In Response: Intolerant of Typos


Sometimes I receive messages from readers that I answer immediately. 

Others take a lot of careful thought and consideration before I reply. 

This one is the latter.

A reader writes:


I'm an avid reader of romance (and historical romance). I read about 2 novels a week and have done most of my adult life, I have two children, I work full time and my partner is lead parent. Why am I telling you this? I'm no slouch. I work hard and have an active imagination. 

By all accounts you are a successful, widely read author and I just wanted to point out the following: 

"...and that crooked tie was about the sexiest thing she'd ever seen him wear. It bespoke of his loss of control..." 

"Top left, next to the refridgerator," his housekeeper answered as began filling the dishwasher." 

Normally there is one spelling or grammar error in a book. I get that. Editors and authors churn them out and they think the audience will forgive one. It jolts you out of the narrative for sure but one is a thing in the quick-fix world of romance literature. I find them often. Two feels a bit insulting. (Bespoke isn't the right word for that sentence. Bespoke is a custom made/ one off item). 

Nice work on the story, believable characters. I wouldn't imagine I'm the only person who has let you know these errors exist but it annoyed me so much I actually wrote to you, please take it as a back handed compliment


Intolerant of Typos*






My response:

Hi there.

To your point, no matter how many times multiple editors review a book, or how many times I read a book, an error sneaks through. I am, in fact, human, so really there's no reason for you to be personally insulted. I didn't intend to insult you--heck, I didn't even know it happened until you wrote.

 Refrigerator definitely does not have a d. After a perusal of the paperback version, guess what? No d!

 Score one for the copyeditor! This must have slipped through on a digital version only. *phew* That's a relief.

More good news: β€œbespoke” also means β€œindicated”—it has a few meanings according to my copyeditor's Merriam-Webster. I'll take it. πŸ˜¬

Now, back to that refrigerator sentence. Did you notice the missed word? It should read "as she began filling the dishwasher." Missed words are common because our brilliant brains fill in the gaps for what's missing. 

For example, not until I re-read your email did I notice a missed word: 

 I read about 2 novels a week and have done most of my adult life

This should probably read β€œdone so most of my adult life." 

As you can see, typing errors happen to the best of us. 

I appreciate you tossing in a "nice work" on my book. Authors like me live for that stuff! If you'd like to compliment me next time, all I ask is that you leave out the "back handed" part. Wait... Isn't backhanded one word?

Writing is hard.


Jessica Lemmon πŸ˜‡


PS... If I made an error in this blog, please see my mention of being human. πŸ€“

*Name changed to protect the sender's secret (possibly superhero) identity.