Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The not so average Thanksgiving list

With Thanksgiving upon us, as most of us do, I’ve compiled a list of things I’m most thankful for. Besides the most obvious things, like my health and my friends and family (which of course I’m thankful for), I have a few more specific items.

First, I’m thankful for the ability to express myself with written words. This ability has granted a somewhat socially awkward gal like me, the ability to communicate and express myself without stress (those that know me, know that I am, in general, not a talker).

Second, I’m thankful for my humbleness. It seems that more and more every day, every person I come into contact with is a very important person (please not the sarcasm here). I’m grateful that I’ve yet to begin feeling like I’m very important, because I’m not—and certainly hope that never changes, because in the grand scheme of things, the majority of us are not important. We all can’t be JFK or MLK, after all. But, wouldn’t it be cool if we were?

Third, I’m grateful for Ireland’s new Pet Travel Scheme, which will allow me to take my two best buddies, my cats, Charlie and Fox, with me to Ireland without quarantine when I move there to be with my husband.

Fourth, I'm thankful for Zumba and the great results it has given me as both a student and an instructor (my class is Tuesday nights at the John C. Henson Center in Hurricane at 7pm if you want to come).  An exercise program that doesn't feel like exercise, combines dancing and loud music is always a winner in my book.  Plus, it's fun!

Lastly, I’m thankful we’re all given the opportunity to change or the opportunity for a new beginning. These things are never easy, but often necessary and the results are almost always for the best.

Monday, November 15, 2010

The Sunday Gazette's book notes-Last but not least

As appearing in yesterday's Sunday Gazette

November 13, 2010

Book Notes: Nov. 14, 2010

By Staff reports

The Charleston Gazette

Writer Dinty Moore at MU

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. -- Writer Dinty Moore will read from his work at 8 p.m. Nov. 15 in the Shawkey Room of the Memorial Student Center at Marshall University.

Moore is the author of five books of prose. His memoir, "Between Panic and Desire" (University of Nebraska), was winner of the 2009 Grub Street Nonfiction Book Prize.

Moore has published essays and stories in The Southern Review, The Georgia Review, Harper's, and The New York Times Sunday Magazine. Awards include a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in Fiction. He directs the creative writing program at Ohio University.

The lecture is free and open to the public. Call Art Stringer 304-696-2403.

Fayette author signing

SMITHERS, W.Va. -- Dale Payne will sign copies of his book, "Fayette County the Early Years: Late 1800's-Early 1900's," from noon to 2 p.m. Nov. 20 at The Christian Family Book Shoppe, in Smithers.

Payne is a retired state trooper and magistrate. He has written histories of Paint Creek and Cabin Creek. His latest book contains more than 600 photographs and covers 112 towns in Fayette County in its 317 pages.

The book may be pre-purchased for signing by calling 304-442-2142 or visiting

Author to sign novel

SOUTH CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Lesley Hager will be sign copies of her debut novel, "Coincidence," from noon to 2 p.m. Jan. 8 at The Book Shop, 57 MacCorkle Ave. SW, South Charleston. Copies of the book can be purchased at More information available at

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Learning the error of my ways on the path to publishing

Given that Coincidence is my first book, I'm new to all the intricacies of the publishing world. Many things I have learned along the way, but many things, I'm still learning...and I don't imagine the learning will stop anytime soon. I was very naive when it came to the whole process of getting published.  Actually, I probably still am about many things.

After months of writing my book and shopping around for agents and publishers, only to get rejection letter after rejection letter, I was finally offered a contract for publication.  I was thrilled!  "Yes, the whole world will see my beautiful creation!" (says naive Lesley). I never would have imagined that writing the book would actually be the easiest part of the whole process!   Well, it was.  No, folks, the path to publication and actually holding that beloved baby (a.k.a. your book) in your hands doesn't end with a publishing contract...oh no.  In fact, the journey has just begun. 

After you sign the contract, it's time for you and your publisher to prepare your novel for publication.  "Wait. What? But, my novel is is ready for publication! I've spent countless, sleepless nights developing this perfectly polished, pulitzer worthy (I wish. Oh, how I flatter myself.) masterpiece!" My first error. Are you thinking something like that?  I was. If so, think again.   No your novel is not ready and be thankful that no publisher (good publisher, anyway) will print a novel just given to them without editing.  Oh, the editing...that torturous, glorious process of editing. 

Yes, next my friend, comes the editing.  "What? Editing? A piece of cake! Proofread and throw some commas in there.  Noooo problem!"  H-A H-A!  I laugh at you, former naive Lesley.  Another error. No, editing is much more than that.  Next, your book will go through the publisher's editing department.  And, it never hurts to develop a thick skin right about this time.  You will work with your assigned editor as he or she makes suggestions for changes to your perfect novel. Your editor has seen tons of books and goes through them in a very business-like manner.  They are busy people and they have no time to sugar coat changes to protect your feelings.  Nope, no sugar coating here.  Just prepare yourself as they make suggestions and comments as to what parts of your book (your baby) don't make sense.  They often don't say it as nice as that, either.  You may find yourself curled up under your covers, repeating something like this: "Why did I ever write this stupid book? Stupid! Stupid! Stupid!" But, don't worry.  That's all part of the wonderful editing process.  Don't get me wrong, I have the utmost respect for editors, especially those who edit first time authors such as myself.  They are incredibly patient and I have to insert my thanks to my editor, Joan, here. Because, God knows, she put up with a lot from me!

