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My friend and fellow Echelon Press author, Sean Hayden, does a lot to promote other writers. Now he has a novel of his own to promote, I'm delighted to have him share some wisdomous words here on An Englishman in New Jersey today.


Everybody knows them. They teach them to us as wee lads and lasses in elementary schools. They even give them fancy names like homophones. Let me tell you one thing, as an editor, they are the very bane of our existence! Whoever invented the English language should be drawn, quartered, ground into paste, and spread over a Ritz friggin cracker.

You know those words. The complex ones are easy! Nobody ever gets those words wrong. I’m talking the stupid simple everyday words used a million times in conversation. Sometimes you catch them when you’re editing, sometimes you don’t. It’s the ones you don’t that make you blush and beat your head against the desk like you were trying to put out a fire with your forehead.

Visit my website for a sneak peak at my upcoming novel!
(No, nobody was trying to hide the face of a mountain)

It’s a pleasure to meat you!
(Yes, I would like to smack you with a 26oz T-bone)

You have the right to be judged by a group of your piers.
(Only the piers? The docks don’t get a vote? That’s not fair)

The majestic eagle prays on the hapless field mouse
(Does that make it an altar mouse?)

I fixed the fender of my car using an ark welder.
(Jeez, I bet Moses wished he had one of those!)

I slowly cranked the real of the fishing rod, fighting the bass with every crank.
(Reel cool if you ask me)

I’m sure you get the gist of this post. Going through someone’s manuscript looking for misspelled words, missing words, plot holes, repetitive actions, and every possible other thing that could be wrong is difficult enough. Throw in words that are spelled correctly and that sound exactly the same are just recipes for disaster.

So next time you get that round of edits back from your editor and you see all of the strikethroughs, notes, and suggestions, cut them some slack. They’re only trying to help. Then, when everything is complete and you get an Advance Reader Copy (or ark, I mean arc) and you send it out for reviews and then get it back with fifteen different people pointing out tiny little mistakes, remember this post. I’ll let you in on a little secret: Editors are people too. They’re not blood sucking, soul feeding monstrosities hell bent on causing irrevocable mental anguish on the authors they are assigned to work with. That’s just a rumor.


Born in the suburbs of Chicago, Sean Hayden moved to the frigid arctic climes of south east Florida as a small child. The son of a fireman and a proofreader (that’s what they had before spellcheck) he fell in love with reading at a young age. When he hit the age of 35 he wrote his first novel, an urban fantasy about vampires and demons entitled Origins.  

Ashlyn Thorn was born different. She was born with all the characteristics of a vampire, but in a world where vampires, elves, and werewolves work, play, and die side by side with normal humans, everyone knows vampires aren’t born, they’re made.  The only thing she ever wanted is to know her true Origins. Ashlyn’s tale takes her on a quest to find out what makes her different and to find out the truth, but with every question she gets answered, she uncovers more uncertainties. To make things worse she makes enemies of the most powerful vampires of the city who consider her powers to dangerous to let go unchecked. She is saved by the government only to be trained and used to serve their purposes, and Ashlyn finds herself torn between two worlds.  She can either be a monster, or help fight the monsters.

Unsatisfied with one novel, Sean penned the second book in the Demonkin series, Deceptions, coming soon from Echelon Press.


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( 43 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 17th, 2011 04:12 pm (UTC)
We love our editors!!!!

Thanks for sharing Sean!

Feb. 17th, 2011 04:27 pm (UTC)
Lol, crawler :P
(no subject) - phoenixfirewolf - Feb. 17th, 2011 07:26 pm (UTC) - Expand
My pleasure, Julie! - shaydenFL - Feb. 17th, 2011 05:01 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: My pleasure, Julie! - phoenixfirewolf - Feb. 17th, 2011 07:25 pm (UTC) - Expand
Feb. 17th, 2011 04:13 pm (UTC)
Heh. Two of my favourite typos are 'fiends' (who needs enemies when you have these?) and 'e-maul' (clearly an unpleasant reading experience).

And in my current WIP, an aubergine that was a 'straggler' became a 'strangler' by accident - we always knew they were nasty vegetables ;-)
Feb. 17th, 2011 04:28 pm (UTC)
...we always knew they were nasty vegetables

Not like the mushroom. Now there's a fun guy :)
(no subject) - shaydenFL - Feb. 17th, 2011 05:02 pm (UTC) - Expand
Feb. 17th, 2011 04:22 pm (UTC)
It happens when my fingers type to fast for my brain to catch up. I'll be hitting 'enter' and my eyes catch on that ONE word that, oh noes! I've spelt it wrong.
Feb. 17th, 2011 04:23 pm (UTC)
And of COURSE it happens in the very comment that discusses it. Good ol' Muphry's Law.
(no subject) - jongibbs - Feb. 17th, 2011 04:27 pm (UTC) - Expand
Feb. 17th, 2011 04:23 pm (UTC)
Haha! I make those stupid mistakes all the time. I get so busy trying to get the story out that I forget somtimes there is more than one way to spell certain words, and that they mean different things.

