Above painting: Louis Jean Francois - Mars and Venus an Allegory of Peace


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Thursday, November 15, 2012

Reading as a Writer by Callie Hutton

Today I'd like to welcome, Callie Hutton, not only a wonderful historical romance author, but one of our reviewers too! I can't wait to read her new Christmas story!

Reading as a Writer

By: Callie Hutton

            I’ve been a voracious reader all my life. My mom would take a book out of my hands and point to the door. “Go out and play.”
            At various jobs where I worked, I was known as the woman who always had her nose stuck in a book. When people would ask what I was reading, most times I had to check the cover because I read so fast I didn’t even have a book long enough to remember its name.
            Reading has been my main source of entertainment for years. It disturbs me that now that I have written several books, gone through critiques, contests, and editing with publishers, that now I read, not as a reader, by as a writer. It’s sort of like seeing the faults in your child. You love them anyway, but sad when you discover those little things that you wished wasn’t a part of their makeup.
            I’m currently reading a book by a very well-known romance author. Every time she head- hops, I cringe. I have no problem following the story, and frankly I never could understand the horror that particular issue creates, but I know it’s not acceptable. Then there’s the flat out mistakes. Missing words, wrong words, repetitive phrases. Reversed letters so it reads: “her won” instead of “her own.”
            I suppose at one time that would never have bothered me, or even if I would have noticed it. Or is it just editors are getting sloppy? I allow (but don’t accept) mistakes in self-published books because I realize it’s hard to find your own mistakes, even though any decent self- published author uses beta readers and critique partners to catch them.
            But when you’re reading a book by a well-known author, coming from a “big” house, and you see these mistakes, it irks me. Have I always been this fussy? Or is this a new trend? In any event, even though I never intend to give up my favorite past time, it’s now riddled with annoyance.
            How about you? Do mistakes bother you? Does it pull you out of the story? Do you think there are more mistakes in books now then, say, twenty years ago? And lastly, when you see mistakes in a book, do you try to contact the author and let him/her know?
            Inquiring minds want to know.

Callie has been making up stories since elementary school, and writing gave her a way to turn off the voices in her head.  She’s had a number of articles and interviews published over the years, and finally decided to put her writing skills to the test and write novels.
            Oklahoma is where she hangs her hat with her husband of thirty-six years, two young adult children, and three dogs.
You can catch her hanging out at Facebook, Twitter- @CallieHutton, and her home base, www.calliehutton.com. Stop by sometime and say hello.

Blurb for Miss Merry’s Christmas:

The Duke of Penrose is not happy with Miss Meredith Chambers, the American governess his new wards have arrived with. He quickly replaces her, happy to have his unwanted attraction to the unsuitable woman behind him. Until his mother hires her as a companion…

England, 1817.  David Worthington, Duke of Penrose dislikes Miss Meredith Chambers, the American governess who accompanied his new wards. He especially detests his attraction to the insufferable woman, and is anxious for her replacement to arrive.

Merry is thrilled when the Dowager Duchess Penrose hires her as a companion. Now she can stay with her beloved charges. But can she ignore how her heart thumps when the pompous duke gets close?

Two people determined to ignore each other, despite the pull between them, and the sparks that fly whenever they're together.




Callie said...

Hi Eliza, (she waves). I'm really excited to be here today. I just love this site. I'll be offline until after noon time (central). So I'll catch up with y'all then. Have a great day everyone.

Katy Lee said...

I have always been fussy. Even before I started writing. But I guess I am more so now. :)

Cait OSullivan said...

Like Katy Lee, I have always been fussy but I think you're right, Callie, I think the mistakes are more commonplace now. I hate them and am becoming more intolerant of them. Once I hit one mistake, my whole opinion of the book nosedives! It's three strikes and you're out though. Great post!

Calisa Rhose said...

First I have to congratulate you on Miss Merry's Christmas, Callie! Beautiful cover and I can't wait to read it (I've planned it for my Christmas reading. :))

I want to play Devil's advocate today (just a little). When I was 'just a reader' I don't think mistakes bothered me enough to notice and I never contacted the author.
As a writer, it drives me crazy if there are numerous mistakes and, yes, I have contacted one author who informed me her book was actually set to reprint to correct the many critical errors SHE had caught and requested be fixed BEFORE publication- but was somehow not done. She switched characters in one scene that sent me scrambling back a dozen pages. Yep- He was outside. How did he get in the kitchen now? So many typos that if the book hadn't been book four in a series I was thoroughly enjoying, I would have tossed it out without a blink.
As an editor--I see the other side of it all and I wonder some days why I'm so eager to be an editor. I've come to accept it's my OCD. I HAVE to try to help those authors who need the help of a good and diligent eye. But editing is hard. You read the same book four, five, six times over and over and we miss things. Some more than others and I put that down to the editor burning out, not really caring, or just carelessness. It takes a village to raise a child. It takes a publishing crew to publish a book. You, the writer, the editor and the other people behind the scenes are 'the village.'

Ally Broadfield said...

I think I'm a more critical reader now that I'm a writer, but I also think the copy editing on books has gotten sloppier. I have heard frustration from Big 6 authors over the copy editing process, and also the budget cuts that have led to freelance and/or sub-par copy editors. I'm a bit more forgiving of the smaller publishers since they usually have less lead time and fewer resources, but it's still annoying to try to read a book riddled with errors.

Anonymous said...

I've always been a picky reader. Now I'm just more aware of why the book bothers me.

Callie said...

Thanks for the comments later. I appreciate your input.

B.J. Scott said...

Congrats on the success of Miss Merry's Christmas! Thrilled for you and your readers. Having read several of your book, I know this one will not dissappoint. Started it and anxious to finish.

Callie said...

Hi Barb. Thanks for coming by. I'm glad you're enjoying it so far.