Friday, October 9, 2009

Deb Marlowe On Typos and Slips Of the Lip

by Caren Crane

Hola, Banditas! As many of you are aware, I (the contemporary romance writer) count many fabulous historical romance writers as my dear friends. One of my best and most beloved friends, the delightful Deb Marlowe (please note self-indulgent inclusion of extra-cute Caren and Deb picture from RWA conference when Deb won her Golden Heart!)is here with us today to discuss a dirty little writing secret. One we hope no one notices or holds against us: typos. Here with the dish on typos and other little "oopsie" moments, is Darling Deb.

I was in the grocery line the other day, behind a woman who was disputing a sale price on one of her items. The exasperated clerk sent someone to check and it turned out the customer had been right. She didn’t gloat, but she did leave with a parting shot. “You didn’t have to be so surely about it,” she muttered as she left.

It took me a minute to figure out that she meant surly. I didn’t correct her, of course. She was right—the clerk was surly—and I wasn’t going to rain on her moment of triumph. We’ve all had days when we needed that small triumph—and days when what we meant to say came out as something else.

Those sorts of things happen in publishing too. Books do sometimes get printed with . . . gasp! . . .typos. Sometimes they are introduced in the original manuscript and get past the author, a critique partner, an editor or two and even the copy editor. Sometimes they are introduced in one of the many steps it takes to convert a file into an actual book. All authors cringe when they find them, though.

I’m cringing. There’s a mistake in my new release, Her Cinderella Season. I’m not sure when it happened, but I didn’t find it until I held my first author copy in my hand. But after I got over the horror, I had to laugh. Let me set the scene:

The hero of Her Cinderella Season is Jack Alden. He was the scholarly younger brother of my first hero in Scandalous Lord, Rebellious Miss. In An Improper Aristocrat, he’s the expert that Trey and Chione come to for help in their quest to foil a ring of antiquity thieves. So I was thrilled to give him his own story at last.

As Her Cinderella Season opens, Jack is recovering from the wounds he received at the end of An Improper Aristocrat. A gunshot wound is a shocking thing for a quiet, scholarly type, and this one has shaken loose a few demons. Jack has his wounded arm in a sling and is driving a feisty team of horses through the busy London streets—even though he knows he should not be.

In the scene, the horses are meant to be spooked by a calling cart vendor. You know the sort—oranges, meat pies, chestnuts, etc. Instead, it is a calling card vendor who frightens them with his shouting.

So after the gasp of shock, I was hit with the funniest image! Picture a shady Regency gentleman in a greatcoat, whipping it open to showcase a large selection of parchment calling cards. “Psst! Ye want an entrée into Society? I got yer calling cards here—get you into any house in Mayfair! Ye want ter be the Duchess of Devonshire? Right here! Lord Byron? I’m yer man!”

Okay, so it’s ridiculous, but I’m trying to look on the bright side! Cut me a little slack?

The heroine in Her Cinderella Season, Lily Beecham, wants an entrée into Society. She was born a gentleman’s daughter, but she’s spent the last years in an Evangelical household. She enjoys the charitable and political works she’s been involved in, but she’s not willing to accept her mother’s choice for her husband, and she’s not quite ready to give up on the idea of a life filled with music, joy and love. She faces the difficulty of blending her two worlds, finds herself mixed up in the excitement of helping Jack track down a villain, and takes on the greatest challenge of all—winning the elusive Mr. Alden’s heart.

Sohave you ever said the wrong word in public? Found an irritating typo in a book? Found a typo in your book? Will you give Her Cinderella Season a try even though I planted that image in your head? :-) Make me feel better, please! Share your story and I’ll send an autographed copy of Her Cinderella Season to one commenter!


Lynz Pickles said...


Virginia said...

Congrats Lynz on nabbing the rooster today!

Great post Deb, I loved it and yes I have found typos in books but I just right on like I don't see them. Hey I not good at typing myself! As far as say the wrong thing in public. I have the worse case of foot in the mouth. I always manage to say the wrong thing. Because I am really bad about saying what I think, and thats not always a good thing.

Lynz Pickles said...

Ugh, I hate typos! I cannot imagine how frustrating it would be to find one in your book, but I love the calling card vendor idea. You had me laughing out loud at that scene, Deb.

I was recently reading a book by an author whose debut novel I'd loved. It wasn't as good as her debut was, but what really got to me were the typos. Whenever the word "fire" came at the beginning of a sentence, it wasn't capitalized. It happened at least four times, and it drove me NUTS. I couldn't stop wondering how that got printed - one or two typos I could understand, but four obvious ones? (Non-capitalized letters following a period tend to stand out. They make the formatting look strange.)

There was a book I read a few years back that I almost put down because it was chalk-full of typos. I expected at least one per chapter. I took note of the publishing house and avoided it for over a year, because those typos were so annoying. When there are that many of them, they really pull you out of the story.

Anyway, the GR and I are going to try making mug cake now. Cool, eh? We'll let you know if we like it!

