They say writers can get ‘word blindness’ from reading their own work over and over.

Which is why it was important I had a break of several months between submitting my 3rd novel – Strider Begins: Road to Nowhere – to my brilliant publishers Britain’s Next Best Seller, and giving it one final proofread.

I re-read it again this week, while on leave (in Chester actually, where my DC Strider novels are set!), and found a lot of really tiny mistakes I’d made – a missing colon, here, an extra letter here, etc. Small stuff for sure, but important to get them corrected too, perfectionist that I am.

All of these corrections have been submitted to BNBS now, and I look forward to the next stages of publication, including discussing the cover design and getting a marketing plan in place (I’ve already started contacting some local booksellers about arranging book signing sessions).

As a former newspaper reporter and currently working as a comms professional for the government, accuracy in my work is of paramount importance. But so too is keeping that distance….

So finish your work and leave it alone. Lock it in a drawer, go on holiday, just forget about it for a few weeks. Then you’ll return it feeling renewed, with a fresh pair of eyes. Just take your time, don’t skim over the text, read it slowly and carefully. And don’t let your ego get in the way – we all make mistakes, so be open to the fact you’ll have inevitably messed up a spelling here, some punctuation here. Just mark it down and either make that correction yourself or send it onto your publisher.

If it’s the latter, I find it easiest to write down the page number and which line on the page the correction occurs, what my mistake was and, in bold, what it should actually read.

So best of luck with your own work, and giving it that one final check. And if you can get an editor to go through it as well – that’s even better. New readers might spot things you keep missing.

At the end of the day, whatever way you do this, all we writers want is the best, most professional-looking, perfectly-written book possible. 🙂


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‘Strider Begins: Road to Nowhere’ starts on the first day when policeman Dominic Strider joins Chester CID. He is immediately plunged into action when he finds a bomb outside Chester Cathedral, primed to detonate in four minutes. With no sign of the bomb squad, he has only one option to avoid disaster – he recklessly picks up the bomb and runs through the crowded city centre streets with it, hoping to throw it in the river before it explodes.

Well, they say you should always start your novel off with a bang!! That’s only Chapter 1.
Who planted the bomb and why? Who murdered a local newspaper reporter and an elderly lady, and what’s their connection to the mysterious disappearance of a treasure trove? Can DC Strider catch the bank robbers and drugs kingpin bringing misery on the city? And why does DC Strider dress up as a Roman centurion to save his best friend’s life?

All these questions and more will be answered in the book. 

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