Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Happily-hyphenated


I recently decided to have a few copies of my novel printed off, courtesy of Pen Press, for friends and family to read - whether they like it or not. No seriously, they want to. They DO.

I decided it might be prudent to have it professionally copy-edited first. There's nothing worse than reading a book filled with typos and grammar glitches - though I can't 100% guarantee a few won't have slipped through the net.

It seemed like a lot of money to invest, but I figured if I don't secure a traditional publishing deal, I may want to self-publish at some point so it's money well-spent, and writers services offered what I thought was a reasonable rate, and did a first class job.

They rather flatteringly said there wasn't much to do (hardly surprising when I've revised the damn novel about a million times) but I was shocked - nay, embarrassed - by my considerable overuse - and misuse - of the humble hyphen.

Dear-oh-dear. I had NO idea I used it so indiscriminately, and completely without thought. On every page they leapt out - car-park, pork-pies, hair-brush* to name but a few.

I had no idea. I do now. After a good old trawl on the Interweb, requainting myself with their useage, I've realised these cheerful chaps, with their constant interruptions, have got to go.

I'm so glad I had the edit now. My mum's a devil for punctuation and once she'd seen my faux pas I'd never have lived it down.

(I had to check there wasn't a hyphen in faux pas.)

* This isn't a fair representation of what my novel's about. I promise.

Cover reveal from my office.

It's always thrilling for an author to see their book cover for the first time. We don't get much input and have to trust the publis...