I mused a couple of days ago about typos. Now…because one has just been brought to my attention (more about that in a minute),…I want to talk a bit about real errors in books. My errors, my books. I assume other people and other books have errors as well, but I’ll only be apologetic and humble about my own.
Readers love to spot mistakes. Especially young readers. They even examine book jackets closely to see if anything is inconsistent, and often something is, usually in paperback, because the illustrator creating the jacket has not had the time, or taken the time, to read the book thoroughly and get every detail right. So you get the letters saying “How come the girl on the cover has dark hair, but inside the book it says…” The author doesn’t KNOW the artist, so can’t write back and say grouchily, “Blame Mr. Joe Crayola, who did that picture..”
The author just has to, as kids say, suck it up.*
But then there are the other errors. Errors of fact, or logic. Once I wrote a book, Anastasia’s Chosen Career, in which Anastasia is watching a friend get a haircut. It describes the friend’s hair being washed. Then the beautician, in preparation for the cut, removes a plastic barrette.
“Wouldn’t she have removed the barrette first, before she washed her hair?” a reader wrote me....