Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Book Research: Tattoos and Nephilim

When sin stains your soul, he tattoos your skin…

Tattoo artist Nathan Ink is more than he seems. An angel living in secret on earth, he forces his clients to face their flaws by tattooing images of their sins on their bodies, but this glimpse into the soul often results in his clients' deaths. Although Nathan avoids the other angels, when they ask him to keep an eye on Faye, a nephilim being stalked by another of her kind, he reluctantly agrees.

The angels have kept Faye in the dark about her stalker, but to keep her close to Nathan, they've tasked her with investigating the high mortality rate of Nathan's clients. Despite her distaste for his methods, she finds herself fighting a growing attraction to Nathan, and discovering he's not a rogue after all forces her to question her own mission. When Faye learns her stalker is another nephilim who intends to use her to breed a new race of hellish beings, teaming up with Nathan may be the only way to prevent a genocide
That's the blurb from my urban fantasy, Nephilim. I really enjoyed writing this lurid little tale, and I especially enjoyed researching information about tattoos and their significance to people. You know, tattoos have been around forever. Early man (and probably women!) were tracing outlines on their body and rubbing dirt to hold the design from the very beginning. They did this for all sorts of reasons--homage to the gods, a sign of tribal unity, and probably because it just seemed like a good idea.

Wow. Those are some of the same reasons drunk frat boys do it, too. I guess not much changes through the ages...

My husband is very tattooed. He wasn't when we were first married so seeing his body slowly become an artist's palette has been an interesting transition in my thought process. I went from thinking that tattoos were just a terrible idea to realizing there is lots of beauty in what they can represent. Of course, that led me straight into the idea of a novel and the research on tattoos and angels. As I look towards the sequel for Nephilim, it's been fun revisiting my inspiration for the first book and reviving my fascination with the reasons why people get inked in the first place.

My protagonist, Nathan Ink, is an angel, but prior to his angelic status, he was a gypsy traveling in Madrid. Gifted with the second sight, Nathan started his humble life scratching symbols into the skin of people who wanted good luck, better crops, or babies. His symbols were gifts that could help those in need meet their goals. Of course, once he became an angel, God charged him with a different mission, a different purpose for his gifts. Now he had to create symbols that represented the seven deadly sins. His job was to figure out which sin his victims fell prey to and then tattoo them with that symbol. The symbol could be something simple like flames or it could be a creature like a monkey. Regardless, every symbol meant something different to whoever received it, and every symbol caused them to either change their sinful ways or suffer the consequences...

Lots of readers have asked me if I have any tattoos. As of this posting, the answer is no. Honestly...I'm a big chicken. I hate pain. But I love what they can represent, and I am considering the possibility of getting inked in the future. I'm always interested to know why someone picked the tattoo that they did. What was the inspiration? Do you regret it? How has it changed you? I've heard some really interesting answers and all have helped me in my writing.

You can get your copy of Nephilim today by clicking on the book picture on the right hand side of this blog!

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