I came relatively late to the joys of getting a tattoo. My daughter, who has several, convinced me to go with her and get inked last year. Mother/daughter bonding of a slightly unusual nature! At the time I felt daring, a little bit “out there”, and embarrassed, all at the same time.
But afterwards I couldn’t stop looking at the ink on my arm. I love it! My design includes the symbol of a typography flourish, flanked by my daughter’s names, denoting my hopes and dreams for both my children, and my writing career, to flourish.
Of course, once I’d joined the “ink club”, I started noticing ink all around me. Specifically, I started noticing how many romance book characters these days – heroes and heroines – have tattoos.
For me, both as a reader and writer, a tattoo can add a layer of complexity to a character that is incredibly intriguing. The hint of a wild past. The quintessential romance hero bad boy. Or a deep-seated angst too strong to be expressed verbally that must instead be etched in perpetuity on someone’s body. Maybe there’s a rebellious nature hidden beneath a veneer of civility. So many possibilities; so many potential stories behind every tattoo.
Meika, the heroine in my current WIP, Ice Queen (a Gods of Love novel), has survived a terrible past and the word tattooed on her wrist is a constant reminder not to give up the fight for life:
Eros traced the word etched in black. Survive. The letters stood out against her pale skin with stark clarity, her wrist so delicately thin he could crush it in an instant, if he chose. The word contained everything she was, everything she had become, everything she was yet to be. So brave and strong, and yet at the same time so incredibly tragic.
Survive. It was as if the word was searing itself into his mind, as permanent as the ink that decorated her wrist. He bent his head to hide the sudden moisture dampening his eyes.
I am a god. Gods do not cry at the fleeting whims of mortals.
Some readers, like me, love their heroes or heroines with ink. Some hate it. Which camp do you belong to, and why?