The Amazingness of Proofreaders!!

This is an appreciation post to highlight the wonderful work of my Australian proofreader, Desanka Vukelich, who I’ve worked with on three of my four Medoran Chronicles books. I’m currently going through her edits of Graevale, the fourth book in the series, and gah, she’s just so amazing!

The thing is, when you write a novel, there are a LOT of words involved. Sentences, paragraphs, sooooo many places where mistakes can slip by unnoticed. And truthfully, there’s probably not a book in existence that doesn’t have some kind of mistake (the trick is to have it be so engrossing that readers don’t notice those mistakes, or if they do, they don’t care). But while errors in printed books are almost always inevitable, you still want to have as few as possible. That’s why authors really need to be able to trust their proofreaders, since those proofreaders are, essentially, the final line of defence.

To be perfectly honest, it actually scares me a little every time I receive a proofread manuscript and see just how many mistakes Desanka has managed to uncover. I mean, she only ever sees the manuscript AFTER all the editing stages (structural edits, copy edits, line edits, ALL THE EDITS), so in most cases, many eyes have already checked (and re-checked) for problems. So when there are STILL problems, it just really brings home how integral it is to have a professional (and experienced!!!) proofreader checking things right until the very end. (She even looks over my ‘Acknowledgements’ section!)

Will there still be errors in the printed version? Probably. I mean, hopefully not, but when we’re playing with around 130,000 words (give or take), the chances are pretty high that something might still slip through the cracks. But just think of how many more mistakes there would be WITHOUT an amazing proofreader?

All I can say is that I’m so incredibly grateful to Desanka and her meticulous eye when it comes to my books, and I hope I get to work with her on many more projects in the future!!

I wish I could give multiple examples of the (sometimes hilarious) mistakes she’s found, but for fear of revealing Graevale spoilers, I’ll just share this one. It’s only a simple typo, but I actually laughed out loud when I realised how it would have read if she hadn’t flagged it:

… Because everyone wants their clothes to be insulted, right? LOL! (And oops!!)

As far as I’m aware, Desanka actually works freelance, so for any writers who might be on the hunt for an amazing proofreader, be sure to check out her website here.

 

“This or That”

It likely comes as no surprise that I’m not wonderful when it comes to making decisions. I mean, there are just so many options to consider, even with things that should be simple, like being asked my favourite colour. (Am I wearing it? Looking at it? Is it for a car or a house or for something artistic? What mood am I in, or what mood do I want to be in? Etc., etc., etc.)

Due to my inability to give a straight answer, the following video clip with me responding to a “This or That” game (filmed while I was at Sydney Writers’ Festival last month), is somewhat hilarious. You’ve been warned!

AKARNAE e-book on sale!

Amazon has a huge sale on the first book in The Medoran Chronicles right now — just AUD$0.99 (US$0.75)!! Total bargain! It’s a great time to start the series with the third book releasing on April 1st, and it’s especially awesome for anyone outside of Australia who has been wanting to have a read!

In a nutshell, Akarnae is basically Harry Potter meets X-Men and Narnia and it follows the journey of 16-year-old girl who finds herself stranded in a fantasy world where she attends a school for teenagers with supernatural gifts while she searches for a way back home. There’s combat classes and archery lessons, sentient libraries, immortal beings and a whole host of memorable characters and exciting twists and turns.

It’s a fun, adventurous, clean read with no overly mature content — numerous schools are now using it as part of the curriculum for grades 8 and up (ages 13+), but there are also readers as young as 8 and 9 years old reading this series — as well as 80 and 90-year-olds! It’s a book for all ages and genders!

Don’t believe me? Then here’s just a sample of the reviews:

“… natural and humorous… cool and scary… good fun and a solid recommendation for YA readers…” – Books & Publishing

“… when it comes to sheer inventiveness, the book would satisfy any fantasy devotee…” – Sydney Arts Guide

“Lynette Noni’s world-building is spectacular…” – The Geekiary

“… a treasure for connoisseurs of the genre…” – Mid West Book Review

So, what are you waiting for? At this sale price, it’s a total steal! Jump in — and happy reading!

How Do I Get My Book Published?

One of the questions I’m frequently asked is along these lines:

“I’ve written a book… but how do I get it published?”

The thing is, as simple as that question might seem, the answer is considerably more complicated—and lengthy. But given how many people ask, I figure I should try and answer it as best as I can, so here goes.

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DRAEKORA: Cover Reveal Competition!!

The countdown is on for the reveal of the STUNNING cover for the third book in The Medoran Chronicles – October 9th is just a few short weeks away now!! This is definitely my favourite cover so far, so I can’t WAIT for you all to see it!!!

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I’M DOOOONNNNNNNEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I’ve been blog-silent for the last few weeks, but I did mention in my last post on the 29th of July that I was about to undertake my next project… And on August 1st I started writing the final book of The Medoran Chronicles.

Well… as of 5am yesterday morning, I FINISHED THE FINAL BOOK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Editing: Like Self-Imposed Amputation

Apology time! It feels like FOREVER since I last penned a blog post (even though it really wasn’t THAT long ago)… but I have a good excuse, I promise!! You see, I’ve been systematically cutting off my limbs. At least metaphorically. And by that I mean, I’ve been doing a MASSIVE overhaul of a manuscript that I wrote a while ago and have recently revisited only to discover that the story was there, but the execution most definitely WAS NOT. And so, for the last fortnight, I’ve been head-down, tail-up in crazy editing mode.

If you don’t believe me, check it out:

Screen Shot 2016-07-22 at 11.22.32 pm

Or, if that doesn’t freak you out as much as it does me, then here’s a larger overview:

Screen Shot 2016-07-22 at 11.23.18 pm

I have to say, while it was a LOT of hard work, the result is super satisfying. It’s been fleshed out and developed where needed, but it’s also been tightened where needed, too. The characters have more depth, the story itself has more impact… and, most of all, the writing is just better than it was. I’ve written four books since this one was drafted, and during that time I’ve worked with professional editors and proofreaders and learned SO MUCH… So being able to transfer that all across and make this manuscript all nice and shiny was, while challenging, an absolute joy. And I really am delighted with the result!

SO! With that now done, onto the next project!