My guest today is new-to-me author Atlin Merrick, and I’m looking forward very much to getting to know her and her work.
She is here today in celebration of the recent release of A Certain Persuasion – an anthology of Jane Austen themed stories from Manifold Press.
Jane Austen’s grasp of the English language is justly celebrated. Is there any part that you can quote for us that you particularly relish?
The Jane Austen quote I relish most is of course the single most famous line in all of English literature:
“It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife.”
I hadn’t expected to read Pride and Prejudice and yet one day I found myself holding the book while I waited for a friend to finish shopping. Bored, I opened to the first page and read that first line.
I never did notice the next fifteen minutes pass…
What inspired your story in the A Certain Persuasion anthology? May we have an excerpt?
“Hide Nor Hair,” was inspired by a friend living a life of love and devotion with his one true love even though he came from a culture that said being transgender is wrong.
For me the most important part of my story is this truth I learned while writing it:
“Scandals are rare things, and the men and women who come to public notice for not conforming to society’s standards are but the smallest fraction of such people in this world. The reason we do not know of the others is that their stories are boring.
Beautiful and fine as the stories might be for those living them, people who are different in one way are nevertheless usually gloriously ordinary in most others.
Like Mary Hay and Adam Ashford Otelian, who married one year after they met and who went on to be so incredibly boring to most, that most never knew they were quite different.
That Mary had soft hands, fine cheekbones, the prettiest lips, as well as a penis: none of those things were what made her different really. And Adam’s gentle hands, the lovely curls he would keep well into old age, and the fact that his penis was very partial to his wife’s penis: those were not what made him different either.
No, what made the Otelians unusual to others was the couple’s quiet and constant devotion.”
What are you working on at present?
With Narrelle M Harris and Verity Burns I’m writing a mystery called God Save the Queen, which concerns a dastardly plot against Her Majesty, mendacious media moguls out to smear the reputation of Sherlock Holmes, and perhaps the most dangerous threat of all to the world’s only consulting detective: falling in love with his flatmate John Watson.
Atlin Merrick is the author of Sherlock Holmes and John Watson: The Night They Met and editor of the anthology A Murmuring of Bees, both through Improbable Press. As Wendy C. Fries she’s written hundreds of features on high tech, personal finance, and health and wellness. Atlin’s fascinated with theatre, London, and lattes.
A Certain Persuasion
from Manifold Press
Thirteen stories from eleven authors, exploring the world of Jane Austen and celebrating her influence on ours.
Being cousins-by-marriage doesn’t deter William Elliot from pursuing Richard Musgrove in Lyme; nor does it prevent Elinor Dashwood falling in love with Ada Ferrars. Surprises are in store for Emma Woodhouse while visiting Harriet Smith; for William Price mentoring a seaman on board the Thrush; and for Adam Otelian befriending his children’s governess, Miss Hay. Margaret Dashwood seeks an alternative to the happy marriages chosen by her sisters; and Susan Price ponders just such a possibility with Mrs Lynd. One Fitzwilliam Darcy is plagued by constant reports of convictions for ‘unnatural’ crimes; while another must work out how to secure the Pemberley inheritance for her family.
Meanwhile, a modern-day Darcy meets the enigmatic Lint on the edge of Pemberley Cliff; while another struggles to live up to wearing Colin Firth’s breeches on a celebrity dance show. Cooper is confronted by his lost love at a book club meeting in Melbourne while reading Persuasion; and Ashley finds more than he’d bargained for at the Jane Austen museum in Bath.
A Pemberley-sized anthology featuring authors: Julie Bozza, Andrea Demetrius, Sam Evans, Lou Faulkner, Adam Fitzroy, Narrelle M Harris, Sandra Lindsey, Fae Mcloughlin, Atlin Merrick, JL Merrow and Eleanor Musgrove.