Tag Archives: proofreading

History’s Most Shocking Serial Killer Brought to Life: The Affliction Series by Romina Nicolaides

Bathory's secret1609, Hungary. Powerful Countess Erzsébet Báthory has been searching for an illiterate book binder to collate her journals. Why illiterate? So that no one will discover her extraordinary, violent past. Kati, a local peasant, has just the skills she requires. The girl is keen to live in the castle with the Countess, until the horrors of her employer’s habits begin to be revealed. 

Horror isn’t always my thing, but Nicolaides’ novels are something totally different. They transcend the genre with their gritty action and gorgeous historical detail. They’re macabre and evocative, and there’s book binding, which I’m very into at the moment.

Chillingly, the title character is based on the real Erzsébet Báthory  (click the link to read about her deeds) – reputedly history’s most prolific female serial killer. Her legend has long been embellished with vampiric overtones, and Nicolaides seamlessly blends fact and fiction compellingly (she has an academic background in history). If you’re tired of sparkly teenage vampires, this is the ideal antidote.
Vampire edificeThrough the ‘Afflicted’ characters (those who survive on blood), there is an exploration of morality, mortality and what it means to be human.

The second novel focuses on Kati. I don’t want to give too much away to those of you who haven’t read the first one yet, but suffice it to say, dramatic events happen, there’s violence, travel, peril, love, and a secret society or two: all the ingredients for a page turner.

I’m excited about the next in the series too.

If you’d like to try them out, the links to purchase can be found here. They’re astoundingly cheap so I highly recommend you give them a go.

Please share to help give this awesome indie series the exposure it deserves.

 

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‘Peak’, ‘Peek’ or ‘Pique’ one’s interest?

taking-a-peakI think peek can be taken out of the confusion equation most easily. It simply means ‘a secret look’, and one cannot ‘secret look one’s interest’ and claim grammatical wherewithal. However, errors arise between peak and pique.

Peak is often used wrongly in this expression, presumably because it sounds like it’s bringing one’s interest to a peak, ‘a highest or maximum point’.

The correct phrase is ‘to pique one’s interest’.

Pique, in this context, means ‘to provoke’.

If you ever confuse peek and peak, just remember that peek is like peer, or see the ‘ee’s like a pair of eyes.

I hope this post provoked you interest. Likes, shares, comments and such will be met with eternal gratitude.

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Capitalising Seasons

birtish-weatherSpring, summer, autumn (or fall) and winter generally do not need capital letters. So why do people write them with capitals so often?

Well they do take capitals as part of proper nouns, like the names of events, e.g. ‘Winter Olympics’.

Also, months have initial capital letters and they’re the other unit we regularly split the year into. My favourite summer month is June.

They need capitals at the beginning of sentences too, obviously.

Otherwise, all small case please. Thanks!

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‘Mother’s Day’, ‘Mothers’ Day’ or ‘Mothers Day’?

Another holiday, another apostrophe-based conundrum. The day on which we celebrate our mothers is almost upon us here in the UK, so what should we write on our card? Indeed, which card should we buy? Is it the day that belongs to all the mothers or just our individual mother? Or is it a day for mothers but not belonging to them at all?

The OED goes with Mother’s Day which I think works. A lot of us have only one mum and it’s her day. Celebration in the singular. General usage seems to back this up.

ngramIt seems Ann and Anna Jarvis, the women who invented Mother’s Day in the USA, chose to have the apostrophe before the S too, ‘[Anna] was specific about the location of the apostrophe; it was to be a singular possessive, for each family to honour their mother, not a plural possessive commemorating all mothers in the world.’

She also thought that we should send letters, rather than cards.

I think that’s pretty conclusive, but if you’re still not happy, just go with Mothering Sunday.

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“I like work: it fascinates me. I can sit and look at it for hours.”