Their/there/they're is the one I get caught on the most.
Feb. 17th, 2011 04:34 pm (UTC)
My old gran had a fairly adventurous approach to spelling. She used to say, 'If folks can't figure out what I'm saying, that's their problem.'

(no subject) - darke_conteur - Feb. 17th, 2011 04:47 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - jongibbs - Feb. 17th, 2011 05:24 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - shaydenFL - Feb. 17th, 2011 05:04 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - darke_conteur - Feb. 17th, 2011 08:15 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - shaydenFL - Feb. 17th, 2011 08:39 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - darke_conteur - Feb. 17th, 2011 10:54 pm (UTC) - Expand
Feb. 17th, 2011 04:46 pm (UTC)
Homonyms are the bane of my existence.

Great post (and the book looks good too).
Feb. 17th, 2011 05:04 pm (UTC)
Feb. 17th, 2011 05:45 pm (UTC)
LOL! I just found a jam in my new release where a jamb needs to be. I hope my character doesn't get too sticky leaning against his jam. ;-) Can't wait to check out "Origins"!
Feb. 17th, 2011 08:31 pm (UTC)
lol. depends on if its strawberry. Thanks!
(no subject) - shaydenFL - Feb. 17th, 2011 08:31 pm (UTC) - Expand
Feb. 17th, 2011 07:04 pm (UTC)
Great post! Lots of wisdoms hidden in levity. I'm eager to check out "Origins."
Feb. 17th, 2011 08:33 pm (UTC)
Thanks shoebrera! Hope you enjoy it
Feb. 17th, 2011 08:03 pm (UTC)
These nuisances are at least partially due to the fact that while English is considered a Germanic language, it is so heavily peppered with French (insert long history lesson here)that we get the homonyms that make us want to pull out our hair.

(Hmmm...is that what happened to Jon??)

I have two word sets that I ALWAYS confuzzle--it's/its, and our/out. Ok, the second pair isn't homonym...ous? I still have a problem with them.

My book (Finder) was gone over several times before ARCs, then again in ARC form, and still the typos and such get through. I find them all the time in books. Ah, well...
Feb. 17th, 2011 08:35 pm (UTC)
it's and its. Every time i type it i have to stop and think, am i saying it is? Only way i don't screw it up.

As for finals. I found 54 pages of corrections in my proof and then another 2 in my arc. Missing words etc.... Head-->desk
(no subject) - bogwitch64 - Feb. 17th, 2011 08:55 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - jongibbs - Feb. 18th, 2011 09:26 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - bogwitch64 - Feb. 18th, 2011 02:45 pm (UTC) - Expand
Feb. 17th, 2011 08:38 pm (UTC)
Great post; very useful! Thanks to Sean, and to you also, Jon. And congratulations to Sean on his novel.
Feb. 17th, 2011 08:43 pm (UTC)
thank you, mary!
Becky Hancock
Feb. 17th, 2011 08:56 pm (UTC)
I loved reading this post! Also made me feel better about being one to "find" something while reading an ARC.

It's so true that the simplest things seem to be the hardest to catch! I edit my Beau's research papers (since english is his second language) and sometimes it's amazing what I'll miss and he'll later point out to me. XD

Damn those words. :P
Feb. 17th, 2011 09:17 pm (UTC)
Re: :D
LOL. HI BECKY! ~waves from florida~
Re: :D - Becky Hancock - Feb. 18th, 2011 05:13 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: :D - jongibbs - Feb. 18th, 2011 09:35 am (UTC) - Expand
Feb. 17th, 2011 11:38 pm (UTC)
Sean, from one kid of a fireman to another, was it the nights your father wasn't at home when you did most of your reading? Or were like me, preferring reading to watching TV? BTW, my mother was a proofreader too although she didn't get paid for it. There wasn't one piece of homework that left the house without my mother's critical eye finding all the mistakes.
Feb. 18th, 2011 09:34 am (UTC)
I rarely made mistakes in my homework. Of course, that's mostly because I rarely ever did my homework, but I'm a 'glass is half full' kind of guy, so I'm taking a positive slant on it :)
(Deleted comment)
Feb. 18th, 2011 09:30 am (UTC)
{sigh} Old codgers like me have problems with your, you're AND yore.

And typing in general :(

Edited at 2011-02-18 09:31 am (UTC)
Feb. 18th, 2011 06:08 pm (UTC)
Sometimes you catch them when you’re editing, sometimes you don’t. It’s the ones you don’t that make you blush and beat your head against the desk like you were trying to put out a fire with your forehead

yup, those are the worst! Whether you're behind the black pen or the red one... and speaking of which what about these little killers: their vs. they're or there; your vs. you're... ugh!

(all this being said, I completely missed "peak" when I read the first example and for a moment was wondering what the heck you were talking about *head hits desk*)
Feb. 20th, 2011 01:35 pm (UTC)
I think our eyes are sometimes too well trained. They see what we want to see and pass along the data accordingly :(
(no subject) - drosewriter - Feb. 20th, 2011 04:07 pm (UTC) - Expand
( 43 comments — Leave a comment )

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