First, let me say how happy I am to be a member of the Make Mine Mystery team. There is a wealth of talent here, and I feel fortunate to be part of the group. Hopefully, I'll not embarrass myself too much with my posts.
Yes, I'll be letting you know how my writing career is going, but beyond that, I'll be writing about some of the things I've learned through the school of hard knocks. A lifetime of reading, almost twenty years of writing, and varied experiences in editing have given me perspectives on the business I enjoy.
One of these is the use of quotation marks when italics are appropriate. (Note, I said appropriate, not required.) Too often, as I edit, I see people use either single or double quote marks when trying to emphasize. It may be a title, the words contained in a note, a foreign word or phrase, or simply a hard hit on a word in dialogue.
He whistled the song, "Love is a Many Splendored Thing" should be, He whistled the song, Love is a Many Splendored Thing. Same with book titles or poems. "The Old Man and The Sea" should be The Old Man and The Sea.
The note read "Meet me in the garden at eight o'clock" works better as, The note read Meet me in the garden at eight o'clock. Unless you have a note that can actually read.
"Prenez-moi a votre chef" sure works better as Prenez-vous a votre chef in dialogue or out.
"Get 'out' of here" is better written as "Get out of here." Emphasis on out, of course.
In other words, whenever you're tempted to throw in that extra set of quote marks for some purpose other than dialogue, think italics instead. Then, if you select me as your editor, I'll be a happy camper. Happy camper? Maybe my next entry should be on cliches. :-)
If you find any of the above in my latest, THORNS ON ROSES, a South Florida thriller, I owe you a Killian's. It (the book, not the beer) is available as an ebook or a paper book.