Turning Typos into Typo-Aid

My current WIP is another thriller, titled In the Red. There’s a central love story of sorts at its core, and I’ve been struggling a bit with it. I like my novels to appeal to both men and women, and I feel like this book is veering a little too much toward the feminine side (at least I think it is) — you know romance and all that mushy-gushy stuff.

Last night while I was sitting at my computer, my husband came home and told me that our local newspaper, the Massapequa Post — the one I worked for some twenty-odd years ago — ran a story about the debut of Baby Grand. Yippee! “Not so fast,” he said. “Take a look.”

So I googled the story and discovered that my former magazine — and an editor who has known me for many years — misspelled my name in the headline: Dina Sanortelli. (Cue Homer Simpson: D’oh!) I couldn’t help but laugh. Hey, I’m an editor. Typos happen.

Plus, I’m used to my name –first name and last name — being misspelled all the time. I remember when I won my elementary school spelling bee in sixth grade and got my name in the paper. I was so excited to see it, and then saw that my school’s winner was a girl named “Dian Santorelli.”

Anyhow, this morning, I figured I’d drove over to the Massapequa Post’s office to pick up some extra copies of the story, glaring typo notwithstanding, and on my way, I was thinking about my current WIP. How to fix the feminine thing. And then WHAM. As Gru from Despicable Me might say, “Light bulb!”

It hit me. Baby Grand has a nice mix of narrators, both men and women, and I realized that of the four main characters in In the Red only one is male. I would just add a guy to the mix and then it should read more balanced. Problem solved.

But who to add? What kind of guy, I wondered, as I drove to the newspaper office. And then it hit me again — “light bulb!” — he’ll work for a small, local newspaper.

And there you have it, how a typo turned into one of the best things to happen to me this summer in terms of my new book.

I’m sure Dian Santorelli would have been proud.

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One thought on “Turning Typos into Typo-Aid

  1. I love reading about how other writers think through their story solutions — enjoyed this! (And I agree, Baby Grand does have a nice mix of narrators) I can sympathize about name spelling problems: my maiden name (Munroe) was habitually spelled with an “o” instead of a “u.” I was so thrilled when I got married and changed my name to Martin… NOW I’ll be in the clear, thought I. Little did I know at the time that I’d need to use Munroe as part of my professional name (as it turns out there are several writers named Julia Martin)…. and it is still frequently spelled with an “o”! Compounding that, people frequently call me Julie not Julia.

    So, Dian Sanortelli, Julie Monroe would be proud, too.

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