Monday, April 5, 2010

Tattoo Sale!

I'm celebrating great news, although just viewing the picture above is cause enough to celebrate. But totally aside from my lust for this gentleman, I'm here to announce that Ellora's Cave offered me a contract for my male/male erotic romance fantasy entitled Magician's Chains. No news on anything exciting like a release date. I have to get through edits first. Nevertheless, since this is my second contract I'm high on the validation that yes, I am able to write well enough to continue down this career path and Bound Odyssey, my first book, was not a weird fluke where I channeled some spirit wanting to transmit the story. Or maybe I did channel the spirit but he or she intends to stay around and bask in mutual glory with me. Oh, I guess I'd call that my muse.

And big surprise, the forthcoming novel is also BDSM-themed. So stay tuned for more of my kinky flavored stories.


So what does this have to do with tattoos? Jesse, one of the heroes of Magician's Chains, dreams of a particular picture of a gate every single night for years after his first encounter with the other hero, Savin, in high school. The dream came so regularly that in order to get it out of his head he had the design of the gate tattooed on the back of his neck. Only as the two men meet again as adults does he learn what this design has to do with their relationship with one another. You'll have to read it once it's released to find out what. What a tease I am (grin).

But I've found myself writing characters with tattoos more and more often. Tattoos play a particular role in the sequel to Bound Odyssey which I'm writing as we speak. (Well, not as we speak. As we speak I'm typing this blog post. But you know what I mean.) I believe our lovely Cara McKenna has included a category in one of her survey questions (Go visit her last blog post before mine and take the survey if you haven't.) about readers' preferences for tattoo-wearing characters. If I'm misremembering, my apologies. For whatever reason, I'm fascinated by tattoos. I find them sexy and I know I'm not alone in this. And when you get down to it, I have tattoo envy. Coward I was, I never got one in my youth.


Now I'm married to a wonderful man who intensely dislikes tattoos. Sigh. Would he have married me if I'd taken that risk in my youth and got inked? He insists that the inks are unregulated and may contain lead. This is totally aside from the normal concerns about the cleanliness of the needles and risk of infection. My husband is not an impulsive guy. But as I've crept closer to mid-life, I've wondered if I should indulge anyway. It's said that although painful, many folks get off on some sort of sexual high from the process and it becomes a bit addictive. No wonder the subject matter fits so well with erotic romance.

I'm here today asking for opinions and information. I know quite a few people with tattoos and I'm sure there is a wide representation out among our blog readers. First, have you ever heard of my husband's concerns about the inks and possible lead issues? Second, tell me what you think in general about tattoos. Do you find them sexy in real life? What about as folks age? Are they sexy on the pages of erotic romance? And what should a mid-lifer do when she's confronted with the urge to get inked way after her young and slinky years. Okay, maybe never slinky but the skin had to be tighter then. Favorite designs and locations anyone? Of course I had to post pictures of hot men showing off their tattoos. Yum.

Comments? Go wild.

17 comments:

Cara McKenna said...

Well, I know mine doesn't contain lead. If it did, a barcode scanner might actually be able to read it. As it is, I must be entered manually.

I didn't mention tattoos explicitly in the survey. A tattoo could be something tiny and cutesy or a full-on ink body suit, so I decided to try to lump extreme tattoos in that "body modification" option (alongside kinky piercings.)

At least half of the heroes I write have tattoos…Gabriel from Shivaree has snatches of music, Flynn from my upcoming erotica Willing Victim has an Archangel Michael motif across his chest, and Ian from my WIP The Ant Farm has "DSM-IV-TR" of all things tattooed below his neck in gothic letters. Mac from that same story has a blacklight tattoo (she's a self-described club rat.) They definitely all mean something. I've never given a character a tattoo just as shorthand for "Check it—he's EDGY!"

And most importantly, BIG BIG BIG CONGRATS on the new contract, Michelle! I'm already drooling to read your latest filthy fare.

Wynter Daniels said...

