DEBORAH CAMP – THROUGH HIS HEART
This Writer’s Pet Peeves
This Writer’s Pet Peeves
Whether you’re a writer or reader, we all have those things that make us grit our teeth when we read them. Could be punctuation, typos, or badly formed sentences. Whatever, it’s jarring and pulls us out of the “fictive pool” we’ve dived into, escaping our real world.
Here are my top five pet peeves and ones I fight to not commit in my own writing – but sometimes fail at eradicating them completely!
1. Eyes vs. Gaze. There is a difference. A BIG difference. I don’t like to read about eyes traveling across rooms and down bodies. Yuk. Now we’ve left the world of romance or erotica and are trespassing in science fiction or horror. The worst offender I’ve read is “She cast her eyes out to sea.” Ooookay.
2. Detached Body Parts. I’ve read this kind of writing in a couple of New York Times Bestsellers lately and it really slays me. How can an editor let this pass? Example: He carried his body to the kitchen. Huh? Or how about this: I followed my feet across the floor. Very odd. What the heck is wrong with, He went into the kitchen or I left the room? Doing language gymnastics to state something simple is ridiculous and always pokes me in the eye! I can go with things like, His hand traveled up her thigh instead of He caressed her thigh. I’ve written both! But some authors go way, way too far with the detached body parts.
3. Vomiting Backstories. I hate it when an author tells you a character’s history in one big clump – usually in the first third of the book. Just stops the dang story and jumps in there and tells you stuff about a character – instead of showing or revealing naturally through dialogue (inner and spoken) and actions. First of all, allow readers to want to know more about characters before you start shoveling the information at them. Like seduction, it should be done teasingly, slowly, and with finesse.
4. Stupid Heroines. I have read some books that I actually like very much, but I’m not crazy about how stupid the heroines were in them. When your new guy has a lot of money, won’t tell you how he earns it, goes out at night and comes home with blood on him, has a bunch of “thugs” or “made men” as his friends, carries a gun, has other people shaking in their boots when they see him – you probably are with someone who is a criminal or a federal agent of some kind! Duh. But these gals just didn’t catch on. Nope. They spent the money, didn’t question further when their guys gave vague answer like “I’m in the extermination business,” and turned a blind eye to everything else going on around them.
Dumb. Dumb. Dumb.
5. Troubling Typos. I’m not going to belabor this because I drop into typo hell every time a book of mine is released. I pay an editor, a copy editor, and a proofer to read the manuscript and I read it at least 10 times before it is sent to be published, but I always find typos and missing words in them. (Pardon me while I stop here a moment to scream. Okay. I’m back. Better now.) However, sometimes it’s obvious that the writer doesn’t know the difference between “passed” and “past,” or “must of” and “must have.” Things like that drive me to distraction. Also, “over” when you mean “more than.” Or when you write “fewer” when you mean “less than.”
It’s things like these that make us crazy, right? So, while I endeavor not to commit these sins (and I’m not as successful as I would wish to be), I share in your pain.
Through His Heart
Genre: Romantic Suspense/Paranormal
Date of Publication: June 30, 2015
Number of pages:357
Word Count: 93,461
Cover Artist: Pamela Schmitt
“Sending you an SOS.”
When psychic Trudy Tucker hears this plaintive cry in her mind and then connects psychically with a little girl’s kidnapper, she is drawn to a small town in Missouri where everyone is suspect – including herself and her lover, celebrated psychic detective Levi Wolfe. As she and Levi work together to sort through whom and what to trust, an innocent life hangs in the balance.
Book Trailer: https://youtu.be/7AFG88e98eM
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“You don’t realize how special you are, do you?”
Trudy smiled. “Special to you.”
“Yes, and special as a psychic.” Levi straightened, stood, and threw his leg over the seat, sitting backwards in it to face her. Wrapping an arm around her waist, he hauled her up against the back of the chair. “What I do isn’t anything special. Talking to the deceased is a psychic staple. But what you can do . . . connecting with the thoughts of a living being . . . that is rare. In fact, I don’t know of anyone else who can actually do it. I know a couple of people who claim to be able to, but you’re the only psychic I’ve ever met who is the genuine article.”
She listened, but found holes in his argument. “What you do is special. You told me yourself that your accuracy sets you apart from other mediums.”
“Yes, that’s right. I’m good. Damn good.” He winked at her. “But you’re a diamond among crystals. You sparkle so brightly, you blind the rest of us.”
Her heart melted into a puddle as he gazed at her with undisguised admiration. “I’m not . . . am I? You really don’t know anyone who can do what I do?”
He shook his head slowly, deliberately, his blue eyes shining. “Nary a one.” He regarded her for a few moments before his lips twitched into a grin. “Does that freak you out?”
“A little.” She swallowed the lump in her throat so that her voice would emerge stronger. “Quintara has told me that I’m one of a kind, but I figured she was exaggerating – as she’s known to do.”
“This time your flamboyant mentor wasn’t embellishing the truth.” He rested his hands on her hips, his long fingers spreading across her jeaned backside. “At the risk of freaking you out more, I think you’ve only begun to reveal the extent of what you can do. You’re holding back because you’re afraid. I understand. I’ve been there.” His fingers flexed on her hips. “Take your time. Let it come to you gradually and don’t be scared. You’re strong and brave. You’ll be able to handle it.”
“Handle what?” She shook her head as a ball of nerves grew in her stomach.
“Your gift. Your incredible gift.”
“You said you’d help me.”
“And I will. I’m here for you.”
She framed his achingly handsome face in her hands and her heart doubled in size. “How’d I get so lucky?”
“I’m the lucky one.” He turned his face so that he could kiss her palm, but not before she saw darkness pass through his eyes like a specter. “And you’ll agree with me whole-heartedly once we’re in Missouri.”
About the Author:
Author of more than 45 novels, Deborah lives in Oklahoma. She has been a full-time writer since she graduated from the University of Tulsa. Her background as a newspaper reporter and editor helped her to write fast and enjoy research. After she sold her first few books, she quit newspaper work to become a freelance writer and novelist. Deborah's first novel was published in the late 1970s and her books have been published by Jove, New American Library, Harlequin, Silhouette, and Avon. She has been inducted into the Oklahoma Authors Hall of Fame and she is a charter member of the Romance Writers of America. She is also a member of the Author's Guild. She is an active volunteer with the Animal Rescue Foundation and is a foster home for dogs until they find their forever homes.