Okay, so the editor has gone through your book and made all the changes and suggestions and you've complied with these changes.  "So, we're done, right?"  Oh, how I wish that were all.  In fact, there is some more editing to do.  Yes, the changes have been made to your book and submitted, but now, it is time for the gallies.  The gallies are the last chance you have to go through your novel and correct any changes that were not picked up in that first tedious editing process.  This is usually reserved for simple grammatical and spelling errors--no big plot changes. About this time is when you start thinking something like this: "If I read this book one more time, I'm going to vomit!"  Yes, the book you were once so certain was perfect is enough to make you want to hurl just at the sight of it.  But, you will read it one more time and likely several more times after that.  I'd suggest investing in some Pepto. 

Now, you've spent hours reviewing and making corrections to your gallies and you've put together your errata list (list of corrections) to submit to your editor.  No more changes now. The next time you see your book, it will be an actual physical book.  This whole process takes months and much patience. "So, we're done, now right...right...RIGHT?!!!"  No way, Jose!  Now, it is time to market that beast!  But, we won't even talk about that right now, because that is a whole separate process.

When my book, Coincidence, finally came out, I was over the moon!  Of course, new to this whole thing, I expected a perfect, final copy.  After all, my editors and I spent hours changing, correcting, reading, and re-reading to make sure we had corrected everything there was to be corrected.  Or, so we thought. We did our best to make sure all the commas, periods and quotation marks were in the right place.  Everything was italicized as necessary and spelled correctly.  However, what I failed to realize in all my naiveté was that we were all  human and therefore not perfect ourselves, so how did we expect the novel to turn out perfectly?  Another error of my ways.  We all have opinions of what is correct and what is incorrect and sometimes after going through four different editors with four different opinions, its no wonder many if not all books are printed with errors.

Once I began reading the final, printed version of Coincidence, I was shocked...appalled, in fact, to find errors, which I now know was a product of my publishing world ignorance.  I found missing periods, commas, and question marks, a few misspelled words, and a few periods and commas that decided to call the middle of a word home (i.e. Oh, ok.ay).  "Wait, mister apostrophe,  how did you get there?  That noun is not possesive! Get outta here!"  But, at this point, it is too late for mister apostrophe to go anywhere, because the book is printed and done. Oh, well. Those are just a few errors I stumbled on as I was reading the final version.  In fact, if you read Coincidence, and send me any errors you find, you may just win a prize.  I'm serious!  I don't know what the prize will be yet, but I'll think of something.

Actually, the errors are probably not as bad as they seem.  Since, I expected perfection (another error of my ways), I was disappointed. I realize, many readers will not even notice these minor errors.  Since there are no errors in the actual facts or content of the book, I'm happy enough.  In fact, I've learned through research and through actually being an avid reader of fiction, that errors in books are quite common. Plenty of spelling and grammatical errors find their way into printed books. Just check out this article here by Brenda Coulter in which she addresses romance novel errors.  Actually much to my surprise, I just discovered that Twilight has errors as well.  I've never read the Twilight books, but I'm more inclined to do so now just to see if I can find them.  It makes me feel better that a best-selling series has errors. Perhaps these minor errors add to the book reading experience?  Well, I'm hoping they do.
I've had an eye-opening experience on my path to publishing.  I've decided to embrace the error of my ways and of Coincidence and make some fun of it.  If you find errors in Coincidence, let me know by posting them in the comments section of this post and I'll enter you in a chance to win a prize, which will have to be determined.  But, it will be cool.  Also, if you know of other books with errors, put those in the comments, too...just to make me feel better :).

Until next, I mean, time,


Friday, November 5, 2010

Upcoming book signing

I have a book signing scheduled on January 8, 2011 at The Book Shop in South Charleston, WV.  The Book Shop is between Riverwalk Plaza and the interstate entrance ramps (the former Sam's Hot Dogs).  I'll be signing copies of Coincidence from Noon to 2pm!

Come out and see me and ease my anxiety a little as I'll be extremely nervous given this is my very first book and very first signing!  To order your copy of Coincidence, please visit:  While you're there ordering Coincidence, you may want to check out Suzanne Hurley's latest release, Shades of Envy, which is the fourth in her Samantha Barclay mystery novels.  And, coincidentally (Ehhh? You like that little pun?), is about a woman, also named Sam, who lives in West Virginia and always manages to find herself in sticky and troublesome situations. 

I'll update you when my book is available on Amazon and other sites as well. 

I will also be scheduling book signings in Huntington and will keep you posted on when those will be.

Find Coincidence on Facebook...or actually, just click on the word Coincidence :)

Hope to see ya there,

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Coincidence has a new ISBN #

The paperback ISBN has been changed.  The new number is: 978-1-59705-551-2.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

"Like" Coincidence on Facebook!

Coincidence is on Facebook!  Find it or click on the link and "Like" it and also interact with me other Coincidence readers.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Coincidence has arrived just in time for your holiday shopping!

It's finally here!  Coincidence is available right now!  Order your copy here at  The book is available in paperback as well as a variety of eBooks.  Coincidence will be available on Amazon, Fictionwise and other sites as well shortly. 

For booksellers interested in stocking Coincidence, ordering information is available here:

The price shown on the Wings ePress website is the WHOLESALE price. Suggested retail is 40% more. For BOOK STORES ONLY, Wings ePress offers 5% off the wholesale price for orders of 10 books or more, one or more titles. Returns are allowed for books in new, undamaged condition for cash refund.

With fax orders, we'll need the following information.
Submit orders to fax number 859-625- 5629

Home Phone:
Work Phone:
PO number (if any):
Card type:
Card number:

For more ordering info please visit

Book signings and readings:

I'm available for signings and readings.  If interested, email me at