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    Hello, I’ve been a developing atheist for a number of years.  I’ve long enjoyed critical thinking and it took a while to apply that to my religious background.  I lean more toward secular humanism, with atheism as an aspect of it.

    Over the last few years I’ve been developing an idea for a book that finally culminated last year and I finished recently, especially thanks to participating in NaNoWriMo.  I’m seeking an agent, but I’m having difficulty finding one.  I noticed a distinct lack of humanist and atheist YA fiction (merely not mentioning religion is not a qualifier).  I’m hoping to fill that hole.



    Hey Sean, welcome to Atheist Zone!  Check out Reg’s Sunday School, a weekly treasure trove of delight!



    Welcome, Sean!

    And good job on your profile pics. I should improve my own, something like that.


    Simon Paynton

    I want to turn my website into a book when it’s finished.  The way I see it, at the moment, as soon as I die, so does the web site (within the year).  And half the world hasn’t got the internet anyway.  But books can survive hundreds of years, which can give the philosophy a chance to catch on.  Also, we rely too much on wifi and smartphones, for the simple act of information retrieval.



    Simon: My wife and my daughter think so too. Books! Not iPads or Kindles. Not for them. They want to feel the pages and smell the pages and hear the flutter of the pages as they thumb through them. Ohhh Margret!

    But in my brain washed, “I’ll read my books on a device thank you”, mind I never thought about longevity. Because books do last longer. Longer than that USB hard drive I have all my books and movies stored on anyway.



    Oh, I’m sorry for hijacking the thread but Hey Sean! Welcome to Think Atheist… I mean Atheist Zone.

    If you’re a developing Atheist here is a suggestion for books.

    1) The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins.

    2) A Letter to a Christian Nation by Sam Harris

    3) god is not great by Christopher Hitchens.

    I would read them in that order too. Especially the last one. Hitchens was the George Patton of the bunch and it comes through in his writing but damn if he didn’t call it as he saw it.




    Hello, Noel,

    No worries.  I actually have the first two.  Unfortunately, I don’t have anything by Hitchens.  I’ll have to rectify that.  I actually first saw him on Penn & Teller’s BS series.  It was only once I got more into skepticsim >> atheism >> humanism (the route I took) that I understood the connection.

    About four years ago, I had a concept for some stories.  A skeptic that investigates claims, sort of more an adult version of (dare I say it) Scooby Doo.  I hate the media portrayal of skeptics (particularly in paranormal movies) as denialistic morons.  I wanted to portray someone that was smarter and more savvy.   I sat on the idea for a few years before the right combination of circumstances and ideas aligned (no stars involved).  Trying to raise my daughter with a skeptical (critical thinking) mindset, I bought her a bunch of Encyclopedia Brown books (they’re still in print – who would have guessed).  She reads them as much as her fairy books.

    Looking for material to move up to, there is nothing, except Junior Skeptic.  Nothing fictional that I’ve been able to find so far.  Between that, my established atheism, Dawkins getting deplatformed by Berkeley, the constant war on science, and the antics of the regressive left in colleges, I decided to write a YA novel that combines the usual trope of teenage learning to find one’s way in the world combined with secular humanism/atheism.

    I finished the book, but struggling finding an agent or publisher.  I approached Richard Dawkins at SCICon this past October, and he recommended Pitchstone, but they’re not actively seeking fiction and have had little success.  Prometheus said the same thing.  (Pitchstone actually ask for a copy and gave me a bit of positive feedback.)  So, I’m reaching out to the wider community.  A google search lead me here, so I joined.

    Like Simon, I’m all for physical books as well (my attic is sagging under the weight), so I’ve been avoiding the self-publish route.  So, if anyone knows of any agents, or is a writer, please feel free to get in touch.

    If anyone is interested in reading my work, I’m in the process of uploading the chapters to Beta Books.  Just go to:


    Feedback would be greatly appreciated, but isn’t necessary.  If you think I should keep my day job, please feel free to say so.

    My book is called Truth and Roses.  (The title comes from a quote by Thoreau, “Truth and roses have thorns about them.”)  The main character, Rose, is starting university early.  She’s smart, has dyslexia, escaped religion for nearly four years, has been a skeptic for as long, and is developing her nascent humanism.  She has an appreciation for science, and all things geekdom.  She starts a free thinkers club, debates a creationist, and invites an academic speaker to talk at her university.  Everything goes wrong.  Still struggling with self-image issues left over from religion, alone in university, she fumbles trying to hold everything together before becoming overwhelmed by despondency.  But there is a candle in the darkness.

    I take a serious approach to life, tackle some serious topics, and respect the struggles teens go through.  We were all there at one time.

    I spend a bit of time on tumblr for anyone that’s on there.





    Hello, Simon,

    You could look at self-publishing if you have the funds.  Or possibly go the crowd-sourcing route to raise funds.  That way your work gets a distributed as well.  You can also submit it to the Library of Congress.  Let me know if you do anything.


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