Adam’s Guide to Dodging Bullets

It’s good to be back, my dear readers! Hope this fine, fine Wednesday finds you all well.

“If children had any idea at all how clueless most grownups are, they would NEVER listen to us. And they’d be justifiably terrified by what we might do next. (So let’s not tell them.)”

-Kimberly Morris, Author

Today, we’re going to talk about saving face. Some time ago, I wrote an interview for a client in which I supplied questions for author Kimberly Morris.

Kimberly Morris, author

You can learn more about her and her work at

And I almost made a rather embarrassing mistake. Of course, you want the details, yes?

Ms. Morris is the author of more than 60 books (with a few more along the way) and is a very successful publishing executive and writing coach. What additionally caught my eye, though, was her work on one of my favourite book series when I was but a teenage Adam: Animorphs.

what is with Jake's hair, anyway?

Oh, man, that 90’s hairdo.

Yes, I read every book in the main series by K.A. Applegate. As it happens, though, Applegate has a number of ghostwriters who wrote the stories for her; Morris has four of these books to her name.

Now, here’s what I almost did.

Uh oh

Artist’s rendition of the situation.

When you’re a ghostwriter (as I’ve been in the past), you write under someone else’s name. In this case, I let me fanboy-ism for the series cloud my judgement to such a degree that I just put 2 and 2 together and assumed K.A. Applegate = Kimberly Morris.

Well, I was only really half-right. On a hunch, I did some last-minute research to assure all of my questions were worded properly and found – wait a minute! Hold up there, cowboy!

Oh, that's her

Oh, hi, K.A. Applegate.

Yeah, they’re two separate people. Like I said, Morris was a ghostwriter for the series, not in charge of the main series itself. While Animorphs wasn’t the main subject of my interview, I found in the first draft that I mentioned the series and implied that K.A. Applegate and she were one in the same, which clearly is not the case. It’s not the biggest mistake in the world if it would have come to pass, but it still would have been embarrassing for both me and my client.

Presto. Dodged a bullet.

The moral of the story is make time for last-minute research. While you may not use all of the information you collect during your writing process, the more accurate information with which you can arm yourself, the better off you’ll be when it comes time to send it to its final destination.

We’re all human, and we’re all going to make mistakes. One of the luxuries of written work is being able to double-check it and catch mistakes before the paper goes to the next step.

Remember – your project, no matter how big or how small, reflects on you and potentially a client as well. Make it the very best it can be and double-check all your facts.It’s more work when you’re already busy, yes, but that bit of extra effort keeps your reputation and credibility unscathed is well worth it.

Have a great week, everyone, and Happy Writing!

Ms. Morris, if you happen to stumble across this, it was an honor to interview you and to get to know you a little bit. Best wishes!

How have YOU learned from your mistakes on the job? Discuss in the comments below!

– Adam

(Picture Credits:


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