Saturday, January 26, 2013

A Question for Pep

Here is a question that I wanted to share with everyone. Thanks Yolanda for asking and giving me an opportunity to talk about it.

Hi Pepper
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).

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
Please give me your feedback, comments and suggestions (even if its to to say stop being so selfish and get an editor!) Thanks are an awesome set of friends and fans and I love and appreciate you.


  1. Ms. Pepper Pace, I have only one problem when it comes to reading your novels, Is I need to read them from beginning to end in one day. I just can’t start reading one of your book over several days period. No…No..No… I have to read them from beginning to end on the same day. I have made the mistake of reading your books over the weekday’s big mistake when I have to wake up at 5:30 in the morning for work. I have been married for 2 decades and have three great sons and yes sometimes they need my attention. So I have finished “A Seal Upon Your Heart” at 6:30am this morning and started around 10pm last night. You are one of the truelly skilled authors that can bring a story to life. You seem to hook your audience from the beginning of the book and never let them go until the story truly ends. You have demonstrated time and time again in your writing ability to move the story along while developing your characters in your books and I never know what is coming around the corner when it comes to your stories. So thank you again for a wonderful and flawless story and now I can get some sleep.
    “Do Not Disturb Me, While reading Ms. Pepper Pace Story.”

  2. HA!.. It's so interesting that I'm reading this post now, because I left my review of the story on amazon a few minutes ago. Of course if you've ever seen my reviews for your stories... and I d*mn near leave reviews for almost every one I've read, you'll see my comments about editing. Funny enough while reading this story I actually got use to your "errors".. I mean "then" vs 'than' and "sell" vs 'sale' .. it's pretty honestly wasn't a problem until I got to a particular section as I mentioned on my kindle it was around location 800 or so.. It was BAD!! I couldn't get around that. SO I don't know if you've already figured it out.. It needs fixing fast. BUT, of course the story itself was Phenomenal. And of course your stories leave a mark on me enough to want to leave a review praising your work even if the editing is tricky..I still love your mind PEP.. keep at it!! can't wait for my next fix.. :-)

  3. Hi Pepper
    Yolanda here. Thank you for your response. I understand your reluctance to just give your baby to somebody else to chop and screw. I would feel the same (hated it especially in college when some high and mighty lecturer thought to do so to my work). It is awful when editors seek to change the story just to satisfy their idea of how your voice should sound. And I totally get how easy it is to make a typo and still pass it when re-reading because you mind's eye reads the word as it would be without seeing the error.

    As I have said I absolutely love your characters and your exploration of subject matter oftentimes neglected. With the exception of the typos your stories are for want of a better word awesome and do not need to be changed. I actually love how sometimes you just give over to a character to tell their story without interfering - Juicy and Crash come to mind.
    I will make any note of blips and pass them on to you. I am now reading the book for the second time.
    My kindle copy has printing problems on pages chapters 5 and 6, there are clear editing notations which just haven't taken. Regarding the possessive/plural thing there are instances where you have used sister's instead of sisters or sisters'. I hope that helps.

    I am also grateful with how you engage with your fans. It is refreshing to find a 'mum' who is willing to discuss her babies so openly and honestly with virtual strangers.

  4. Hello Pepper, When I am reading your stories and I come to a word that is not edited I immediately take care of it in my brain.Pepper I have a learning disabilty and sometime I over look words. To be honest I will not ever give you a bad review over minor errors. It the story and dialogue that is important to me. I know that Savannah Frierson is a author like you and she offers proof reading and editing services. Savannah Frierson is known for her books, "Trolling Night, Being Plumville, Beauty within and AJ Serepedity". Thank you Bain

    1. Thanks for the info, I will definitely be checking that out. I also checked into Indigo editing and I'll be doing more research into it.

  5. Scoff. I know it can be hard as a reader to find grammatical errors but I personally am too wrapped in your stories that I just glance by them. As far as the names yes that can be confusing but.....I'm like oh next sentence that skinny bitch did what!!!!!!!....I actually talk to myself when I your stories.

    1. Haha MissClark, same here. Truth be told is that I don't look much at the actual written words as my mind is just seeing images. I listen to how the words flow in my head and I love the beauty of them when someone takes the time to write in a poetic or thought provoking way. But I'm also very cerebral and I tend to visualize the story more than recognizing the words.

      However this is in no way an excuse for not producing the best product that I can when I'm selling my work! So I have to get away from that way of thinking when I'm putting on my writer's hat. But when I'm reading my favorite type of books which are books by indy writers--Meh, I don't care. I just read this really good story on Literotica. It was called The House Slave by Jay 626. It was hot and sexy but also very engrossing. It was filled with writing errors but I just ignored them. I just really felt the story.Funny, my ex-editor referred me to it and even HE didn't mention the grammatical errors.


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