Helen said...

Congrats Lynz have fun with him I hope he is a help with the mug cake.

I loved the post Deb and yes I can see the card vendor already.
I have come across a lot of typos in books that I have read over the years but I don't let them bother me so much and it is usually the same sort of error that you have in your book where one letter is typed wrongly.

One of my greatest problems is when I am talking to someone and I know their name and I call them another name it is so embarassing I think it is because I am thinking of the other person at the time I have lost count how many times I have done it sometimes I think I have too much one my mind and the only place it happens to me is at work too much stress I need to retire so as I can read all these wonderful books.

I gotta say Her Cinderella Season sounds fantastic I need to get this book and the previous ones. I will be book hunting this weekend.

Have Fun

Michelle said...

i've ran across small typos like no space between 2 words or a lower case proper noun. i don't mind them. i don't think i'll even notice the calling "card" booboo if i didn't read this post... here's hoping i win :)

hrdwrkdmom aka Dianna said...

Oh my, I have seen thousands of typos over the years, not just in my reading but in my work as well. I have typed a few myself.....LOL
There have been too many times I have said the wrong word in public, I once dated a guy that would jump on it like a duck on a Junebug. I think he had some latent teacher genes.
My grandmother was the worst for saying things backwards, I remember she used to say, "Don't take me for what I say, take me for what I mean."
I will definitely be getting Her Cinderella Season and now when I get to that particular typo I will envision your take on it and enjoy it all the more!

Caren Crane said...

Oh, Lynz! Congrats on having the bird come to roost with you once again. I hope your furniture is ready...

Caren Crane said...

Virginia, honey, I totally feel your pain on the foot-in-mouth syndrome! I am, if nothing else, a very honest person. Sometimes far too honest. And every once in a while, the honesty escapes my lips, sliding right around the tongue firmly clamped between my molars. It's a curse!

Any particular instances you care to share? You know, just among friends? Not that it would end up in a book or anything. *blink, blink*

Laurie said...

I made the embarassing mistake of saying that something was ironic when it was actually coincidental and I was immediately corrected.

Small infrequent typos don't bother me.

I once read a book where the heroine's name was changed in a later chapter. Apparently she was originally going to be called by that name and it was missed.

Deb Marlowe said...

Congrats Lynz! You and The Bird are in the midst of a real fling! And no wonder, if you are making him mug cakes! That sounds absolutely wicked! Any yummy. And easy. Boy, I shouldn't have clicked on that link! :-)

I've had a few books like that--where there are so many typos, you know that something serious went wrong. I always feel so bad for the author!

Caren Crane said...

Lynz, it *is* frustrating to see the same error over and over in a book, isn't it? One that leapt out at me recently was in the last two books of a ginormously well-known author. She isn't using a word wrongly, but is using a very unorthodox and not-widely-accepted variation of a word, as if to introduce it into the vernacular as acceptable.

The word is one I believe people mispronounce often and widely...but that doesn't make it right! For a ginormously popular author to use it is both baffling and horribly annoying to me. I feel authors should try to hold the line on a couple of things, grammatically speaking.

I know language is evolving all the time, but this is along the lines of people saying "pacific" when they mean "specific". Are those things we want to perpetuate? *sigh*

Climbing off the soapbox now...

Deb Marlowe said...

Hi Virginia! Hugs on the 'Foot in Mouth Disease' I've had my run-ins with this condition. But I'd rather hang with someone who tells it like it is, anyday!

Caren Crane said...

Oh, and Lynz, use a HUGE mug for the mug cake. Those things expand to a startling size! I refuse to think about mug cake. I am not visualizing mug cake. I simply WILL NOT think about mug cake while I'm at work today. Really!

Deb Marlowe said...

Oh, Helen! I just did this! I was at a school event and totally introduced a woman to my husband using the wrong name. I didn't realize it, either, until we were walking away after chatting a few minutes. Then I stopped in my tracks, turned around and went, "Wait! I do know your name! I'm sorry!"

LOL. What a goof I felt like.

Thank you--you are so sweet to look for HCS--especially when I know you must have a TBR mountain! I hope you will enjoy Jack and Lily!

Caren Crane said...

Helen, you and I are soul sisters. I do the SAME THING with names! It is awful and makes it seem as if I don't know the person when I really do. Ack!

And Helen, darling, you are in for a treat if you haven't read Deb's books yet. Prepare to settle in for a good, long read-a-thon. She is fabulous! And she doesn't like to noise it about (because she's modest and all) but she is critique partners with Liz Carlyle and Sabrina Jeffries. Yes, she IS part of the reason their books are so fabulous! I'm sure they influence her a smidge, too. *g*

Caren Crane said...

Deb wrote: Hi Virginia! Hugs on the 'Foot in Mouth Disease' I've had my run-ins with this condition. But I'd rather hang with someone who tells it like it is, anyday!

And now you see one of the many reasons Deb and I are best buddies!

Deb Marlowe said...

