read you consciously, or subconsciously, read misspelled words, or incorrect grammar. Perhaps you read the same paragraph twice, only to discover it really is in the book twice!  Or, the characters are almost, but not quite easy to picture.  That is just poor grammar.  When a book is full of these, and believe me, I read them all the time, and most especially in e-books, the reader just shuts the book, or exits out of it on a digital reader, and won’t try reading it again.  The reader feels a bit cheated, because he/she has bought a “dud”.

A publication – of any kind – must have correct grammar and spelling first.  This makes or breaks a book.  It is extremely possible for a writer to have a great story.  Unfortunately, if the person does not know grammar or has poor spelling, it’s harder to sell a book. The next thing is duplication.  Duplication shows up in many e-books these days.  An author does not want this, because it is very clear that the person did not even read their own book. And, in many cases, they are in such a hurry to get their book(s) published, they just let them go the way they are. It tells the reader that you are not really serious about writing, so they question why should they waste their time reading a book that not even the author cared enough to write it correctly.

lk-kelley-pic-2Two of the biggest no-nos in writing are:

  • Ending a sentence in a preposition
  • The huge and improper use of “I and me”

The second one is the biggest and improper use of these. It will truly ruin a book for readers.  No matter what, these two things must be used correctly! The biggest surprise for me is how it has grown exponentially – especially since e-books have exploded on the scene.  I have addressed these in another blog.

Remember…the difference between a mediocre book and a best seller is not the idea,  or a great story.  It is simply a matter of editing. So, why don’t more people use them?  It comes down to money.  Many have friends who want to help them, but they are not editors, and while some may be very good with words, they are still not editors. It’s a very nice thing, but it’s never a good idea unless the person has time and knows their grammatical skills. Every editor has his/her own prices, and not all of them are totally out of reach.  Some are reasonable. Others are higher.  For instance, one may charge by the word, while another, in my case, charge by the page.  How to find one?  Ask for references. Just like anything else you do in life, this is no different.   You would never build a house, remodel, or even replace flooring without at least 3 references. This is exactly the same thing, only you are choosing a service. But, you must do your research.  If you know of a local writer who uses one, ask them. Most writers support each other.

If writing is something you like to do on the side, and it’s really not a priority for you, then that is one thing.  However, if you are a serious writer, you NEED to use an editor.  Many large Publishing Houses have their own in house editors.  That’s something that Independent authors and some publishers just do not have.  While some do have access to an editor, most do not keep them “on staff”.

So, it all boils down to one question you must ask yourself as an author:

How serious are you about becoming an author?

If you are truly serious, you need an editor to make your book read the very best. Why dolk-kelley-pic-4 you think books are turned into movies?  Because they had an editor! Turn your mediocre novel into a best seller, and use an editor!  You will truly be glad that you did!

L K Kelley is a generous, experienced author who is willing to share her experience with other writers. She was born in Little Rock, Arkansas, and adopted by Curtis and Jerry Smith. Her hometown from the age of seven months was Fort Smith, Arkansas. She is also a Freelance Book , Article, and website Editor. She loves to read anything, and everything, but most specifically that which has to do with the Supernatural World and Romance, it is that genre she writes. Her trilogy, White Wolf Prophecy receives 5* reviews.

LK Kelley lives in Barling, Arkansas, USA which is a suburb of Fort Smith, AR. She has been married for 40 years to Wes, and it feels as if it’s only been a month. They have one daughter, Laura, who lives in Colorado.