After a week of going through copyedits I’ve made some discoveries about my writing.
1) The comma: It’s pretty embarrassing, but I still don’t know how to use a comma correctly. There were dozen upon dozens of commas that needed to inserted or deleted. My daughter recently had a worksheet on the comma and I’m thinking I should have paid more attention. I also would not be surprised if the copy editor sent me some worksheet to do before I write my next book.
2) Em-dashes: I have successfully kicked my em-dash habit. I love to use them, but after the going through the copy edits of book two I realized my editor and the copy editor weren’t as enamored. This time they actually added a couple! Hmmm—that probably just means I wasn’t using them correctly.
3) What’s in a name? Turns out I had doubled up on three names for minor characters! I named a lawyer and a small child ‘Lucy’. I named two different teens “Sean” and two other teens “Hayden”.
4) Relativity: OK, this is really bad. I name characters after relatives without really thinking about it. How is that possible? In Revealers I named the main character Jules and one of her friends is Margo. My stepsisters’ names are Margo and Julie and I have a sister-in law Julie. I never made the connection until my mother read Revealers and asked why I named the bitchy girl Margo. I just about died! I love the flesh and blood Margo—she’s a lovely person—what was I thinking? I have also used Michael, the name of one of my brothers and a stepbrother, as the jerk in Uninvited. Two love interests in Devoured share names with two nephews and I had named the love interest in my newest book after another nephew, but luckily I realized it before the book was written.
5) Good news: The good news is we just accepted an offer for a new young adult novel from my editor at S&S. The title is still in flux, but here’s the one sentence summary:
Rival teen vampire slayers and the thrill-seeking daughter of the lead singers of the kiddie rock band sensation The Disco Unicorns join forces to defeat the ancient demon vampire Lilith.