In “Painted Red,” if my characters had been honest about their closet skeletons, all the obstacles to their love would have been removed. In this case, fiction resembles life. Face it: we all have kinks. We all have certain things that turn us on, but some people are embarrassed to admit it.
Not only did I at one point, not too long ago, never think I’d write romance, I would have giggled shyly and run away to hide if anyone suggested I write erotica. I mean, me? Write that sort of thing? Never! Because, you know, my mama raised me better…? Or, I, um… I wouldn’t know about such things… Because I’m not that sort of girl. (Yet.)
If anyone ever tells you that getting a tattoo doesn’t hurt, they’re a downright filthy liar. As you might guess from words so far, though, and if you read my short story in K’inked, the pain is an integral part of the process for me. It’s ritual. I anticipate the pain with a subtle, secret excitement. In a way, there’s a part of me that enjoys the experience of the pain more than the tattoo itself.
The human condition is filled with incongruity and dissonance, a ripe set-up for deep, emotional storytelling. Love-hate. Pain-pleasure. Wounds and healing. Scar tissue. Within the context of a love story, the darker elements carry extra gravity, and reaching the light at the end of the tunnel can feel like a true triumph for the characters, not just having made it out, but having made it out as more than they went in.
I dreaded writing the sex scene in “Begin Again.” I had no problem writing foreplay or the flirtations between my two main characters, Melissa and Callum, an art professor and a tattoo artist who unlock a lot more than ink when Melissa gets her first tattoo. But when it came to the literal and figurative climax, well, I got a little shaky (and not in a good way).