I’ve had an interesting, fun and varied year of proofreading and editing, as well as starting a new job working in libraries, and another writing for a publisher. I’ve been busy, but having a ridiculously good time. Below I’ve collected what I’ve worked on as Eve Proofreads in 2014. Each of these projects has been such a joy to work on. I’m very lucky so many extraordinarily talented authors have let me read their work. I urge you to have a look through and purchase any that take your fancy; they are all well worth reading. The title quote is from Jerome K. Jerome, who’s pretty good too.

SlashI really loved proofreading Evan Kingston’s Slash Serial.

Slash is a metafictional erotic thriller / comedic murder mystery / romantic slasher, originally published in seven parts. Alexis Bledsoe, star of TV’s #1 family drama, is certain coming out the closet will kill her career, so she turns to erotic fan fiction about herself as her only sexual outlet. But when the stories turn sinister and begin to match real-life murders on the set of her show, she struggles to discover their author’s true identity while trying to keep her own a secret.

Originally published in seven parts, you can download the whole thing here or get the beautiful handmade set here.

Night BusLondon EyesFrances M Thompson hired me for a few of her short stories, published as Night Bus and in the London Eyes collection.

Written by Guardian Top London Blogger Frances M. Thompson, London Eyes is a compilation of thought-provoking contemporary fiction inspired by the sights, sounds and souls of the world’s most popular, and some say greatest, city. Find out how and why one young woman uses the busy streets of the City of London to disappear in An Invisible Girl. In Angel you begin to understand the lengths some people go to to avoid loneliness in London. 

Night Bus is a gentle and thought-provoking short story about dreams, love and the strange things that happen when you get the night bus in London.
Tilde O’Hara is an English woman with Irish parents and a Swedish name.
Tilde O’Hara lives in London with two cats who don’t like her very much.
Tilde O’Hara has a job she loves, a gay best friend she loves and a maisonette she loves, albeit really a bed-sit.
One night Tilde O’Hara meets an old woman on the number 94 bus and everything changes.

Here’s where you can find them.

Bewitching Luke

I really enjoy a bit of YA fantasy. The first book I worked on this year was Ava Smith’s Bewitching Luke. Here’s the synopsis:

Seventeen year old Freya Cook is a witch. She is able to cast spells and tell the future. She is shunned by everyone in the tiny village she lives in and doesn’t have a friend in the world. One day, salvation presents itself in the form of Luke Jones – who just happens to move in next door.

Start reading it on Wattpad.

DemonsI also worked on Joe Clay’s Demons of the Jungle, a darker paranormal fantasy:

Debra and Patricia were in the fight of their lives. The jungle became a prison, filled with nightmares and mysterious happenings. The un-explainable events drove Debra and Patricia to the realization they were part of a much bigger scheme. The demons were planning on taking over humanity and they were to be the mothers of the offspring.

Download it here, and look forward to Joe Clay’s upcoming novel that I also spent time on this year.

The Changing RoomI proofread and helped with the author Q & A and book club questions for The Changing Room by Jane Turley.

“Today, I am in the changing room of my life and tomorrow, win or lose, I’ll move forward a stronger and wiser woman.”

Sandy Lovett’s confused mother and chaotic life are having an effect on her waistline. She knows she needs to change her life but doesn’t know how until she buys a risqué dress which sets in motion a sequence of life-changing events. After years as a mother, carer and full-time employee, Sandy quits her job and places her mother in a care home, and life seems on the up. But disaster is never far away for the hapless Sandy as her mother’s obsessions continue to wreak havoc and her husband’s business begins to fail. Short of cash and needing a flexible job, Sandy joins a sex-chat service. At The Beaver Club Sandy discovers a talent for selling telephone sex – a skill she later regrets when she meets unscrupulous local politician and prospective MP, Trewin Thackeray. The Changing Room is a comedy-drama for all those whose glass is half-full. Preferably with gin and a big fat cherry!

Download it here or get the paperback.

SantaI also worked on Jane Turley’s short story collection A Modern Life, which I hear is Santa’s new favourite book.

A Modern Life is collection of contemporary short stories for time-pressed readers. A reflection on the challenges of living in the 21st century, A Modern Life covers a multitude of topics including marriage, murder, child abduction, climate change and war. It also features Jane Turley’s distinctive slapstick-comedy tales and a chapter of her début comedy, The Changing Room.

