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Atlin Merrick Book Reviews

I absolutely can't read how-to books about writing. It's like asking a caterpillar how she manages to control all those legs. Do that and, if she stops to think about it, she may never move again. Ever.So reading books about writing does not help me with writing, unless help is defined by overwhelming ennui and a need to binge Great British Bake-Off. So. Instead I read a lot of books about the things I write about. When I was writing Sherlock Holmes stories for breakfast, lunch, and after-dinner dessert, I adored books about science, such as: * The Science of...

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NASA, SpaceX, and Diversity—When You're Not the Only One

Atlin Merrick Dreamers NASA SpaceX

When you're not the only one — or the crazy-pants importance of diversity, in strengthening a dream by seeing others DO.

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Two Ways to Make Your First Writing Sale

You’ve written tens of thousands of words of short stories, fanfiction, character development, and you want to sell something damn it. Obviously you’re already a writer — you write, so that makes you a writer, that's the rules — but now you want to be a professional. A professional is paid to write. Even if she makes £1 she’s a pro. She was paid. So, how do you do it, how do you make that first sale? I know it seems hard (it did to me), because you get a lot of rejections or just silence (which is worse? Is...

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On Book Research and the Importance Asking Russian Monarchs for Their ID

Atlin Merrick Book Research Catherine the Great History Bones Rotten Research

I've spent all morning reading about Catherine, the Empress of Russia, as I'll be writing biographies for two dozen new and already-existing dioramas created by artist Lee Harper, of History Bones, including one about this eighteenth century monarch. I’ve enjoyed reading in Catherine’s own (translated) words how she considered herself a knight, honest and loyal, while she saw her husband Peter as difficult, impossible, irritating and, (happily quoting her Empress aunt-in-law), an idiot. After nearly two decades of miserable marriage to one another, four children, and many more than twice that many extra-marital affairs between them, Peter ascended the throne...

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Ghost Stories, Rom-Coms, Mystery Fiction and You

Atlin Merrick brand new stories

"I hope and pray no on has had this idea for a story yet!" That's a tweet I saw this week, and it made me fly off the handle in about twelve different directions because, because, because... ...the thing about stories and human beings is that the first thing we probably did as human beings was tell each other stories. Even before language we told about the fish we almost caught — it was this big! — about the spark we think might be something more, about how that person over there makes our heart go fast like this. What...

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