David, the Robot

Meet my robot, David.

David the robot2


Okay, that’s just the way I imagine him to be: Titanium skinned, but otherwise, almost human.

That’s the way he speaks: Confident pronunciations in an almost human voice.  I got him from Natural Reader. He was free.  I would have bought the program, but I couldn’t find David among the many voices offered in the paid version, and I’d already fallen in love with him. I’m going to have him proof my blog.  All the reds are his assistance. As you see, I often leave out words, because my fingers type fast and think the little words don’t matter and they can skip them entirely. In other cases, listening to David makes me realize what I said isn’t clear and I need to add and remove stuff.

Natural Reader keeps telling me to upgrade their software, but I’m afraid if I do, David will disappear, and that could be highly detrimental to my editing process. He’s my writing partner. I write what I think is a well written sentence, and he lets me know my fingers are idiots, typing only half of what I thought. There are words missing, words out of order, words misspelled, and David finds them all. Well, most of them.

He didn’t always. When I first got him, he spoke slowly and had an unnatural robotic tone. He was great for putting me to sleep, but it turns out, nothing gets done when I’m sleeping. So other than waking a few hours later with the pc just about to slide off my lap and commit suicide, he accomplished little, and I didn’t appreciate him in the least.

But then I discovered his voice could be sped up. They don’t hide this feature. It’s right there for anyone to see. I was just too sleepy to notice.

Once I moved David from a speaking speed of five to seven, I fell in love with him. When speaking moderately fast, he sounded almost human. He articulates most words really well. And even the words he can’t always guess, because the spelling could be pronounced several ways (such as read and live), I quickly learned to ignore the mispronunciation, knowing by the fact he could pronounce it, albeit in the wrong way, I had the wrong right word. But why, given we have 1 billion words in our language (1,025,109.8 to be exact) are we still using the SAME word for commonly use activities?  You know, if aliens come down, they will deduce we are idiots by such silliness.

But back to the areas David can help with. He’s the best at finding dropped words, because unlike yours and my brain, he won’t fill in the missing word. He’ll read the exact stupid thing you or I say. And if you are awake and listening, you will realize your brilliant prose makes no sense. Then it’s up to you to resolve the matter.

Besides missing words, he’s good at finding misspelled words. If you pell thet instead of ‘spell that’  because your cat has entered the room and is eyeing your lap where the pc currently resides, he will read aloud what you wrote and even your helpful brain withll cough a catball.

So lets list what what David can help you with and what he cannot help you with:

Great help at:

Word Echoes.

repeated words

Missing words

Grammatical errors that can be heard, such as ‘discover’ vs. ‘discovered’

Missing letters in a word (He’ll attempt to spell the word instead, if you drop vowels in the middle)

He can even catch missed periods because he runs on without pausing at the end of the sentence.

He’ll help you identify an awkward sentence because when he reads it so fast, it will make no sense.

But he cannot help you with:

Dialogue tags,



Semicolons and colons.

Grammatical errors that cannot be heard. (see blue ‘lets’ above)

Misspellings that would be pronounced the same. (You can normally catch these if you have spell check on and follow along with David.)

Other problems he has:

He reads Word better than a PDF file. If the PDF file has fancy big letters at the beginning of the chapter, David gets very confused. If the first letter is actually a graphics, David ignores it entirely. If it is a pdf created for ereaders, the sentence will be choppy because when David comes to the end of the line, he pauses.

And sometimes he reads a different word than you’ve written. If I write: “They sat.” David will read “They Saturday.”

So my handsome robot isn’t perfect by a long shot. But he’s a great help and I love him immensely.  The free version constantly pauses and asks you to buy it. They paid version doesn’t. Also they have lots of British voices. Oddly, I thought I’d like them better, but none could match David.