Buy the ebook or the paperback.

200 Shorter StoriesIt was great fun working on 200 Shorter Stories by C. H. Aaberry.

Two hundred tales of two hundred letters and spaces.
Plots, worlds and character refined to their essence.
Sci-fi, whimsy, fantasy, horror, thriller and more.
Short stories unlike any you’ve read before.

Get it from Amazon or Smashwords.

ZoI also edited C. H. Aalberry’s new novel Zo and the Impossible Gardens.

Zo woke up in the Impossible Gardens with no memory of how he got there and no way to escape. He is alone, and the night skies are full of stars and moons he does not recognize. Whatever brought Zo to the Gardens leaves him puzzles to solve, rewarding his efforts with strange animals from Earth and beyond. Zo loves adventure, but will he ever get to go home?
This is the story of Zo and the Impossible Gardens.

 

Available here.

SnowburnI proofread E. J. Frost’s sexy sci-fi novel, Snowburn.

Hale Hauser is a Company killer. Perfectly engineered, highly trained, superbly effective. But when ordered to assassinate his own kind, Hale rebels, and the Company buries him in a hole so deep that no one has ever escaped.

After escaping, Hale hides on Kuseros, a backwater Colony on the Deep Frontier. He begins a new life as Sandringham Snow, pilot and smuggler. Hired by Kez, a local runner, to retrieve a box of black-market glands, Hale follows her through the maze of strange loyalties and twisted customs of Kuseros’ underground gangs. In payment, he takes the one thing only a woman can give him, and discovers the one thing his new life is missing.

But Kez has a secret, which will threaten them both. To protect her, Hale must unleash the monster. Can he control the killer inside long enough to discover the truth before it destroys them? Or will he lose everything just as he’s found it?

Buy it here.

Lorenzo's CauseI actually met Stephen R. Harrison in real life after proofreading his debut novel Lorenzo’s Cause. He’s a delight and so is the book.

When Adam Drysdale’s self-inflicted misery drives him to take his own life, his only wish is for oblivion. He soon realises that his wish has not been granted when he finds himself returned to the world as a spirit. But he is no ordinary spirit, because he has the extraordinary ability to possess and control other living creatures.

And so begins Adam’s remarkable journey to uncover the reason behind his existence. It will involve cats and dogs, unwitting pensioners, some shady individuals, a psychotic gang leader and a highly unusual nightclub doorman. His journey will eventually lead him to the heart of why humans exist, and with it what the afterlife has in store for him.

 Lorenzo’s Cause is a humorous, sad, and at times harrowing story, which reflects on the human condition as it twists and turns its way to some novel concepts of what lies beyond.

The ebook and paperback can be purchased on Amazon.

Journey into SpaceSteve Turnbull employed me to edit steampunk space adventure Journey Into Space, 1874.

When the Royal Navy send their first crew into the Void, the first part of the expedition goes off without a hitch. But when the three-man crew discover their assumption that they are the first men in the Void is false, their journey becomes a desperate fight for survival in the harshest environment in the universe: The Void.

Available here. I’m currently working on the next Maliha Anderson mystery, so I strongly recommend you catch up with the first three here.

Johnny Don't March promo 1 copyI’ve just sent back Timothy Hurley‘s extraordinary novel about a soldier coming home, Johnny Don’t March. Look out for that in January.

 

There are a couple of other great titles I got to read this year which aren’t out yet, including Drae Box‘s fantasy adventure The Royal Gift, get a sneak peek here, and the new novel from Buzz Malone(If you haven’t read Silence of Centerville yet, do.)

To every author mentioned here, thank you so much for hiring me this year and for letting me read the products of your brilliant imaginations. You’re all fantastic!

What have you been doing this year? I hope it’s been a good one.

Wishing you a Merry Christmas and a happy and productive 2015!

 

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‘Further’ or ‘Farther’?

