Wednesday, September 11, 2013

1780, not 1781

Sit right back and you'll hear a tale of how a newbie author got a serious humility check on her first published work ever ... :-)

Oh, wait. It isn't that long of a story. Very simple, really.

Let's get this straight, right off:  the Battle of Kings Mountain, a surprise win for the patriot side, happened in October 1780. I know this. I've been intensively studying the events of the Southern Campaign--that part of the latter Revolutionary War when the British focused their energies on Georgia and the Carolinas--since 2006.

So why on earth does the timestamp on Defending Truth read October 1781?

I was appalled when I realized this--two days before my author copies arrived. I first noticed it in reference to someone's review, then went scrambling back over the galleys, my own drafts of the story, the original proposal to the editor more than a year ago. Yep. They all read "late October 1781." How did this happen? Worse yet, how did my eyes slide over it continually while editing, so that I never noticed?

My only explanation for the former is that I was deep into finishing Loyalty's Cadence, my full-length RevWar era novel, which spans 1780-81, so in my head, I was living in 1781 and used to typing that year. As for the latter--well, all I can say is I have a new appreciation for how things can slip past critiquers and editors!

I'm assured that "nobody" will notice. I'd say most, possibly, but not all. My worry was that this would blow any credibility I've gained among fellow history nerds and the living history community, many of whom have graciously answered research questions. Nothing I can do about it now, however, and I did contact my editor to make sure subsequent printings are correct.

All I can do at this point is smile and call it a serious lesson in humility, which I'm sure hasn't gone amiss during the release of my first published work! :-)

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