Congrats on the contract! I know what you mean about that second one. I had the same fear about my first being a fluke until the next ones came!
I never heard that tattoo and lead thing before but I'm really not a fan of tats. (And I know I am in the minority here). I'm a little more partial to piercings but am too chicken to go for anything exotic;-)

Michelle Polaris said...

Cara--I knew I'd screw up the reference to your survey, but everyone will get the jist when they take it. And I love the DSM-IV-TR tattoo choice. Hilarious. I hope I can read that story some day. Tattoos are always better when they mean something to the person or character. LOL about the barcode scanner!
Wynter--I'm an equal opportunity piercing lover too, but equally as unadventurous in that department. Although I'm strongly leaning to getting a second set of holes in my ears. DH won't freak over that one. Although to be fair about the tattoo thing he does qualify that it's my body and I can do whatever I want with it. Smart man.

Sherry said...

I think it depends on what kind and how many tattoos to whether or not it's sexy. I've seen some tats that I would just love to get my hands on and some that just look nasty. I have two myself on my chest both are of wolves one is howling at the moon and the other is just the wolf head and it's like it's looking through the fog. The first one didn't hurt at all while I was getting it done it maybe was a little sore after. The second hurt like hell I couldn't even stand for my bra to touch it for a couple of weeks. To tell the truth sometimes I wish I didn't have any tattoos but at others times I want more they can be very addictive.

sstrode@scrtc.com

Kaylea Cross said...

I got my tat two weeks before I got married, and my hubby was NOT impressed. He was convinced I'd give him HIV or Hepatitis, so it definitely put a damper on our honeymoon. He's just like your DH in that regard, so I totally know what you mean.

The actual tattoo hurt enough to be annoying while I was getting it done, but wasn't so bad that I couldn't handle it. The real pain came during the next few days as it healed--like the worst sunburn I'd ever had in my life. And my DH still hates it ten years later :)

Then when I started belly dancing I got my navel pierced. Word to the wise: Not a good idea when you've got little ones to carry around and crawl all over you. Every little foot and elbow managed to wind up right on my piercing, and as a result it took almost four months to heal. Four months!

Hubby hated that too initially, but now he likes it :)

Michelle Polaris said...

Sherry--I love the idea of wolves. Now that I think about it your ambivalence about your tattoos makes sense. There are few things in life that we feel just one way about. Or at least that's true for me.

Kaylea--Your husband and my husband should get together. But at least you did what you wanted. My little ones are just old enough not to be crawling over my belly or kicking, so if I decide to go that way I can check off at least one concern. Thanks so much for sharing.

Jina Bacarr said...

Michelle, congrats on your new contract!! Your story sounds delicious. I esp. like the idea that the tattoo serves as an emotional bridge between your heroes. I'm interested to see how this plays out...

Re: piercings--a bit of trivia: courtesans in late 19th century Paris had their nipples pierced with gold rings...

Penelope said...

Hi Michelle! Congrats on your new contract! I'm so happy for you.

The hero of my current WIP has a lot of tats, including a band of holly and ivy (his dad is Santa), snowflakes (he lives in the North Pole), and elfin warding symbols (gotta get some magik in there, too!). I think tats are hot on heroes...very, very sexy.

(My husband frowns upon tats, also. Spoiled sport!)

KC Burn said...

Congrats on the contract! It sounds fascinating - I'll have to keep an eye out for it!

As for tats - I love them. You've picked out some very pretty pictures of ones! The ones that I'm not a fan of are the ones of a person's face with their birth and death dates inked in, too - I've seen it more than once. I guess I can understand the sentiment behind it, but it still weirds me out a little.

Naima Simone said...

Hi, Michelle!
It took me about five minutes to get past the first picture...then another five minutes to get past his hand and its strategic placement! *grin* That guy is gaw-ge-ous!! Whew!

Okay, I've reeled it in. CONGRATULATIONS!!! *high five* The story sounds seeexxxxyyyy!! I personally love tattoos...I have four of 'em so I guess you could say it's addictive! Umm, yeah definitely addictive. And I plan on getting another. It definitely wasn't sexual and it didn't hurt. I have to agree with Kaylea, it was more annoying than painful. Mine didn't hurt while they were healing but they itched like crazy as they scabbed over. I adore tattoos and for me, why they are addictive is because they're art and incredibly pretty! And when I see a beautiful picture, I think to myself, that would be an awesome tattoo! LOL! My husband has two as well. Matter of fact we were tatted together for his first and my second!

