Well, it has been an interesting ten days or so in the effort to publish my first novel. I received a contract from a publisher, but after finding a number of factual errors in the book, I decided to withdraw it from consideration. An example of an error: I have Otto’s bomber group operating from an airfield in England starting in August, 1943. Unfortunately, American bombers did not operate from this field until 1944. Oops. Errors like this undercut the veracity and believability of the novel: even though it is fiction, it is based on historical, verifiable occurrences. Most readers won’t notice the mistakes, but somewhere someone will. I can’t let my readers down like that. So, I am making corrections and I’m glad I caught the mistakes in time.
At an informal discussion of local writers this week, some of us were talking about the difficulty of catching all the mistakes in a manuscript, no matter how many times the author has gone over it or how many editors have pored over it. While we as writers owe our readers the best book we can deliver, mistakes still creep in. I found a proofreading mistake in Stephen King’s 1963, although I can’t remember what it was. I didn’t bother to notify his publisher. I’m sure they don’t care enough to issue another edition immediately, although he would care about the mistake, even if it wasn’t his. That’s just how writers are, and I’m proud to be one.
In other news, I’m about 34,000 words into On Eagle Wings Upborne, the sequel to On Wings of the Morning (Speaking of mistakes, I just noticed this week that the title of this blog is wrong. It just goes to show that it goes to show. Or something like that. Anyhow, the second novel is proceeding apace, and I anticipate being finishing in August or maybe a little sooner. Stay tuned!