Anna and Kat’s letter to the proofreader of Salt and Silver

(See the blog post that goes with this letter: Kat and Anna: Writing as an Editor)

We knew that we should have written up a reference guide to Salt and Silver for the copyeditor–and because we didn’t do that, we paid in quite a lot of time wasted for everyone involved. When we returned the copyedited manuscript to the publisher, we included this letter to the proofreader, explaining certain things about our book, in hopes that it would make the proofreader’s job easier. We’re pretty sure it did.

Dear Proofreader,

We hope that you are better than our copyeditor. (It would be difficult for you to be worse.) Here are some notes for you. We hope this will help you navigate the terrain the copyeditor found so very difficult.

Hell should always be capitalized. Always: Hell

God should never be capitalized. Always: god
Except
there is one instance in which the hunters quote the Christian Bible: “Be gracious to me, O God, be gracious to me . . . Be merciful unto me, O God, my soul is among lions . . .”  The capitalization is okay there.

Door, when in reference to a Door to Hell, should always be capitalized. Always: Door

Grey should always be grey. Sulphur should always be sulphur.  Pretentious? Maybe.

Stetson, Fedora, and Baseball Cap are all factions of demon hunters. Stetson and Fedora are always capitalized. Baseball Cap is only sometimes capitalized. We realize this is a pain, but we hope that you will use good sense in changing the upper- and lowercase instances.

Backward should always be backwards. Allie’s narration is protected speech, and she didn’t exactly pay attention in school.

In reference to the hand of Kalaturru, hand should be lowercase. In reference to the Hand of Franklin, hand is capitalized.

Golem: this word is singular and plural at the same time. However, there is one instance where Allie (who does not know this) says “Golems.”

Lamia-skin: We would appreciate a hyphen when it is a compound adjective. Like this: lamia-skin
(for example: “lamia-skin coat”)

Door-hound: We would appreciate a hyphen. Like this: Door-hound
(for example: “The Door-hounds are not aspects of the Doors themselves…”)
However, if the case ever arrives in which there should be an en-dash, we’re okay with that too.

Roxie uses “chère” when speaking to Allie and “cher” when speaking to Ryan, because the former is feminine and the latter masculine.

Blonde and blond are also feminine and masculine respectively. We don’t care what Merriam-Webster says. Please make sure “blonde” is used for females and “blond” is used for males.

Sally’s Diner has red vinyl booths, blue vinyl stools at the counter, and green vinyl chairs.

Sometimes Allie says/thinks: “I can’t even.” That is a complete sentence. No words are missing.

There are several instances in which Allie uses “was” instead of the more proper “were”–please leave these instances alone unless you are egregiously injured by them. Even then, we wish you’d leave these instances alone.

“Waters of life” should always be “waters of life” and never ever “water of life” except in one instance in which they are discussing what Scotch is called.

Star of David should not be in italics, and it should always be capitalized.

Seal of Solomon should not be in italics, and it should always be capitalized.

A probably incomplete list of words that are not English that should be in italics:
chère
cher
mandurugo
mandurugos
Aswang
semyazza
druj
lajabless
dwen

A probably incomplete list of words that are not in English that should not be in italics:
loa
lamia
golem
Kabbala

A probably incomplete list of names that are nonstandard:
Ereshkigal
Ashmedai
Ištar/Ishtar
Ūsat/Isis
Hades
Kalaturru
Kurgarru

Note: There is one instance in which Kurgarru is spelled “Kurgurru”–it is the line in which Allie is attempting to pronounce the word. The narration says, “I have totally slaughtered that . . .” and the word is deliberately misspelled to reflect that.

A probably incomplete list of the character names:
Allie/Autumn (Pitocchelli)
Ryan/Rian (Corveau)
Roxie
Christian
Jackson
Amanda (Rios)
Stan (Charles Standish IV/Dish)
Narnia
Dawn
Jimmy
Homeless Guy/Dougal
Owen/David
Jake
Tiara
Fagey
Moshe
Theresa
Smith
Curlique
Starr
Tommy
Reynard
Nox
Jessica
Turtle
California/Cal
Betsy (original coffin nail)
Steely Dan (new coffin nail, at the ending)

Nothing compares to things, not with things.

Things and people are on Long Island, not in it.

AM should be am in small caps.

Thank you!