Hi Michelle! In this day of text speak, I wonder if anyone in the future will even notice typos!? My teenager thinks I am hopelessly old fashioned because I don't abbreviate every word down to one or two letters and use ur, l8, etc.

Hey, I use LOL! What more does he want? :-)

Caren Crane said...

Deb, I have to say I seriously can't get the "calling card vendor" out of my mind, overcoat and all. Too funny! I would love to be a Duchess or a countess. Think he can hook me up? *g*

Also, am I the only one who thinks the heroine on the USA release of "Her Cinderella Season" totally looks like Melissa Joan Hart - you know, "Sabrina the Teenage Witch"??

Caren Crane said...

Michelle, I think we've become almost numb to the typos. I still cringe to see them in business e-mails, though. Our Marketing department at work does a good job of proofing stories in our newsletters and publications, but our associates are not as diligent. *sigh*

Caren Crane said...

Dianna, my husband is the king of the malapropism, as Deb knows. It used to drive me bonkers, but in 20 or so years we've kind of worked it out. Usually if he does it in private, I'll correct it - gently (well, as gently as I can). In public, I let it go. I don't want him to be embarrassed!

Deb Marlowe said...

Hardwkdmom aka Diana--my Mom does the same thing--using another word, or sometimes combining words. One of her famous ones is 'flustrated' I always notice, but I never correct her, it really does get her point across!

Thank you! I hope you will enjoy HCS!

Deb Marlowe said...

Caren--it's your blog--you are allowed to jump on the soapbox if you want!

And thank you for the compliments! I'm sitting here all alone in the dark and blushing!

Caren Crane said...

Laurie, the word usage thing can be embarrassing when you're with people who know the difference. *g* With many people, though, word usage mistakes seem to go right over their heads.

I think much of the problem is the barrage of elementary-school-level vocabulary used in the media (news, TV, radio, movies). I hate to be a language snob but I enjoy ALL the words, not just the few hundred I hear every day. *g*

Heroine name change is one I've seen cited before. Also, changing hair color, eye color and even height are things I have noticed. I know exactly how it happens, though, having done MASSIVE revisions on manuscripts. Still, how awful for it to end up in print!

Deb Marlowe said...

Oh, Laurie! That is tragic about the character's name! Ack!

I had to change a character's name once, after I had written the whole book. My editor said that my hero's title had been used by another author at the house and her book was coming out close to mine, so I had to change it. I still think of him by his 'real' name. :-)

Caren Crane said...

And thank you for the compliments! I'm sitting here all alone in the dark and blushing!

But why? You really are that fabulous! You just need to embrace your fabulosity and move on. *g*

I'm off to dry my hair, so y'all be good!

Deb Marlowe said...

Caren, I think that the heroine on HCS looks like Jessica from True Blood--sweetness and light, but that hint of deviltry in the eyes!

Terry Odell said...

What happens when the publisher 'loses' your page of errata between edits and production? You get a whole lot of glitches. It happens, though, and there's not really much you can do until the next (if there is a next) printing.

As for finding them elsewhere, I've seen "baited breath". More than once. In different books.

There's also the character who stepped on the brake peddle.

Or the one who stepped on the breaks.

PJ said...

Hi Deb! I have Her Cinderella Season on order and can't wait to read it. I'm anticipating it even more after reading your take on the "calling card" incident. I have the feeling that scene is going to become one of my favorites from the book simply because of the funny visual you've planted in my mind. Way to take a negative and turn it into a terrific positive!

As a person who has always prided herself on her ability to remember names it's especially embarrassing when I forget someone's or, even worse, call them by the wrong name. It happened to me last summer, at RWA National no less. I knew the author's name, knew it as well as my own, but then I opened my mouth and, horror of horrors, the wrong name came out! What I wouldn't have given for a little "beam me up,Scotty" right about then. lol

Barbara Monajem said...

Heh. I've said the wrong word tons of times, but clearly I've suppressed all those memories, because I can't recall a single one!

I'm beginning to get used to typos in books... sigh. I don't get anywhere near as irritated as I used to. Maybe that's a sign of the times, or maybe I'm just getting lazier with age. Irritation takes too much energy.

At least your typo is a funny one, Deb! I already have my copy of Her Cinderella Season, so don't enter me in the drawing. I've already read Scandalous Lord, Rebellious Miss, so I'm eager to read Jack's story. And then onward--or rather backward--to An Improper Aristocrat. Fun!

Deb Marlowe said...

Terry--the word I keep messing up is reins/reigns. It's so bad that I think my cps have come to expect it and just automatically whip our the red pen!

Deb Marlowe said...

Hi PJ! I hope you will enjoy HCS!

Oh, that's such an easy mistake to make at Nationals--there are so many people we only see once a year! Don't feel bad--I think it must happen all the time!

Deb Marlowe said...

Hi Barbara! Thank you so much for picking up HCS!

If you are one of those who like to read books in order, I recommend reading AIA first! The books are strongly connected and the story is sort of a 'continuation' of the mystery from AIA.

