July 27, 2012

Guest Post: Jeff Strand - A Bad Day for Voodoo +GIVEAWAY

I'm super excited today to welcome Jeff Strand author of A Bad Day for Voodoo!  
He is here talking about his least favorite part of writing - reviewing galleys! 

First about the book! 

When your best friend is just a tiny bit psychotic, you should never actually believe him when he says, "Trust me. This is gonna be awesome."
Of course, you probably wouldn't believe a voodoo doll could work either. Or that it could cause someone's leg to blow clean off with one quick prick. But I've seen it. It can happen.
And when there's suddenly a doll of YOU floating around out there—a doll that could be snatched by a Rottweiler and torn to shreds, or a gang of thugs ready to torch it, or any random family of cannibals (really, do you need the danger here spelled out for you?)—well, you know that's just gonna be a really bad day ...
I'll be reviewing the book later today (hint - voodoo=fun-doo)

Now welcome Jeff to The O.W.L.!!!!

My Least Favorite Part of Being An Author

My least favorite part of being an author? By far, it's reviewing galleys.

Galleys are cool at first glance, because you actually get to see the book in its final layout. It looks like a real book, instead of something that's in 12 pt. double-spaced Courier New. You're sooooooo close to having this in the hands of readers!

When you go through the galleys, you get one last chance to find any errors. But that's really all you're looking for: errors. And not "Wow, does Chapter Sixteen ever suck!" errors, but tiny errors. If you send in a completely revised version of Chapter Sixteen at the galley stage, big scary men will show up at your house with crowbars.

Now, if you find a really HUGE mistake, like a loophole in your time-travel logic that means that your heroine is making out with her great-great-great-great grandfather, they'll probably let you fix it. But otherwise, the book in galleys form is pretty much the book in published form. Which means that while I review the galleys, I will think of hundreds of new jokes that should be in there, and funnier ways to tell the jokes that are already there through the book. Suddenly I want to change EVERYTHING!!! Lines that were totally fine the first thirty-nine times I went through the book, when I could change anything I wanted, now make me want to bury my head in the sands of shame.

My favorite part of the process is the final proofreading of my manuscript before I send it off to the editor. At that point, I'm a genius...no, a super-genius! This book is AWESOME!!! Go me! I'll be putting a down payment on that gold-plated mansion any minute now! Woo-hoo!!!

This thought process changes approximately 1.7 seconds after I click "Send." Then, every previously unseen flaw in the book bursts into my brain with a force that knocks me out of my chair and through the window in my office. I can't BELIEVE I sent the publisher that garbage. I am the epitome of lameness. I wait for the inevitable e-mail response that says "Dear Jeff: WTF?"

As time passes, my opinion of the book slips to somewhere in-between the two extremes.

In theory, the worst part should be months later when I actually read the published book, because then I really can't change anything, except with a pen and a lot of bookstore visits. But I don't read the published book. Oh, sure, I lovingly cradle it, maybe stroke the spine, but I never actually re-read any of it. That would make me cry.

I so love this guest post because I can completely relate to what he's saying (ok ok, so I'm NOT a published author but I did have to turn papers in during college!).  I was dubbed the Queen of Revisions in college, so I can relate!


I have one copy of a Bad Day for Voodoo up for grabs.  
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  1. Um, I hate to bring this up, but voodoo is actually a religion that works hard to combat stereotypes like sticking pins in dolls. Do we know if this is in any way addressed in the book?

  2. I love dark humor and this sounds just irreverently funny for me. Thanks for the heads up about this book.