As for being middle-aged and getting a tattoo? My mother AND father were both in their early fifties when they received theirs! No age limit, girl!! Go for it!!

Cai said...

Hi Michelle,
Congrats on the new contract! :) As to tatts, I also find myself writing more and more charactes with them - but they all have meanings - not just tatted to be tatted.

There is a question on the MRI form at the hospital where I work that asks whether people have tattooed eyeliner - when people get to that question, they frequently ask, "What about other tattoos?" When I asked the radiologist, I was told that several years ago (as in 10 or more), some inks DID have metallic elements in them (to make them shiny, he said), that would react to the MRI and/or the contrast used in MRIs. Nowadays, also according to the radiologist, there are no metals in the inks...

I have one tattoo and plan to get another - just haven't decided what I'm going to get yet. :) Mine didn't hurt when healing, but it itched like crazy! It also didn't really hurt when I was getting it, but my daughter insists that I have the highet pain tolerance of anyone she knows...

Dalton Diaz said...

See? Now you can forgive me for mentioning Magician's Chains before it sold. I had no doubt whatsoever that it would be bought and put on the market the second EC received it. But I digress. I think it took a full minute.

No tats for me, or hubby. I did give one to the hero of Stray Lovers, tho, and it is a major part of the story.

Jay said...

Interesting - I am thinking of getting one myself. I have always wanted a tat - in my late 30s and am finally ready to get one. I find it sexy on men. As a reader, I really like tattoos on a character. My sister found a design. I am thinking about putting it on my right shoulder blade that way only special people can see it. Good luck in looking for one.

Stephanie Adkins said...

Congrats on the new contract, Michelle!! That's awesome!!

I've always wanted a tattoo, but I've never gained enough courage to get one. LOL I think they're very sexy though, BUT not so much when there's so many they cover the entire body. One on each bicep suits me just fine. *wink*

Savannah Stuart said...

I lurrrrve tattoos on a man which is a good thing cuz my hubby has 6 and one is my name in Gaelic. So he's stuck w/ me ;) Never heard the lead thing before but I'm gonna check it out. I have one but this year I plan to get one more :)

Mega congrats on the contract!!

Savannah Stuart said...

Michelle, I love them all but my fave is the one in the middle of his chest. It's an intricate design of the Claddagh symbol and around it, it says 'love, loyalty, friendship' in Gaelic at different points of the symbol (the sides and the bottom). Then at the top is my name in Gaelic. He spent a lot of time searching for the right symbol and tweaked it a bit (he's an artist...not like for a living or anything, but the man can draw) so it was unique.

Beth said...

Congrats on the new contract. Sounds like a book I will have to get once it's released.
As for tattoos,I haven't heard of any problems like lead in the ink. The only problems I know of with the ink would be if you are allergic to something, let the artist know, so he can be sure that there is no conflict. And in a few cases, a persons body chemistry may make some of the colors fade a lot faster that others, leading to needing to have it touched up often. As for cleanliness issues, my advice is to go to a long established parlor or talk to people you know who have been inked, find out who they would recommend.
As for age, I was forty when I got my tattoo. Just a 2 inch smiley face on my right calf. Planning on two more just as soon as the budget allows. One will be a cutesy frog on one of my shoulder blades, positioned so that it peeks out from under my normal apparel of tank top(yes, I wear them year round, just add layers as the weather requires). The other one will be a lot more elaborate and I'm still thinking about the details of that one.
The sexiness or lack thereof is totally in the eye of the beholder. Depends on the tatto itself, the location of the tattoo, the skill of the artist, the person looking at the tattoo. One thing I will say, I don't care to see a bunch of words on a person's body, the one exception being the names of their kids(tastefully done of course). And hearts are too cliche. Shows no imagination.