Susan Sey said...

Oh, Deb, I'll probably buy Her Cinderella Season *because* of the calling card vendor. I love it. :-)

As for slips of the lip, I have a friend (who shall remain nameless) who was describing to me a situation in which her mother bear instincts were aroused--bad teacher plus precious child = angry mama.

Anyway, she was having a conversation with said teacher, who kept saying things that struck my friend as ominous. She said to me, "And every time she said (fill in the blank) my antlers went up."

I believe she meant to say "antennae." You know, like my antennae went up to better catch the signal? But she went with antlers. All I could think about was Wild Kingdom, where stags with enormous racks charge each other until someobdy's bloody & defeated. Which, given the situation, wasn't inappropriate. But I had to stifle a laugh every time she said it, which was many MANY times.

It's become a running joke with me & the DH, though. Somebody says something a little off, & we whisper, "Uh oh. My antlers are going up." :-)

Janga said...

Deb, "Annalise and the Scandalous Rake" made a Deb Marlowe fan of me. Her Cinderella Season is on my TBR shelf right now.

It's puzzling how those typos get by us, but they do. When I was teaching high school and serving as yearbook sponsor, an ad for a bookkeeping service, proofread by six people including me, was published as an ad for a booking service. It didn't help that the bookkeeper was also a local minister whose wife was a colleague in the English depsrtment. She interrupted a class I was teaching to say, "I have you know my husband is not a bookie!" I laugh now, but I was appalled at the time.

On the other hand, some typos are serendipitous. I sent a friend an email this week declaring her book "wonderful." Rereading the message before I hit send, I realized I had typed "wonderfuk." Considering some scenes in her novel, I think the typo works well too. LOL!

Claudia Dain said...

It's like having toilet paper stuck to the bottom of your shoe, isn't it? Embarrassing! Turning red!

Not fun, but it's happened to all of us...the slip of the tongue or computer key, not the toilet paper on the shoe. I, for one, have NEVER had a trail of sodden TP stuck on any part of me. Uh-huh.

I can't wait to read Her Cinderella Season (love that title!). I love the world you've created in these books, the characters not plucked from central casting. I'm going to be reading carefully, eager to find that calling card vendor!

Sonja Foust said...

You know what, Deb? I bet most of your readers will just gloss right over that, and replace card with cart in their brains and not think twice. :) But I LOVE your card hawker image. (Is it sad that I had to look it up to make sure it was 'hawker' and not 'hocker'? I could have been another casualty in the typo/wrong word situation.)

Minna said...

have you ever said the wrong word in public? Plenty of times. Found an irritating typo in a book? Sometimes. Found a typo in your book? Yeah. In my proseminar work. My teacher's name. Can anything be more embaressing?

Deb Marlowe said...

Hi Susan, Antlers! That's a good one! Don't you just love when things like that turn into an inside joke, though?

My kids love when I tell them what they 'used to' say when they were little . . .some of those gems have become family jokes!

Deb Marlowe said...

LOL, Janga--that's a great yearbook story. I'll bet your students thought it was hilarious.

Loving the substitute for wonderful, too. I'll bet your friend laughed!

Thank you--I'm so glad you enjoyed Annalise! I love those Fitzmannings. I'm working on her brother Stephen's story right now--he's a real character, so I'm having fun with him!

Deb Marlowe said...

Claudia--I believe that you never have had to deal with the tp issue or its equivalent! You are entirely too put together!

I hope you will love Jack and Lily!

Deb Marlowe said...

I hope you are right, Sonja!

Sorry if I made you paranoid! I think we could have forgiven a hocker--and now I've got another hilarious image in my head! LOL!

Deb Marlowe said...

Poor Minna! That is embarrassing! At least it wasn't your own name spelled wrong! That would have been worse. :-)

Suzanne Welsh said...

Ah Deb, I'm chuckling over the card vendor blooper! hehehe It reminds me of that character on Laugh-In trying to pawn off goofy stuff instead of hot watches!

And yes, I'll be buying Her Cinderella Season, just so I can find that scene!

MsHellion said...

*LOL* I find typos a lot. In my work. In my CP's work. In the books I'm reading. In menus I'm ordering from.

Orally, it's not so much I say the wrong word (though I'm sure I have), it's that I mispronounce the right one. All the time. Not a public speaker.

We know you guys can't always help it. The sort of typo that is more glaring in a book--wouldn't be the "card vendor"--it's when the author uses the wrong name. Like the hero's name is Jack and suddenly she throws in the name Kevin, who is a different character and isn't even in the scene.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Hey Lynz! Congrats on the chook!

Deb, I feel your pain. Really. But I have to say the picture you painted w/ the calling card guy?

SNORK!!!! Nearly spewed coffee.

I loved the "surly/surely" thing too. I hear this all the time, for some reason - using the rong werd fer summat that means summat diff'rnet.

