Guest post by L.M. Brown, author of Touch of a Ghost
First of all, thank you for having me here today. I’m L.M. Brown, a writer of MM and MMM romance novels, often with a paranormal twist. I believe that there is nothing hotter and sweeter than two men in love with each other… unless it is three!
For my writing tip of the day I am going to share with you the reason why I learned the hard way that reading out loud is sometimes a necessity when it comes to writing.
Now, I am the first to admit that I am not the biggest fan of audio books. I have listened to many in the past, particularly abridged versions of the classics, but these days I prefer the written word. I find when I am listening to audio books I am far too easily distracted by what is happening around me and I have to keep going back to play things again because I completely missed what was being said. I suspect this comes from the habit I have of tuning out noise to read, write, or even just concentrate at a very noisy day job – I am tuning out the audio books instead! Unfortunately, it means that I find it very difficult to listen to them at all.
You are probably wondering what this has to do with my new release.
Well, for those who have followed my writing since the very start, you will recognise that Touch of a Ghost is a re-release of my very first published story. The eagle-eyed amongst you will also note that there is a slight name change of one of the main characters. Andy, which although never actually specified in the original story is short for Andrew, has now become Drew, also short for the same name.
The reason why is the audio book which, although no longer available, came out the year following the initial ebook release.
At the time Touch of a Ghost was initially written, edited and polished, I wasn’t reading the stories out loud. This is largely because of certain young ears that shouldn’t be listening to such stories hanging around me at the time. Then the audio book was sent to me for proofing.
Andy and Benji, whilst both being names I like, just didn’t sound right together. For some reason, when I look at the names in a lot of my stories, there are many which end in the “ee” sound. Jamie, Cody, Cory, the list just goes on and on. Thankfully I don’t think any of the others have been put together as a couple, but after hearing how Andy and Benji sounded when spoken together it started to irritate me.
So, when the rights to this story were returned to myself and I began to look for a new home for the story, the first thing I did was alter Andy’s name to Drew.
I hope this doesn’t cause too much confusion for readers. Chances are most people won’t notice, or will realise that the story is the same purely from the blurb, but I guess there might be a few who are unsure. I note it clearly on my website/blog that the story is a re-release and have a note to say why the name has changed, so hopefully no one is caught out.
But, this experience did teach me an important lesson. Even if you don’t think it is necessary, sometimes things can be picked up when you hear your story read out.
So, there you have it, my tip for all writers is to take the time to read aloud your manuscript before you send it anywhere. It may also help to highlight errors like where a character might have accidentally had a sex change (*cough* Driving-Me-Crazy *cough*).
Yes, I have had two audio books out in the past and while there wasn’t any error, as such, in Touch of a Ghost in the other one there was an instance where “he” became “she” and it was way too late to change it.
I hope my tip is a useful lesson for those of you who don’t read out loud.
Oh and feel free to share any of your own written/audio experiences – especially the goofs. I would love to know it isn’t just me doing daft stuff like this!
Drew Jessop wants a life without ghosts. He doesn’t want to see, hear, or talk to them. Ignoring them should be relatively simple.
But Drew soon finds that Benji Richards, an eternally gorgeous ghost from the fifties, is not so easy to ignore.
Halloween night is approaching and both Drew and Benji know what it could mean for them. From sunset to sunrise, it is the one night of the year when a mortal can feel the touch of a ghost.
Drew leaned forward and put his empty bottle on the table. The match had finished and the commentators were recapping the highlights, so Drew reached for the remote control.
“Well, thank you for having us.” Flora stood up and stretched, as though her joints were still giving her grief as they had apparently done in life.
Drew turned off the television and picked up the crisp packet together with the nearly empty bowl. He tossed the last few crisps into his mouth as he stood up and walked into the kitchen. He left the beer bottles on the table as he contemplated whether to have another. Remembering he had an early start in the morning, he decided against drinking too much. He had a feeling Flora might have an opinion on alcohol intake too. However, when he turned back toward the living area, Flora had vanished.
Benji, on the other hand, still lingered. He remained on the sofa, his arm stretched along the back and his chin resting on it as he stared at Drew directly.
“You’re very rude, you know?” Benji commented idly. “Not saying a single word to us all evening like that. You could at least have said hello.”
Drew ignored him as he turned off the lights.
“I know you can see us. Your eyes give you away.”
Drew suspected Benji might be guessing, but if he said a single word in response that guess would be confirmed. He had to keep quiet. That way he could still maintain a normal life.
“Not going to admit it, huh?” Benji said. “Well, I’ll stop by again tomorrow. Maybe you’ll be more talkative then. If you are, I might just tell you how I know you’re gay, if you ask nicely.” With that comment, Benji flashed Drew one final killer smile and vanished from the room.
Drew reacted to Benji the same way he would any other handsome man. His mind may tell him Benji was off limits, but his body thought otherwise. Drew wondered whether he could keep up the pretense of not seeing and hearing the ghosts who were as real to him as the rest of the human race. If this evening was anything to go by, it might not be as easy as he thought.
Where to find L.M. Brown
Website & Blog – http://lmbrownauthor.wordpress.com/
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/L.M.Brown.author
Twitter – @LMBrownAuthor