Hi, my name is Kylie and I’d like to tell you a story to introduce my Fan Girl Friday topic of tattoos. It’s Christmas Day in Australia about twenty years back. I was 18 and doing the traditional post lunch thing of lolling about letting the way-too-much food I’d eaten slowly digest. The fan spins lazily overhead, barely stirring the hot air, as I silently vow to never go back for thirds of Aunty Mary’s trifle ever again until next year (best trifle in the world). You know how it is…
Nan: What is that on your back?
Nan: I saw something on our back, under your shirt.
Me: Nana, you need new glasses. Hey, isn’t it your nap time?
Nan: Did you get a tattoo?
Entire room packed full of relatives falls dead silent and commences staring at me.
Mum: I knew she was hiding something!
Dad: You better not have.
Me: *still flailing*
Mum: How will you ever wear a strapless ball gown now!?
Me: *stops flailing* *perplexed face* Wait. When did I ever wear one before?
Mum: No boy from a decent family will have you! Not once he knows about that!
Me: No, seriously … what??
Ah, yes, a great memory. I come from a pretty conservative background (go figure) and my parents honestly could not comprehend why I would do such a thing. But then tattoos tend to be something that either appeal to people or leave them shaking their heads with something less than wonder. I’ve always been fascinated by ink. Not just the art of the design, but the story behind it. So I put out a call on Facebook and Twitter for girls to pull out their trusty mobile phones and snap some pictures for me. The response was huge. Here are just a few of the people that volunteered to share their tats and tales. (Apologies to those I couldn’t fit in.)
We’ll start with me and my latest. Books have always been one of the great loves of my life, so for me, this one was a no-brainer. (And no, I’ve still never worn a strapless ball gown and my husband’s family seen quite nice. Though you never can tell…)
Kate Cuthbert, Harlequin Escape – This tattoo is of a questing beast. In Arthurian legend, Arthur’s best friend is a king called Pellinore. King Pellinore comes from a long line of Pellinore who have all had the same goal in life – to hunt the questing beast. The beast has the body of a leopard, the feet of a goat, and the head of a dragon. When it bays it sounds like 100 hounds all crying at once. However, the beast is invisible. So no one believes it exists, and the Pellinores are generally considered genial crackpots. So anyways, Arthur, being a logical fellow, takes it upon himself to talk Pellinore out of hunting the beast. He manages, and Pellinore abandons his quest. And that’s when the questing beast begins to waste away, eventually nearly dying. Without someone to hunt him, without someone to believe in him, he cannot live. I got my questing beast after a rough patch in my life as a reminder to have the strength and conviction to follow my own path, and to remember that my dreams and goals are only as real as I believe them to be.
Katrina Whittaker, Page Flipperz – It has my three girls on it. From oldest to youngest. As you can see they are wrapped around my heart always. The ribbon going from the beginning till the end. Forever!
Book Chatter Cath – The Celtic band is on my left forearm and I got it done in England on a family visit back in 2005. I love Celtic myths, and really love the knot designs that they use in their art, and I have some Celtic blood (albeit watered down) running through my veins. And that tat is green, green is my favourite colour.
Jennie Brumley, writer – My dragon is taken from Aussie author Graeme Base’s book The Discovery of Dragons. I knew when I was 12 that I wanted a tattoo, I knew by the time I was 15 that I wanted a dragon, but it took me until I was 24 to find one I knew I could live with for the rest of my life. I have always been fascinated by dragons, perhaps because I was born in the Year of the Dragon, perhaps because I watched too many medieval fantasy shows when I was little, either way, dragons rock and funds (and hubby) allowing I want to add a Norse dragon to the mix at some point down the track.
Rhyll Biest, writer – I had a favourite live music club in Brisvegas called the Crash and Burn and their emblem was a sun. So my tat was in homage… I was in my 20s, but I don’t regret it at all. Having a tat makes me feel all kick-assy tough, even though I’ve only ever kicked ass in my imagination.
Shona Husk, writer – Here’s my seahorse. It’s about 12 years old. I’d had a partial molar pregnancy (which was fairly traumatic), my husband was in the navy at the time and sailed a week after I had surgery and I decided that if I was going to get a tattoo now was the time. Kind of a ‘what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger’ moment. He was surprised when he got home…
Kylie is a long time fan of erotic love stories and B-grade horror films. She demands a happy ending and if blood and carnage occur along the way then all the better. Based in Queensland, Australia with her two children and one delightful husband, she reads, writes and never dithers around on the internet. Her latest book release is Colonist’s Wife, and you can find her via her website, Twitter and Facebook.