Monday, January 19, 2015

Author Barbara Venkataraman and Her Alter Ego

PerilI’m delighted to welcome author Barbara Venkataraman to Thoughts in Progress today. 

I earlier reviewed two of her audios, DEATH BY DIDGERIDOO and A TRIP TO THE HARDWARE STORE & OTHER CALAMITIES. The third book in her Jamie Quinn Mystery series, PERIL IN THE PARK, is also out. Here’s a brief description of it:

        There's big trouble in the park system. Someone is making life difficult for Jamie Quinn's boyfriend, Kip Simons, the new director of Broward County parks. Was it the angry supervisor passed over for promotion? The disgruntled employee Kip recently fired? Or someone with a bigger ax to grind?
        If Jamie can't figure it out soon, she may be looking for a new boyfriend because there’s a dead guy in the park and Kip has gone missing! With the help of her favorite P.I., Duke Broussard, Jamie must race the clock to find Kip before it’s too late.
        A preview of the next Jamie Quinn Mystery, "Engaged in Danger," can be found at the end of the book.
Today Barbara is here to share her alter ego, Mrs. Grammar Person, with us. Welcome, Barbara/Mrs. Grammar Person.

Fear not, Gentle Writer, for help has arrived. Rest assured that your grimaces and groans, your grinding of teeth have not gone unnoticed. And, because Mrs. Grammar Person abhors the grinding of perfectly good teeth, she has agreed to impart her timely wisdom to those afflicted with self-doubt.

In a stage whisper, Mrs. Grammar Person explains that although she is your true friend, spell-check is not. Spell-check is fickle and delights in trickery. He will make you believe that its morning when, in fact, you're in mourning, or that you should waver when you are seeking a waiver. He doesn't care if your simple please turns into multiple pleas, and he will most likely desert you if you ask for dessert.  

Mrs. G.P. wishes to remind you for whom the bell tolls (if you must ask, it tolls for thee). When in doubt as to whether to use who or whom, simply substitute the word him. If him will do nicely, then the word you want is whom. Mrs. G.P. shudders to think that you would even consider writing "For he the bell tolls." She keeps her smelling salts handy, just in case.
Being an agreeable person, herself, Mrs. G.P. insists that all of her nouns and verbs also agree; therefore, a swarm of bees searches for honey, but the two straggler bees search on their own. How sweet the sound of proper grammar!

While Mrs. G.P. has nothing but admiration for writers who seek perfection, she cautions that nobody is perfect (except for her, of course). To that end, she cautions you about using the pronoun "I" when the word you seek is "me". To write that "the teacher allows Joe and I to go to the playground" is tantamount to writing, "the teacher allows "I" to go to the playground." Whenever she sees this transgression, Mrs. G.P. slams the offending book shut, never to be opened again.
Now, it is time to bid farewell to Mrs. Grammar Person, but, before she takes her leave, she asks you to remember that: it is always darkest before the dawn, when the going gets tough, the tough get going, you should always keep your chin up and, if you don't stop using clichés, Mrs. Grammar Person will march back here and rap your knuckles with a ruler! 

Once she is satisfied that you’ve learned your lesson, Mrs. G.P. gently pats you on the head and heads off to the library, casually tossing out her final words of wisdom, words that shake your very foundation: "Remember, my dears, you can end a sentence with a preposition and you can split an infinitive!"
Barbara, thanks for sharing Mrs. Grammar Person with us. Just shows learning can be fun.

Now let me share some background on Barbara.

Award-winning author Barbara Venkataraman is an attorney and mediator specializing in family law and debt collection. Her alter ego is “Mrs. Grammar Person”, who has plans for a book of her own in the near future. 

She is the author of "The Fight for Magicallus," a children's fantasy; a humorous short story entitled, "If You'd Just Listened to Me in the First Place"; and two books of humorous essays: "I'm Not Talking about You, Of Course" and "A Trip to the Hardware Store & Other Calamities," which are part of the "Quirky Essays for Quirky People" series. Both books of humorous essays won the prestigious "Indie Book of the Day" award. 

Her popular Jamie Quinn Mystery series includes: "Death by Didgeridoo," "The Case of the Killer Divorce," and "Peril in the Park", and coming soon, "Engaged in Danger"--the next Jamie Quinn mystery! 

For more on Barbara and her writing, visit her blog.

Thanks for stopping by today. Do you have days (or hours) when you wish you had a Mrs. Grammar Person sitting beside you? I sure do.

*SIDE NOTE: Just wanted to wish everyone a delightful and Happy Martin Luther King Day. May it be a day of service and sharing.

*This post contains affiliate links.


  1. Service, sharing, and freedom.
    I can end on a preposition? Awesome. And believe me, I know Spell Check is oh so wrong sometimes.
    Congratulations, Barbara!

  2. The usage of "I' and "me" used to confuse me. Your example makes it very clear.

    Happy Martin Luther King Day, Mason.

  3. Mason - Thanks for hosting Barbara.

    Barbara - I think a lot of people don't really think about usage until something about it makes a sentence 'clunky,' or simply sounds wrong. But those little details of choice of word make a big difference

  4. Thank-you for your comments! And thank-you, Mason, for hosting me, I love your blog! I wanted to add that "Teatime with Mrs. Grammar Person" is now available on Kindle for just 99 cents!

    1. Barbara, thanks for visiting and sharing Mrs. Grammar Person with us. Wishing you much success.

  5. I must look for the series. Thanks.

  6. Hi all, thanks for stopping by! :)

  7. Hooray for Mrs Grammar Person. Long may she thrive, and hopefully give birth to a lot of grammar babies...

  8. I chuckled as I read this. I've seen many of the examples that you quote when I use spell check--still a useful tool. :-) I remember the days when my grammar teachers would take points off if we ended a sentence with a preposition, lol!

    Congratulations Barbara!

    Ps. Mason, I had a heck of a time getting your site to open so I could read beyond the second paragraph of Mrs. Grammar's words. It's happened to me several times but today I perservered! Three times is a charm. I got in this time. :-)

    Sia McKye Over Coffee

  9. Great tip for the use of who and whom! I'm never sure which is correct.


I'd love to hear your thoughts on today's post. Thanks for dropping by.