I’m sure there are other voice programs out there willing to read to you, so shop around and listen until you find a voice you can stand to listen to hear over and over and over. Because with me, before I publish, David reads me my book about twenty times over a two – three month time period. You’ll want to love a voice to hear it that often. I also have David read me books from other authors since he can read faster than I can, without eye-strain, leaving me time to write a review. Given I’m trying to publish my current series one book per month, I should be buried, but David helps me stay afloat so I have time to write this blog.

About Liza O’Connor the Author

I presently have 13 novels published. Beginning in July, I will publish the first four books of a Sci-Fi with romance series. The main theme of the stories is Survival, but while surviving, all creatures need love. And to join in on the survival theme, I’m attempting to publish one book per month. Let’s see if I can survive that!

Multiverse series 4

The books are all written and edited. I just need to do final polishing with David my robot. The real challenge is marketing. Sadly, David can’t help me with that… Anyone know of a good marketing robot?


Investigate these sites:

Liza’s Multiverse Blog    Facebook   Twitter

Liza’s Main Blog/Website


Multiple Adjectives, Single Nouns

Social Media has made the next generation lazy and grammatically lacking. We’ve all seen them, the authors/writers sitting high on their pedestals, looking down on the masses while they shake their heads and lament how far downhill the English language has rolled.

Unfortunately, authors/writers are often the most detrimental to the English language. In my grammar series I hope to help you all become a little more familiar with your chosen profession or hobby.

Now, some rules in the written language can be broken, especially when it comes to writing dialogue. However, there are a few that cannot be broken or even bent. One such rule: Commas are used to set off a series, including multiple adjectives describing a single noun.

Incorrect – She had long brown hair.

Correct – She had long, brown hair.

The first example, both long and brown are describing the hair. Much like setting off a series with commas, like apples, oranges, and bananas, you must set multiple adjectives off when they come before a single noun. There are no shortcuts to this rule and it cannot be bent for convenience or general laziness.

Correct – He has watery, blue eyes.

Correct – He has watery blue eyes.

The second example emphasizes the importance of a comma, or lack of comma when dealing with multiple adjectives. Watery, in the first sentence, clearly states the poor man has watery eyes.  Watery in the second sentence describes a specific color of blue, which describes the eyes.

At the end of the day, the only way you are going to get your point across properly to a reader is to write within the rules of grammar. There are many rules to learn, and you must learn them to determine if you can bend them.

A single comma can change the entire meaning of a simple sentence, so be careful out there!


Mirror Image by K.G. Stutts


Mirror Image by K.G. Stutts

Madison Mackenzie Rhodes, Maddie for short, would call her life “comfortable.” She works in a call center, lives with her best friend of fifteen years, and spends most of her free time with her family. Her entire world is turned upside down when she finds out that she is a clone, created to hide the secret that we are not alone in this galaxy. Her counterpart, going by the nickname Mack, works for the Intergalactic Security Commission, which works with a coalition of other planets that protect each other and create technology. When an enemy rises from within the ISC that targets both Maddie and Mack, they must work together to save their lives as well as the planet.

Find this and the other three incredible tales on KG Stutts Amazon author page! 

To Prologue or Not To Prologue?

PageLines- A-Fair-Reader-q97-980x1232.jpg

This topic has come up in several sites I frequent lately. Traditional publishing says no prologue, readers say no prologue, everyone but the writer says it. So what do you do?

You have to go where your story leads, first and foremost. Sometimes you might go back and take out a chapter or the prologue, but you have to write it before you can revise it.

As an Acquisitions Editor, I’d never dismiss a manuscript simply because it came to me with a prologue. I’ve been known to ask for a prologue removal, and I’ve encouraged others to keep the prologue.

The prologue totally depends on your story plot. Like any other chapter, you need to write something, anything, within your prologue which propels the story forward. The prologue is not to explain the history of the mc. It isn’t an info dump on your new world background. The scene within the prologue must launch the story, as if it were the first chapter.

Deciding if you want a prologue? Stop asking everyone’s advice. Most writers are voracious readers. Take your own advice. Do you like prologues? Do you mind if a story begins somewhere other than the beginning? Don’t discount your own preferences over someone else’s. Everyone has different tastes in reading material. Someone will agree with you, and they’ll buy your book.

