Just finished reading A Seal Upon the Heart. Loved it. Love it probably more for exploring a chapter in Africa's history that has haunted me for the longest time. The genocide in Rwanda happened against the backdrop of incredible events in South Africa (where I'm from) we had had the first free and fair elections and were looking to Mandela's inauguration in May '94. Here we were just buzzing when news reports began to filter through about the devastating events in Rwanda. It was unbelievable that this was happening, the unfolding story was one I do not believe can be suffidiently described in words, I still get goose bumps and a chill to the bone thinking about it. But it happened and life has gone on.
Thank you for this wonderful story and your effort to give a face and voice to a survivor.
(small quibble - I love your work Pepper - I have read all your work bar the Purple Trilogy (down loaded just waiting for time) - there are still instances where 'than' is used instead of 'then' and sales instead of sells, possessive form is used instead of plural and character given the wrong name - eg Claudine instead of Claudette) I can forgive all that and have forgiven similar errors in other of your work however a friend new to your work remarked that she could not get past the errors and took some persuading to read further and get into characters. I would hate for other readers to put your books down as a result because your characters are just amazing, you give voice to people and subject matter seldom seen in popular writing and for that I take my hat of to you.
Thank you for your work and for continuing to share it with us.
Yolanda, I'm so happy that you enjoyed A Seal Upon Your Heart. It wasn't an easy story to write due to the many controversial subjects. I tried very hard to tell a romantic story--a love story from two characters with different backgrounds. In doing so I had to explore genocide in more detail than I ever put to pen. I listened to survivor testimonies and I knew that I had to touch upon that in some way without changing the dynamic of the story. There was also the storyline of religion and sex which is sometimes very taboo. Then add to that a huge age difference AND an interracial story--and it's no wonder that I stopped writing it to regroup (smile).Please give me your feedback, comments and suggestions (even if its to to say stop being so selfish and get an editor!) Thanks everyone...you are an awesome set of friends and fans and I love and appreciate you.
So I can say that this was the most difficult story that I've ever told. And I'm happy that you were touched by it!
Several people have mentioned the errors they find in my published books. If they tell me where they find them I go right in and correct them (as I've just done with correcting the name from Claudine to Claudette--Thank you Yolanda!). It does affect my sales as well as reviews. A reviewer wrote in regards of my story Beast, that I had no command or understanding of the English language because of then and than confusion. She then gave the story 3 stars or 2, something like that.
It's not that I don't understand how to use words properly. A writer's eyes stays on a word for a fraction of a second--one word just a fraction of a second. First I follow a flow as my thoughts transforms to words THEN I go back and edit--first for content and then for grammar. When you edit your own work, what happens is that your eye/mind tells you that you are seeing something that may not actually be there. Or...and here is the worst, you stop writing a book for a year and forget your characters name!
So here is the solution; my boyfriend says that you don't have to be with a big publishing house to get editors. Copy editors are waiting to be hired, sitting around twiddling their thumbs. Hire a copy editor. That would give a set of fresh eyes. That would polish up the story.
But this is what I hear...Give birth to your precious baby and now give him to a surgeon to fix his defects. I'm like NOOOOOOOOOOO! Don't touch my baby!!!
LOL, that is a horrible analogy but it is the way I feel and why I've always been so resistant to handing my 'baby' over for editing. I'll go over the entire piece again just to make sure nothing else has been tampered with (as you should). It is a control thing--Yes it is. But it's also a very personal thing; it would have to be someone I trust not just some ANYBODY. Also they have to work on MY timeline and not their own. Yes I'd be demanding! I can write fast and I don't want a slow editor...or I might write slow and I don't want them 'nudging me' because they got other clients.
I do have an editor who I completely trust but he doesn't edit anymore and short of begging he cannot be persuaded to come out of retirement.
Anyway, with that said, I will have to really consider your advise and the advise of others. I'll give it a try with UV 3 and WOS 4 and see about finding the right 'fit'. Also if anyone knows of a good copy editor that they can recommend that would be a helpful start; someone that writes in the IR romance/erotica genre.
Thanks again Yolanda for your comments