AJ is probably still out celebrating her new release, If Only, which came out yesterday. I am honored to have her visit Tattoo Tuesday. AJ, your five questions start now:
1. How old were you when you got your first tattoo? I was 24.
2. How many tattoos do you have? If only one, do you want more? I have two. I just got my second one, and YES, I want more! I can understand people saying tattoos are addicting. Yes it hurts, but it’s also a ton of fun. Is it weird that I enjoy getting inked? 🙂
3. What inspired you to get your first tattoo or favorite tattoo? Tell me your tattoo story. My first tattoo was just because I wanted one. Not a huge story. But my recent one is all about story. My debut novel, IF ONLY, a New Adult contemporary romance, just released yesterday. Yay! I promised myself I’d celebrate writing milestones with more ink, and I wanted there to be meaning attached to this one. My favorite poem by Emily Dickinson poem that, since her poems aren’t titled, starts with the line, “Hope is the thing with feathers–“, and for me it’s this idea of hope being this selfless entity that is always there, silent and unquestioning. When it comes to writing and publishing, it’s really easy to get discouraged. Not losing hope is so vital to keeping at the writing game. While I was querying my first book, I was writing IF ONLY. When the first book didn’t get the response I hoped for (see…I hoped), I got IF ONLY ready and started querying and entering it in contests…and it won one, an Editor in the Alley pitch contest on the NA Alley Blog. Fast forward a year later, and my book is with a fabulous publisher, Entangled, and my story is out there. The idea of hope, and the poem I love, those are the reasons for the feather tattoo on my arm. Putting that first book out there, letting it go and become something that doesn’t belong only to me anymore, that’s the reason for the bird breaking off from the feather.
4. Tattoos on a significant other, like or dislike? Explain why? I like tattoos on anyone. They are hot. ‘Nuff said.
5. Do the character’s in your books have tattoos? If so, pick a character and tell me his or her tattoo story? Why was this story incorporated in the book? Both my hero and heroine get tattoos. My main character, Jordan, gets the Hebrew word, Ahava, tattooed on her wrist (in the Hebrew characters). She’s studying abroad in Scotland, and while visiting family in London over the holidays, her cousin takes her to a tattoo shop as a surprise. Ahava means love, and it has multiple connections to the story–to Jordan’s relationship with her best friend as well as Jordan’s own self discovery. And of course, the book is a romance, so the tattoo ties in there as well. Like I said, the hero gets a tattoo as well, but I can’t reveal his without revealing too much about the book. You’ll just have to read. I included the tattoo story line simply because I love ink and the idea of permanence in this type of expression…as long as you choose art you know you’ll want forever!
AJ writes stories to break readers’ hearts, but don’t worry—she’ll mend those hearts with a happily ever after…maybe. The first book she wrote was YA, but now she’s two-timing her first love with NA. She’s always in the middle of reading two to three books, adores online shopping (everything from groceries to shoes), and she still loves vampires, whether it’s Eric Northman or the Salvatore brothers. When she’s not writing, AJ is sneaking off to her day job as a high school English teacher or hanging with her husband and kids in the Chicago burbs.
If you have a book coming out or just want to tell your tattoo story and want to be featured on Tattoo Tuesday, let me know by leaving me a message in the comments.