Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Once upon a time...on a time...I don't know anymore

I've been going over the copyedits for Skinners 3 which are the nitty-gritty grammar, punctuation and technical fixes. In other words, this is where I learn how bad I am at grammar, punctuation and technical stuff. I'm fine with that. One thing I take comfort from is that these edits get easier and easier with every book I write. Sure, it may have started off better if I'd majored in English Composition in college or something more lit-tastic than Criminal Justice, but I'm making progress. Sometimes it doesn't seem like it, though.

One case in point: in tact. Or, intact. For some unknown reason, I ALWAYS split this into two words. My spell check doesn't catch it because they are both real words, but my proofreaders and editors sure do. It's become such a problem that I've put a sticky note on my desk that reads, "Intact = ONE WORD". You know what? I STILL make this mistake. When I'm writing, no matter how much I'm thinking about my problem, my fingers still screw up. Kind of like when I type the word "future". My fingers want to type "furture". I kid you not, when I wrote the first word in quotes it was furture. At least spell check catches that one.

Second case in point: Upon. I'm really seeing this one in the Skinners 3 manuscript. If my copyeditor is reading this, I'm genuinely sorry. Plus, you're a saint for all the freaking times you had to correct me on this one thing. My problem here is that I just use this word incorrectly. I write "upon" when it just needs to be "on". "Cole placed his hand upon Paige's shoulder." "Paige set the gun upon the table." "The furture rests upon their next decision." DAMN IT!!!!! In my head, one word just sounds better than the other. That's it. My brain doesn't care which is correct. It just knows which it likes and it likes the wrong one.

I cannot thank my editors enough. They have to put up with all of this garbage. At least they get to read the next Skinners before everyone else. If they don't like my books, then they deserve an extra medal for doing their jobs so well.

As much as I'd like to be perfect and get each manuscript right the first time through, I know that's just not going to happen. I'm not a grammatical guy. Also, in these tough times, I'd hate to put someone out of a job. This system works pretty well as it is, so I'll keep it in tact.

This is what happens without editors

I'm Marcus Pelegrimas, author of the SKINNERS series. Here you'll find various ramblings about movies, video games, TV, and...oh yeah...those books I write. If there's anything you'd like to discuss, just let me know. I try to update whenever the mood strikes me, so feel free to leave comments. There may be some occasional foul language, but anyone who's too easily offended probably doesn't read my stuff anyway.

Free Stuff

Here's how it goes. As usual, I've got my truckload of promo covers from EOS Books. I'll be going to some conventions, so I hope to see you there and I'll gladly sign your books. If you can't make it to a con, just email me your name, address and any inscription so I can send you a signed cover.

BONUS ---> If you would be so kind as to write up a review for any or all Skinners books and publish it on a site like, Barnes & Noble, Borders, or any other major review site, I can send you something extra. I made up some bookmarks (which I'll sign) and I've even put together some Shimmy's VIP passes (which I'll also sign). Can't guarantee the passes will get you into a real strip club, but I think they look pretty cool. Send me a link to your review along with your name, address and inscription, and I'll get these out to you as well.