By Jocelynn Drake
2012 has been a year of endings and beginnings for me. In April, the last Dark Days series story was released (BOUND TO ME), closing the book, so to speak, on Mira and Danaus in Savannah. Meanwhile, readers got their first glimpse of Gage and the rest of the crew at the Asylum Tattoo and Potion Parlor when The Asylum Interviews: Bronx and The Asylum Interviews: Trixie were released this summer. The first book Angel’s Ink hits the shelf on October 16, blowing the doors wide open on this world.
The Asylum Tales shifts to an entirely new world, populated by humans, vampires, shape-shifters, ogres, trolls, elves, pixies, goblins, faeries, satyrs, and a whole lot more that’s going to keep readers on their toes. But the big question is: why tattoos?
I first thought of writing about magical tattoos and the tattoo artists who created them during one of my own visits to get some ink. While I was finishing up the Dark Days series, I popped in to one of my favorite tattoo parlors for a little work. I was chatting with a pair of artists when they suggested that I needed to write about a tattoo artist. I laughed and brushed off the suggestion, but apparently the idea stuck in my brain.
I started to turn it over days later. The tattoo artists that I knew could tell some of the best stories of personal experience. I felt like they saw just a little bit of everything pass through their doors. What better way to get a good look at this strange world than through the eyes of a tattoo artist? And if you add an element of magic to that experience, the chances for adventure expands even further.
The magical tattoos also became an easy way of leveling the playing field for the humans in this complex world. When your average day may include encounters with elves, pixies, shifters, sirens, hinky-punks, and all manner of magical creatures, sometimes it helps to have a little magical help. Charmed items are extremely hard to come by and very expensive. And in my world, most potions need to be introduced to the blood stream directly – hence the tattooing rather than just drinking the potion.
Now, the tattoos won’t fly up off the body and protect you like some guardian angel if you’re in trouble. However, if you’ve been having a run of bad luck, a good luck tattoo could help turn the tide. If you’ve been trying to win over that sexy hunk at work, a special love tattoo may help you catch his eye. Got someone you would like to … get rid of? Yeah, your local tattoo artist has got something for that to, but you’re gonna have to pay for it.
The potions placed in many tattoos are mixed from the usual ingredients you may find around the area. Nightshade, pollen from an Easter Lily resting on the altar during the morning Easter mass at the local basilica, tears from a mermaid, or maybe something a little exotic, like the yolk from a golden egg laid by a somewhat famous goose.
If you’ve got a problem in Low Town, your local tattoo artist can give you a helping hand. Just remember, you’re going to have to pay and pay big for the hard jobs.
Love comes in many varied forms. There is the love of family, love of country, and love of chocolate. But for Jocelynn Drake, one truly treasured love is the love of a good story. This Midwestern native spends the majority of her time lost in the strong embrace of a good book. When she’s not hammering away at her keyboard, frowning at her monitor, or curled up with a book, she can usually be found cuddling with her cats, Harley and Demona, walking her dog Max, or flinging curses at the TV while playing a video game. Outside of books, cats, and video games, she is completely enamored of Bruce Wayne, Ezio Auditore, travel, tattoos, explosions, fast cars, and Anthony Bourdain (but only when he’s feeling really cranky).
Angel's Ink Description
Looking for a tattoo -- and maybe a little something extra: a burst of good luck, a dollop of love, or even a hex on an ex? Head to the quiet and mysterious Gage, the best skin artist in town. Using his unique potions -- a blend of extraordinary ingredients and special inks -- to etch the right symbol, he can fulfill any heart's desire. But in a place like Low Town, where elves, faeries, trolls, werewolves, and vampires happily walk among humanity, everything has a price.
No one knows that better than Gage. Turning his back on his own kind, he left the magical Ivory Towers where cruel witches and warlocks rule, a decision that cost him his right to practice magic. If he disobeys, his punishment -- execution -- will be swift.
Though he's tried to fly under the radar, Gage can't hide from powerful warlocks who want him dead -- or the secrets of his own past. But with the help of his friends, Trixie, a gorgeous elf who hides her true identity, and a hulking troll named Bronx, Gage just might make it through this enchanted world alive.