Get Rich Quick! Publish a Book!



As an Acquisitions Editor, I get a lot of questions outside the scope of my work. Hopefully, I can help a few people understand the process of publication.

The most often question asked is ‘What kind of marketing does your company provide?’ Several writing sites encourage the idea that a small publisher will market your book and they’ll be good at it too. I’m not sure where this idea arose from. Traditional publishers won’t sink a dime into a new author. It’s too risky and chances are, they’ll lose money in the process. The more suitable question would be ‘Does your company offer marketing support for the author?’.

If you research various authors, popular and millionaires now, you’ll find that most had a difficult time starting off. You’ll have to dig deep. John Grisham’s  wiki entry barely references his first book, and the fact only 5,000 copies were originally published. What it leaves out is that his sales were abysmal, most likely due to lack of prints and marketing. John gathered up over 1,000 copies, which had been returned by book stores, and loaded them in his van before starting out across country. Remember the days when an author would make an appearance at a school, library, or bookstore? He sold the books, on his own, from money in his own pockets. If you aren’t willing to take your marketing strategy in hand, put yourself out there, in person and online, then why would someone else do it? At no cost to you?

The company I work for, Distinguished Press, does offer a marketing strategy and works closely with each author to make them a success. They understand that becoming a best selling author isn’t a sprint, it’s a marathon. Time is needed to develop a following, a readership. They also understand that readers don’t contact the publisher for an autograph, to request a book signing or any number of other questions. A reader wants contact with the authors themselves. As a new author, you need to realize this too.

The other question most often asked is ‘How are sales?’. This is difficult to answer, because we have so many authors in various stages of their series (we’re a series publisher). But aside from trying to narrow down how well each author is currently selling, I don’t understand why someone would think we’d answer the question specifically. A new author wouldn’t call up Penguin and request author sales. Not only is it an invasion of privacy between publisher and author, but it would be a massive undertaking to gather and release that kind of information.

For a small publisher, sales can be great, but look small, because the number of books released, the amount of effort from the author, time of year, among other outside forces can dictate the current sales of an author. The best you can hope for is a generalization of sales. Even if you were to go to a specific author to ask the same question, the answer, by no means, is a reflection of your own possibilities or even sales of other authors under the same publisher.

A few years ago I came across a blog post of a NYT best seller. She outlined that her book sales had approached 421k while her earnings had reached just below 25k. Of course, it didn’t take long before the publisher had her remove the post, but some people still saw it. Now if the above question was posed to the publisher, the answer would be great, she had over 100k paperback sales this year. Does that mean that all their authors have sales that high? Nope. Does that mean the author is now set for life? Nope.

Numbers can’t be relied upon. You have to read your contract carefully and be prepared to market your book to the best of your ability. Actually, writing, as painful as it is sometimes, is the fun part of publishing. The rest of the process, you need to research and prepare yourself for years of hard work (in most cases) to make yourself a successful author.




There is more going on here than there are words to describe. This year has been full of growth and laughter, and this fall has been the winter of the heart. So much loss has greeted this household. It’s left many things in a tizzy. The coming new year will be greeted with refreshment and joy, even as the mourning will continue for a long time to come.

Two of the freelancers contracting with TWN and the acquisitions editor of DP will be posting to the blog over the course of the months to come.




The #5minutefiction contest and daily posts will resume after the first of the year. I did hope to have one tonight, however things beyond any control stopped that from happening. This is the reason for the delay until the first of the year.

Adan – you still have an email coming <3 Promise.

Marketing Monday posts will resume after the first of the year.

I haven’t posted much on here due to time constraints and management obligations. In preparation for the beginning of the new year there are some things in the background coming together. I’m looking forward to sharing more about each of them as we achieve those goals.


Have fun! Enjoy life – it’s far too short not to, and hug the person next to you.