A word about editing

I’ve got­ten MANY emails, mes­sages, even late-night texts (yeah, thanks for that) from read­ers and friends telling me about the errors in my nov­els. To be hon­est, it’s kind of annoy­ing. To save you some trou­ble in con­tact­ing me over this man­ner and beat­ing a dead horse, I’ve decided to explain to you my “edit­ing process.”

Here’s the thing: I do know how to string together a sen­tence. I do know gram­mar, spelling, etc. I went to uni­ver­sity and walked out with a Bachelor’s of Jour­nal­ism. I’ve worked as a jour­nal­ist. I’ve got degrees in screen­writ­ing from Van­cou­ver Film School. I know “you’re” and “your” and when to use them.

With all that said, even the best writ­ers can have hell­ish errors in their work (and I’m just mediocre). When I write, I am doing so in a flurry. I am basi­cally in another plane of exis­tence, another time zone, another place where I am just the medium through which the char­ac­ters chan­nel out their story. Some­times I don’t even remem­ber what I’ve writ­ten until I’ve looked it over the next day – it’s a unique and spe­cial process that I wouldn’t change for the world.

While I am in this “zone” I stop pay­ing atten­tion to the nitty gritty. I don’t pay atten­tion to spelling, even when it’s under­lined in red. I miss words that I think I’m writ­ing down. I may switch my tenses. I may even use the wrong word entirely. It doesn’t mat­ter. If I were to pay atten­tion to every word that left my hands, I wouldn’t be able to write. And I think many writ­ers would agree.

Then comes the next part – read­ing over my work. Here is where I tighten things up (hope­fully) or fix the mis­takes I see. But, surely you must real­ize how hard it is for some­one to catch their own errors – you are see­ing only what you meant to have writ­ten. This is why no writer can truly edit their own books, or why no brain sur­geon can per­form surgery on their own brain.

And so, you hire an edi­tor. Or, if you’re pressed for time as I often am, you enlist a group of peo­ple to read over your work and look for errors. When I first started writ­ing Exper­i­ment in Ter­ror, I did hire an edi­tor. He was rec­om­mended by another writer and I paid him for his time.

He was the wrong edi­tor for me. I wasn’t happy with the qual­ity, and sadly I was in such a rush to release the books and so low on funds at that time, that I had to put the books out there.

As you can tell, every sin­gle Exper­i­ment in Ter­ror book has been either edited by this per­son or by a group of hard­work­ing friends. There are mis­takes. A lot of them.

In a per­fect world, I would go back and fix them all and make each book as per­fect as pos­si­ble. But here’s the thing…Darkhouse has been down­loaded by well over 100,000 peo­ple. The rest of the books have sold over 6,000 copies each. The defeatist in me thinks “well, the dam­age is done”, while other parts of me wish I had the extra money and the time. The time is a big part. To re-edit all of my nov­els, I’d be spend­ing at least a month or two doing so. I don’t have a month or two to spare at the moment. My books are my only source of income and I have a packed sched­ule. A month or two edit­ing for some­thing that’s been out there for a year is time I need to be writing.

That’s the bad news. I DO hope to re-edit them one day, but at this point in my career it’s just not fea­si­ble. Per­haps if I took a vaca­tion, I could do it then :)

So, if you’re shak­ing your head at the errors and feel the need to con­tact me over them – don’t bother. I already know. And I apol­o­gize for them being there. Even books that have been looked over tons of times by dif­fer­ent peo­ple STILL have errors. It’s the name of the game. Even tra­di­tion­ally pub­lished books have errors in them – go ahead and look. And they have a whole team of trained pro­fes­sion­als going through them. I am ONE per­son coor­di­nat­ing all of this, a one-woman show. I am doing the best I can while try­ing to write the best story for you.

The good news is that there should be fewer mis­takes going for­ward. I have a won­der­ful edi­tor Kara Mal­inczak, who has worked on The Devil’s Metal and Sins & Nee­dles and most of my upcom­ing books. Her tal­ent and eye, com­bined with proof­read­ers such as Eliz­a­beth, Matt, Megan and Kelly, are mak­ing those books the best that they can be.

Also, The Devil’s Metal and the upcom­ing Lost in Wan­der­lust, have been picked up by a pub­lisher, Diver­sion Books. It’s going to be so nice for these to be edited by the pub­lish­ing house, some­thing I will have noth­ing to do with and won’t have to worry about. It’s one last major stress that I don’t have to deal with.

So, if you find mis­takes in any of Diversion’s books, please feel free to con­tact them and let them know. If you find more typos in my books — please, make a note of it in your review if you want! Just don’t con­tact me per­son­ally over it…I’m too busy writ­ing :)

(and yes, I am sure there are a tons of typos in this post).


For the record, I am not say­ing that read­ers don’t have a right to be upset over typos in a book. They do. The book belongs to them once it is pub­lished. Really — books belong to the read­ers and I do strive to make each book the best it can be. But some­times your best is NOT good enough. Fact of life.

Per­son­ally, if I read a book that has too many errors and it pulls me out of the story, I get annoyed. I think, “damn, I wish I could read this more smoothly” — SO I DO UNDERSTAND WHERE PEOPLE ARE COMING FROM. And authors who don’t know the basic fun­da­men­tals of the Eng­lish lan­guage, who can’t mas­ter sim­ple words or know the dif­fer­ence between “than” and “then” and “They’re, their, there” — well they annoy the hell out of me. Makes me want to yell “take an Eng­lish class!”

And I have the right to yell it — in my review. Peo­ple can say what­ever they like in their reviews. I have many reviews com­plain­ing about the typos. Totally fair.

What I don’t like — what the point of the post is - is peo­ple per­son­ally con­tact­ing me over it. That’s going a bit too far and stretch­ing the author/reader rela­tion­ship. I love to hear from you, really it makes my day, but when you send me emails and mes­sages over neg­a­tive crap like that, I feel like the neg­a­tiv­ity is seep­ing into my inbox and into my life. I can eas­ily avoid read­ing reviews when I’m feel­ing down — I can’t avoid read­ing each email I get.

I hope that clears up some things. I can be a gram­mar Nazi too, believe it or not (just not with my own work unfor­tu­nately) and I love that peo­ple con­tact me. But I do try and keep a sim­ple and pos­i­tive life going. Writ­ing takes a LOT out of you (that’s a whole other post) and some days I just want to keep the good vibes going.

To see how other authors fair with this, please check out Amanda Hocking’s thoughts on it in this arti­cle:


Again, I under­stand if typos bother peo­ple. If my typos bother YOU, I’m with ya! They bother me too. And they should. I’m not try­ing to say you’re a ter­ri­ble per­son if they bother you. You’re not. You’re a reader and you have the right to be annoyed.

Just as I have the right to be annoyed over the way I am con­tacted over these issues. That’s all.


I also real­ize that some peo­ple who have con­tacted me prob­a­bly thought that they were the only ones to do so and thought they were doing me a favor. This post is my way of telling every­one, you know what, I know.

OKAY seri­ously back to writ­ing now :)