These are often used interchangeably and are commonly accepted to be synonyms. Both words share the sense of going beyond. However, there is still a proper, formal way to use them.

Farther is used for a physical distance. Think far away. If you could fit the words a greater physical distance in place of it, it is correct to use farther.

“Is there farther to go before we turn?”

“Is there a greater physical distance to go before we turn?”

green-light

F. Scott Fitzgerald knew how to use them.

Further can be used for less concrete notions and all that metaphysical jazz:

“Without further ado…”

Further to your letter…”

“We’ve made further progress on the research.”

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The Changing Room by Jane Turley

I proofread The Changing Room and worked on its Book Club Discussion Points and Author Q and A. I’m very lucky that Jane Turley sent me a gorgeous paperback edition last week. It’s a joy to behold and it was a delight to work on.

The Changing RoomIt is undoubtedly the funniest novel I’ve read in a long time. Jane Turley’s natural wit and flair for sharp dialogue make this an absolute pleasure to read. She reminds me of Sue Townsend, with a good dose of Rachel Joyce: all three have a gift for seeing the humour and pathos of everyday life.

“Today, I am in the changing room of my life and tomorrow, win or lose, I’ll move forward a stronger and wiser woman.” 

Alongside the classic British comedy are deeply moving moments as Sandy looks after her mother, who is becoming increasingly difficult due to Alzheimer’s, and loses her brilliant PTA frenemy to illness. There is a strong sense of social justice, responsibility, and the importance of looking after each other and coming together in times of crisis, as well as a lot of enjoyable silliness.

It is essentially a warm, genuine and life-affirming novel. I cannot recommend it enough.

The Changing Room Header

Available from Amazon in ebook or paperback, Smashwords, or Barnes and Noble. Please read and review it.

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‘Must Of’ or ‘Must’ve’?

In general, I’m not the sort of person who corrects people unbidden, but every time I see a message with must of in it my pedant urges twitch, and I have to stop myself typing a Google-style “Did you mean must’ve?”

DowntonMust of is an incorrect way of saying must’ve or must have. The contraction is pronounced like must of, presumably causing the confusion.

It is extremely rare that must of will make sense together in a sentence e.g. ‘They must of course consider what is proper’. Commas would sort that right out, though.

They must’ve been scandalized when she married the chauffeur.

You must’ve mistaken a footman for a valet. How embarrassing.

I think you must’ve watched too much Downton.

Have you seen this happening? Comments and shares much appreciated!

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A Chat with DIY Author

ADIYA little while ago I was called upon to share some editing knowledge in vocalised format with the Interweb. Click here to listen to my pearls of relative wisdom. 

Everybody loves a podcast. 

Have some background on DIY Author:

DIY Author exists to educate and empower authors with the knowledge and tools they need to do the work, find an audience, and build a career. Whether you are pursuing a deal with traditional publishers, you’re pursuing an independent path, or you’re hoping for the best of both worlds, our mission is to help you navigate the constantly changing landscape of publishing.

Our editorial team works to bring you original and comprehensive articles, expert interviews, innovative case studies, reviews of the latest industry research and the news you need to know to improve your chances of making your best work.

I hope you enjoy the episode. All comments welcome. 

 

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Ngrams: A Magnificent Editing Tool

Basically, Google Ngrams searches all of the 5.2 million books digitized by Google for whatever word(s) or phrase(s) you want to look for or compare. It then plots them on a graph. This is extremely useful when proofreading as it helps me to choose between variant spellings, particularly if an author has used more than one in their work. 

Have a look at this example:
nerves
Charts like the one below also show which version of a phrase was in common use in a particular era. You can even use it to check whether a word you’re considering using in your period piece was in common usage at that time.

hat

In general, it’s rather interesting to see how words or phrases have risen or fallen in popularity. Here’s the trajectory of ‘twerk’:

twerk

You can also search in many languages, including British or American English, and choose a shorter time span. It can even be used to explore cultural change and the popularity of ideas.

women

It’s a handy and rather interesting tool. Click here to have a go.

What do you think? Have you used it in your editing?

 

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