I had a history prof who was Mrs. Malaprop allll over again. She was very dramatic, which made learning fun, but when she mixed up the words I would nearly die trying not to laugh. I also sat next to her son. An English Major. The two of us had a pact that we would NOT look at one another when she Malapropped, lest we collapse to the floor in a heap of snorking.

Example: Mrs. J is expounding on the fall of Rome. (Sorry Joanie T) She's gathered up books to exemplify the Romans gathering their treasures to hide and is preparing to dump them in a drawer to show the haste of their hiding and subsequent fleeing of ROme.

"They gatherered their things..." picks up books, wrenches open squeaky drawer. "They hurried to the royal scepter and DUMPED THEM IN!" dumps stuff and hastens to the classroom door. "And they FLED!"

Mind you, I'm still back at Scepter, frantically searching for the word she MEANT to use and assiduouslly NOT looking at her son.

I hear the word whispered in a strangled, I'm-not-gonna-laugh whisper: "She means sepulchre."

Twenty years later, I'm still laughing.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Ms. Hellion, my librarian dad calls this "the reader's mark" - You know what the word means, you can use it properly in a sentence, but pronouncing it? Hmmm. Not so much.

Had a friend call me one day, working on homework w/ her son. Her internet was down. "Jeanne, how do you say this word? e-g-r-e-g-i-o-u-s. My son says its E-greg-i-ous. Somehow I don't think so."

I swallowed the laugh. "E-greeee-geee-ous, or e-gree-jus"

"Really? It doesn't look like you'd say it that way..."

English, as a language, is TOUGH!

~Drew said...

Great interview!

Historicals are on the top of my reading list, and Deb, I love yours!

One time, when I was in my early twenties, just married to my school teacher hubby, we were at a dinner with his colleagues, And I pronounced 'Hyperbole' as 'hyper-bowl' He leaned in a whispered the correction, (he can't resist, he is a teacher) Did I turn shades of red!
And I have found a few typos while reading, a common one seems to be the 'wrong name' thing. I have done it myself. "There" and 'Their' seems to be common!

Cinderella Season sounds wonderful!

Sabrina said...

My worst ones always seem to be MINE. I tend to do the malapropism--substituting a word that's ALMOST right. So, for example, in one of my Deborah Nicholas contemporaries, I had the hero "tinkling" with computers, instead of "tinkering." You should have seen the note from the copy-editor--"I'm not quite sure what you're trying to say." Uh, yeah.

Then I had a typo where I had the hero lifting the heroine's "shirts." When I found in the book, I was outraged that "they'd" introduced an error ... until I went back to the mss. and noticed it was mine. And nobody caught it, including me! Sigh.

Sabrina said...

And just to make my point, I inserted a typo. "I found IT in the book," IT. I swear, some days it's a miracle my head doesn't fall off when I get up.

Deb Marlowe said...

I don't think I've seen that bit, Suzanne! I wonder if they have it on YouTube? I'm going to check it out!

Deb Marlowe said...

MsHellion--I'll bet your cps *love* that you find their mistakes!

Sabrina is the Queen for that--she makes me look good! It's the technical editor in her!

Deb Marlowe said...

Ha! I'll bet you loved to go to that class, Jeanne! Entertaining on so many levels!

You guys really are making me feel better--Thank you!

Deb Marlowe said...

Oh, ~Drew! I am feeling your pain. Did you smack the dh and tell him he could have corrected you later? Or out loud? It's the whisper that makes it painful!

When I was younger my friend and I used to argue over how to pronounce 'orientated'--we were both readers!

Deb Marlowe said...

LOL, Sabrina--You did it just to make me feel better! Hee hee.

I'm going to tell the dh the tinkling story--he'll get a kick out of that one, being Mr. Techie.

Julia Smith said...

I once referred to Goethe and pronounced it as only a person who has never heard it pronounced properly could do...

...more like gauche...

*nervous laughter*

Deb Marlowe said...

Ooh, that's a good one, Julia! What was the reaction? Did anyone catch you on it?

MsHellion said...

I honest to God would still be pronouncing "Egregious" incorrectly to this day if it weren't for Captain Jack Sparrow.

Definitely the "reader's mark"--*LOL*--and I blame hooked on phonics.

Anna Sugden said...

Hi Deb Sweetie - welcome back to the Lair - great to see you!

Great post and I'm laughing at all the mistakes, intentional and otherwise.

Having a Persian mother who still translates in her head, we often get words and phrases said back-to-front like back-horse riding!

I've noticed a lot more typos recently - wonder if that's because the pace of writing and editing has had to pick over the past few years. I don't mind as long as it's not a really obvious one like their/there!

What bugs me more though is incorrect information. Being a Brit, I can't tell you the number of times I've read a book with a British character and the author has done a fair amount of research, but has clearly not done enough because they use words they think are English, but use them incorrectly or in a wrong context. We don't all speak like they do on the TV drama series!

I know we're more cosmopolitan these days, but some things are part of your culture and, just like we'd get them wrong about the US, so people get them wrong about us.

