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A Sleight Mistake

It occurred to me that although I've warned readers in advance (whenever I was able to), I've never officially done so here. So now I am....because I'm still hearing about it.

What am I talking about?

In my novel The Darkwood Mask, most readers will notice an assortment of spelling and grammatical....um, slights. Typos, if you're kind about it. Most, if not all, of these were not present in the final galleys (the printed manuscript sent to me by the publisher for final proofing) when it left my possession. Astute readers will rightly realize that with any book it is the editor's final responsibility to catch such mistakesóand certainly to ensure that none are inserted when the author is finishedóbut some reviewers have attributed the errors in TDM to the author. To me.

One of the reviews on Amazon (most of which are great, actually!) included this: "The thing that kept jarring me out of a pleasant read was the use of 'sleight' when the author meant 'slight.' It's minor and it looked intentional (it happened at least twice), but it was like having a pleasant car ride and then hitting an unexpected pothole."

Now, almost every book out there has one or more typos. It happens, and I accept that both as an author and as a reader. It's just that the number of unnecessary mistakes in the text of TDM is especially painful.

The most notable mistake takes the form of the word "sleight." Somehow, after the manuscript left my hands, every instance of the word "slight" was changed to "sleight" en masse. Therefore only one placement of that word is correct, the one that includes the real expression "sleight of hand."

Anyone who knows me and my English devotion knows how much of a forehead-slapping, head-hanging, exasperated sigh-inducing thing this is for me. But I've never actually made a big deal out of it. I just hope readers are discerning enough not to hold it against me.

Okay. So that's that.

posted on 04.04.2009