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Writer’s Ink: Merrie Haskell

WI-HaskellMerrie Haskell won the Detcon1 award for middle grade literature last month for her book Handbook for Dragon Slayers [Amazon | B&N | Mysterious Galaxy]. That book also earned her the Schneider Family Book Award for Middle Grades (for “artistic portrayal of the disability experience”).

Her tattoo celebrates her first published book, The Princess Curse [Amazon | B&N | Mysterious Galaxy]. (I’ve enjoyed and reviewed both this one and Handbook for Dragon Slayers, if you’re curious.) Her newest title is The Castle Behind Thorns [Amazon | B&N | Mysterious Galaxy], which I’m told was never intended to be a Sleeping Beauty retelling, but it happened anyway.

I asked Mer to tell us a bit more about her tattoo.

It’s is the Library of Congress call number for my first book, The Princess Curse. We laid it out like it was an old label on a well-used library book by tattooing in the border on the stencil.  I dithered for months on whether to lay it out like a spine label or just a string of text, and I chose that over authentic labeling for…  aesthetics? Personal aesthetics entirely. The font is called Old Typewriter. I had always told myself I’d have to want something for longer than a year to get a tattoo of it; after a year of thinking about this, I realized: My first book will never NOT be meaningful to me, and after working in a library for 20 years and counting, call numbers will also always be meaningful to me.

And here’s a close-up:


Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.


( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 10th, 2014 01:47 pm (UTC)
As both an author and someone who grew up in libraries (my mother was a library director) and worked in them as an adult, I LOVE this tattoo.

What a clever idea.

Also, the books sound very interesting. I'm in a bit of a dragon phase myself at the moment.

*waves at Merrie*
Aug. 10th, 2014 05:17 pm (UTC)
What terrific news for Merrie--and well deserved!
Aug. 10th, 2014 11:29 pm (UTC)
I hadn't heard of her until recently. She was paired up with Saladin Ahmed for author readings at DetCon and went first, reading the first chapter of The Castle Behind Thorns. Based on that reading, I'm planning to buy it when it comes out in pb.
Aug. 11th, 2014 01:29 pm (UTC)
There was a writer named Emmy Jackson whom I met at CONvergence who is also from Detroit and was at Detcon. Did you meet him? I thought his take on his urban fantasy/post-apocalyptic world was fascinating and I loved how he read from his first self-published book The Untimely Death of Corey Sanderson.
Aug. 11th, 2014 01:42 pm (UTC)
I met Emmy a few years back at an event in Ann Arbor. Fun guy. I was happy to see him at Detcon.
Aug. 12th, 2014 02:40 am (UTC)
That's such a lovely idea. I love meaningful tattoos. :)

Deborahblakehps, I think it's great that you grew up in libraries! I adore libraries and reading books. :)

Merrie's books sound very fascinating, too! I might check them out later. Congratulations to Merrie for winning the DetCon1 award!

Edited at 2014-08-12 02:44 am (UTC)
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )


Jim C. Hines

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