Readers need a certain level of tension in order to stay involved with a book, right? I spent this weekend reading my galley for Laughing Down the Moon, and I realized in one scene, Allura, the protagonist turns the gas stove on under a tea kettle and then leaves the house for an emergency. No mention of the now bone-dry, piping hot kettle follows. How’s that for tension?
In the galley stage, you can’t change big things, and you can’t change insignificant things—say turning “scarlet” to “crimson.” My editorial director said the galley proof was just for catching glaring typos. So, by the time you read the book, the tea kettle should be a mere cinder.
What’s the funniest oops you’ve ever noticed in a book?