And don't get me started on contest judges who correct me about Englishisms!

The one that bugs me most is 'luv'. We often call someone 'love', but it is not spelled 'luv'!

As for mispronounciation ... how does one pronounce chagrin?! LOL

Donna MacMeans said...

LOL Deb - I LOVE the calling card vendor! Yes, I can see that image clearly.

One of my favorite typos (which I fortunately caught in the galleys) was in THE TROUBLE WITH MOONLIGHT. The heroine's bratty sister has broken their beloved mother's strand of pearls in something of a spat. The heroine is collecting the loose pearls in what was meant to be an emotional scene. But the type had her quietly collecting "peas" in her lap. LOL.

I'm saying the wrong thing - and my fingers sometimes have a mind of their own. I like to think that typos slip through because my agent (she proofs for me), the copy editor, the regular editor, and I - all get caught up in the wonderful story and miss the typos. Yeah - that's the ticket

I'll be watching for Her Cinderella Season. Sounds like a wonderful story.

~Drew said...


The whisper was the worst, he thought he was being subtle, but every face at that table was on me and my beet red visage.
The smackdown came later, after we got home, LOL!~

jo robertson said...

Hi, Deb! Welcome to the Lair!

That particular typo is hilarious. I wonder how many readers think there really is something called a "calling card vendor"? Too funny.

I used to be a copy editor so typos annoy me, but worse is the realization that it's not a typo but a misundertanding of the word!

Gillian Layne said...

Deb, you are so sweet. I can't imagine readers worrying about such a little thing in the middle of what I"m certain is a delicious story. I imagine my mind would "see" the correct word and float right over the typo.

I'm a speech pathologist and so hear words mispronounced all the time. I had a very fun time yesterday with a little girl who was horrified when I tried to teach her the word "ship". In her mind, I had replaced the "p" with a "t"...yup, not so good. She just shook her head, said, "No, that's a boat" and with logic like that, how could I argue? We moved on to safer vocabulary. ;)

Deb Marlowe said...

Ms Hellion--I love all the pirate movies and their vocabulary is one of the reasons why! We need more movies that use words like egregious and hellion!

Deb Marlowe said...

Hi VA! I can totally understand your exasperation at people who criticize your 'Englishness!' LOL.

That's so cute about your mom--I hope you don't give her too hard a time!

Deb Marlowe said...

Yes, Donna--that's the perfect excuse for all typos! I was caught up in the story!

Glad you caught that typo-- a lap full of peas just doesn't sound as romantic!

Deb Marlowe said...

Yes, Jo! I'm cringing at the thought of the readers who are going to write me and tell me that calling cards were bought from a printer in the Regency, and not from a street vendor! LOL!

Minna said...

Yuk. I just made a disgusting discovery. I went to check the mouse trap -as I had been hearing that scratching noise again. For starters, the trap wasn't where it was supposed to be. I started to look for it and it was about 2 meters from where it was supposed to be. There was a rodant in it and it was obvious that someone had started to eat it! The eater was long gone, but mom thinks it might have been a least weasel. Don't any of the animals stay outside anymore?

Doing It All For My Baby - Huey Lewis & The News

Deb Marlowe said...

Boy, do I hope you are right, Gillian!

My youngest went through several years of intense speech therapy--so I really appreciate your position. I'll bet you hear tons of adorable slips of the tongue!

Helen said...

I know I am going to enjoy your books Deb I just need to go searching for them have they been released here in Australia.

I alwyas need to check what I have typed because I am a dreadful speller and some words come out totally wrong I even keep a dictionary on the shelf here to help me LOL.

Have Fun

michellewillingham said...

Hi Deb! It was great to see you last weekend. Can't wait to dive into your book. :)

Hugs on the typo. I had my excerpts butchered on my first and second books. When they were uploaded to the server, several lines went missing. My most cringe-worthy moment was when a sentence read: "Riordan soft straw." I was appalled, but no one would fix it. Now, I just laugh about it, but it was mortifying at the time. I was so afraid people would think I wrote the story that way!

My favorite verbal typo came during a parent-teacher conference (I was teaching at the time). The father was getting worked up, and he meant to talk about his son's IEP. Instead, he said, "I demand a new IUD!"

We all roared with laughter. After we cleared the air, we were able to have a better meeting with everyone.

hrdwrkdmom aka Dianna said...

Okay, I have to tell this on my mom, she used to use words like flustrated (I swear, I wouldn't fib to you) then one day we were shopping at the mall, she was looking at shirts, I was in a hurry as usual and I said okay momma, which one? She was a little ticked at me and she said will you wait a minute? I am constipating!

Everyone watch Dianna crawl under the clothes racks while ladies all around snicker and nod their heads.

PinkPeony said...

Hello Caren. Welcome Deb!
I see typos from time to time when I read but it doesn't bother me as much as awkward sentences or phrasing.

Foot in mouth moment...I was seventeen working in a lab and reporting results over the phone to a doctor...NOS was "no organisms seen"...instead I blurted out "no orgas*s seen"...everytime I saw that doctor in the hospital, he'd smirk at me. So embarrassing.

Pat Cochran said...

Congratulations on the GR, Lynz!

I don't like running into typos,
but I just keep on reading! I
know they aren't there on purpose.
It would be awfully foolish or
extremely careless of writer or
publisher to do that! I still do
not like them!

Pat Cochran

Anna Campbell said...

Oh, man, late to the party. And it's obviously been a party! Drat you, International Date Line!

Hey, Miss Deb, come and see us again. And again and again and again. We wuvs oooo in da wair.

The new book sounds fantastic. Especially the shady card salesman. I cacked myself laughing when I read that.

You're right about typos. I'm a Virgo so I go ape about them in the version I send my editor, let alone in the final book. How can something I've read a million times still contain mistakes? That's just WRONG!!!!

Actually one that gave me a giggle at the time and still does 30 years later was the baddie in my very first completed novel, when I could spell but not write. It was officially called Darkness Holds a Stranger (currently under the bed holds darkness holds a stranger and will continue to do so!) but as it featured partisan fighters in the 100 Years War, I used to call it Guerillas in the Mist. The baddie decides to seduce my stalwart heroine with a charming compliment. "Dark blue becomes you." Sadly my typing fingers - and back then, it was typing fingers, no word processors! - hit "Drak glue becomes you." Hmm, and swallows drop carnations on the Kremlin in spring. Do you have the briefcase, Dmitri?

By the way, that's a lovely cover and a lovely title. I bet Cinderella Season is a hit!

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Anna said: "Dark blue becomes you." Sadly my typing fingers - and back then, it was typing fingers, no word processors! - hit "Drak glue becomes you." Hmm, and swallows drop carnations on the Kremlin in spring. Do you have the briefcase, Dmitri?

Speaking of cacking yourself - which I presume means laughing! - I was ROFLMAO over this. Sometimes it's awful when you're so visual...
*heroine covered in drak glue*
"Screw you, buddy, I never want to see you again as long as I live!" Frowns. "And who's Dimitri!?"


catslady said...

I just asked another author about this question. I tend to blame the publisher and she confirmed that many times the author never sees the last edit.(Although that is not really an excuse for the publisher not doing their job). I had just read a short read and it had 5 typos (I use to proofread). The only time it really bothers me is if it's a major mistake. One book had the names mixed up and that really threw me lol.

Minna said...

I remember this one book: a guys father dies and closes his eyes. But he must have popped them open again after that, because few sentences later, his son closes his eyes for him.

Deb Marlowe said...

Helen--I think I've had aussie releases, but HCS probably would have been last year. It might be hard to find!

Deb Marlowe said...

Michelle--that is a riot! The poor guy will probably never tell about the time he demanded uterine birth control for his son! Ack!

Deb Marlowe said...

Dianna--your poor Mom! Did she realize what she said?

Deb Marlowe said...

Oh, Pink--that is classic! Thanks for the giggle! :-)

Deb Marlowe said...

I'm with you Pat--cringing!

Deb Marlowe said...

Hey Fo--I love Guerillas in the Mist! Typos were even more hideous pre-word processing!

Next Rita ceremony--let's all wear drak glue! LOL!

Deb Marlowe said...

Hi catslady! I'm shocked at the number of people who have seen name mix ups! Or maybe they were all reading the same book? :-)

Christine Wells said...

Hey, sister! Deb, welcome back to the lair (did you ever leave?:) and thank you Caren for bringing one of my favourite people to chat to us. I have Her Cinderella Season on order at Amazon and I can't wait to get my hands on it!

Love the story of surely! And that was such bad luck about the cart/card but these things do happen. Goodness knows how they do, but I suppose there are an awful lot of words to check in a 100k word ms.

I always laugh that whenever I start singing my elder boy used to shout "Stop Sinning!!" A really telling malapropism, that one:)

HCS sounds like a rare treat. Looking forward to reading it!

fengfk2008 said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Suzanne Welsh said...

Does anyone have trouble with next/nest? My mind has great trouble getting this typed correctly! Dang fingers...


If you type results really fast.... it comes out.......

Wait for it...


Yep, try defending that in a court of law! hehehe

Joan said...

Welcome back to the Lair, Deb!

I was just glad I didn't mispronounce your name when annoucing it as a finalist at The Maggie ceremony last week! (I know everyone could just see the "I know her" aura as I proudly announced it)

Joanie who recentl had a character worry about being thrown into a sack with an asp, a monkey and a RAPID (instead of rabid) dog.

Don't laugh, it was a favored Roman punishment, the cherry on the top being they then threw you into the Tiber where things got interesting.

Anna Campbell said...

Clearly, my baddie was stuck on my heroine in that one, groan!

Christine, snickering at stop sinning.

Caren Crane said...

Terry Odell, don't the homophones drive you nuts? I wrote an article about that. It's on my website if anyone wants to check it out.

Caren Crane said...

Susan, I've decided you're just one of those people to whom funny things happen. *g* I wish I were one of those people!

The Romance Dish said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
PJ said...

Oh man, there have been some terrific stories posted since I last checked the blog today. Michelle, Pink and Anna, I'm ROFLMAO over yours!

Christine, I do hope elder son's voice didn't carry to the neighbors! LOL!

Caren Crane said...

MsHellion, I'll have you know that Claudia and I have given up on a particular menu that proudly has as a special (every week) "Shepard's Pie". I have seen it spelled that way on other menus, as well. Does that make it right? Not in my book!

Caren Crane said...

Julia, I think unless you've studied or know German, Goethe is almost impossible to get right when only read and not heard!

Caren Crane said...

Fo, the "drak glue" was too funny. As funny as Donna's lapful of "peas"!

Deb Marlowe said...

Hey Christine, my sinning sister! LOL! My kids don't want to hear me sing either, but I'll bet you sound better than I do!

Deb Marlowe said...

Suzanne--those resluts are the worst! :-)

Deb Marlowe said...

Hey Joanie T! Thank you for announcing me with pride! I wish I could have been there last weekend.

Maybe next year!

Man, those Romans didn't leave anything to chance, did they?

Lynz Pickles said...

I remembered my most frequent slip-up while reading this thread: I am incapable of speaking properly when angry. I'm likely to mash up expressions, leading to statements like "It's not rocket surgery/brain science!" That happens a lot.

The mug cake was pretty good. A bit dry in the center, but other than that, yummy. And so easy!

Caren: I made the cake before reading your advice, but I was afraid it would expand a lot, so I used the largest mug I could find. I'm glad I did! I can't say anything about words people frequently mispronounce... since I used to mispronounce so many words when I was young. The combination of speaking French all day and reading books far above my grade level led to my making wrong assumptions about the way the words I read sounded in real life. (How was I supposed to know how infamous was pronounced? Come on, folks!)

Another fun thing my years in French immersion led to was an abundance of funny expressions. For example, if you translate literally, you don't turn the lights on and off in French. You open and close them. By the end of the week, if anyone asked me to turn a light on, I'd look at them like they were insane.

I managed to get over most of those funny habits, but there are a few words I still struggle with. Blue vs. bleu, center vs. centre, meter vs. metre... if I don't focus on those ones while writing, they'll come out in French, not in English.

Nancy said...

Lynz, congrats on the rooster!

Deb, I find typos from time to time, and there are sometimes inconsistent spellings of names. The latter tend to appear in the books of really big authors, ones who probably don't get much editing. Me, I'd like someone to save my from myself.

What a fun post--Her Cinderella Season sounds fabulous.

Mari said...

Yes and it is quite embarrassing.
In high school, in Biology class I was called on to read a passage from a book.
Instead of saying "organism" I said "orgasm"!!
OMG I was so mortified!

Caren Crane said...

Oh, Mari, I am dying for your teenage self!

In an ironic twist, I was writing something tonight and trying to say, "You will never again dread going to the gym." What I typed was, "You will never again dread going to the gyn." I'm not sure I can promise anyone that! LOL

ddurance said...

I was just discussing this with a library patron yesterday. How major book releases have really big mistakes, like using the wrong name, changing pronouns and misspelling, usually within the first few pages.


Caren Crane said...

Deidre, I really think the quick turnaround on books and the ever-shrinking pool of editors is affecting the quality of print books. We won't even talk about e-books, which do not have consistent quality from house to house.

It's a hard adjustment for those of us who grew up reading books where typos were few and far between. I'm sure some clever person will figure out how to solve this dilemma one day. Hopefully soon!

By the way, librarians are my favorite people ever! The magnificent staff at the Inglewood branch of the Davidson Co. TN library system were real heroines to me and introduced me to some of the best books I have ever read.

Pissenlit said...

Congrats Lynz!

Gah! Typos drive me nuts! I still remember the last 3 books that I've read that had typos and I think I know what pages 2 of those typos are on. But then again, I can be a little anal about stuff like that. Deb, your typo really does paint a super amusing picture...horses being spooked by a card vendor. :D

Deb Marlowe said...

Sorry guys--this deadline is killing me--I fell asleep on the couch!

Oh, Mari--and in high school too! Isn't every emotion magnified in high school? Super embarrassing!

Deb Marlowe said...

Caren--that's a pretty big promise about the gym/gyn--I don't know which would be harder to keep! :-)

Deirdre--authors hate them as much as readers. Mortifying...

Deb Marlowe said...

pissenlit--Well, now I've branded this one into your brain too! Sorry!


Julia Smith said...

Deb - I was with my sister and my close friend from work, both smarties. They both turned to me and quickly corrected me in unison. And all three of us were glad we were on a nearly-deserted street in Toronto at midnight. No one to know but us!

Caren - thanks! I guess it's better to have an inkling about Goethe and goof up his name than not attempting to discuss him at all. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.