Tattoo Tuesday – Suzanne Van Royen


OtherMeFS-200x300So excited to bring back Tattoo Tuesday and to feature some amazing people who just so happen to be talented writers.

First up, Suzanne Van Royen. Suzanne is not only the music guru for my debut novel coming out in April, but she recently released a YA Contemporary Novel titled, The Other Me.

Suzanne, welcome to Tattoo Tuesday. Your five questions start now:

1. How old were you when you got your first tattoo?

I was 21 and living in Finland on a student exchange. I got my first ink as a way to commemorate the most amazing 5 months of my life.

2.     How many tattoos do you have? If only one, do you want more?

5 and counting 🙂 The guy who did my first tattoo said, this’ll either be your first and last or the first of many. He was right! I definitely think I’ll be adding to my collection in the years to come.

3.     What inspired you to get your first tattoo or favorite tattoo?  Tell me your tattoo story.

A few years ago I watched this film called The Tattooist starring Jason Behr. It wasn’t a great movie but there was a fantastic scene where the MC’s love interest runs her hands over his heavily inked back and chest. As she does so, he tells her where he got each one, his ink reading like a map of his life and all his travels. That scene gave me chills and made me want my own tattoos for similar reasons. Three of my five tattoos were done in Finland, I then have one from South Africa where I grew up and one from Australia (the one on my ankle) where I lived for 7 months. If I got a new tattoo every time I travelled, I’d run out of skin so I’m restricting my ink to places I’ve lived. I’m hoping to add a few more countries to my collection in the next few years. The story behind my first tattoo – other than being from somewhere I’d lived and to commemorate my exchange – is that I wanted something in Finnish. I love the Finnish language and looked at a bunch of quotes from songs and poems before settling on something incredibly simple and totally me: Minä uskon keijukaisiin, which is a tribute to Peter Pan and my determination to never grow up. It means ‘I believe in faeries’. My newest tattoo and first one with colour is of the Druidic symbol known as the awen which means poetic inspiration and is strongly associated with the idea of a muse or that seemingly extrinsic power that fuels our creativity. I like the messy hand-drawn style of my tattoos and never want anything to look too clean or precise, but more like a doodle and spilled ink.

tats s van rooyen

4.     Tattoos on a significant other, like or dislike? Explain why?  

Love! I’m not a fan of facial tattoos or random images of tigers and pin-up girls, but I love artistic and meaningful ink. My husband only recently got a tattoo and I love how quintessentially geeky and how totally him it is. His tat is what he considers the most beautiful math equation:

5.     Do the character’s in your books have tattoos? If so, pick a character and tell me his or her tattoo story? Was this story incorporated in the book?  

Oh yes. I wrote a short story for an anthology once where the entire theme was about tattoos. I don’t really have too many tattooed main characters in my YA novels though. In my latest novel The Other Me, my male MC’s best friend Dirk has a tiger tattoo clawing up his ribs because he’s trying to be a hardcore punk-rocker, and my female MC’s best friend Jordan has a tiny butterfly tattoo on her hip. In my soon to be published novel, I Heart Robot, my android MC Quinn has a tattoo on his left forearm. This is his identity code marking him as a certain class of android and is hard-coded into his DNA. He can never get rid of it despite the lengths he goes to trying to have it removed. His best friend also has tattoos, really impressive dragons inked onto her over-sized android skull. I’m starting to see a trend in my writing when it comes to BFFs and tattoos, lol!

ankle tat s van rooyen

To learn more about Suzanne, connect with her on her blog and on Goodreads

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.  

Tattoo Tuesday – Michael P. Thomas

SydTatTWOIt has returned after a month long hiatus, we are back with a good one.  A quality guy, with quality ink.

Welcome, Michael.

Hey Sydney,

Thanks for considering adding me to your lineup — I do love me some tattoos.  Here are your questions, answered; I hope it’s stuff you can use.

1.     How old were you when you got your first tattoo?

Barely 18.  It was my freshman year in college, I went with a guy in my dorm I had the biggest crush on, it was his first one, too.  We were never boyfriends (alas), but we’ll always have Berdoo Tattoo.

2.     What made you want to get your first tattoo?

One of my friends in high school had one (scandalously!), and she inspired a conversation one day, a bunch of us talking about, “If I ever got a tattoo, I’d get…”  Couple months later, the opportunity presented itself, and voila.

3.     How many tattoos do you have? If only one, do you want more?

I’ve been tattooed eight times, by eight different artists, but one is a cover-up, so only seven of them “show.”

4.     What is your tattoo story?  Tell me the most recent or your favorite.

They all have stories, ranging from “Cuz my friend was getting one that day, too,” to “In memory of my friend who died quite suddenly.”  The sea turtle is probably my favorite, for lots of reasons, including its location — for years I longed for a forearm tattoo — and the awesomeness of the workmanship she put into it.

honu2September 11th of 2001 was something of a traumatic day for flight attendants.  I happened to be in Kona, on the Big Island of Hawaii, and to tear me away from the constant and chaotic news coverage of my workplace being flown through the side of someone else’s, my friend took me snorkeling.  We’d only been in the water a few minutes, and we were practically swarmed by these sea turtles. They calmed, they comforted, they fed and frolicked, and they communed, at least with me, on a spiritual level that I have experienced in the Animal Kingdom neither before nor since.  We were both strong swimmers, but we followed them way too far from shore — we couldn’t tear ourselves away.  An ocean full of oblivious fish and sympathetic sea turtles shifted my focus dramatically, and made clear to me that the Circle of Life is so much bigger than we are, and so much more important than the events in any one life or of any one day, graphic and horrifying though they may be.  Like the waves in that same ocean, Life rolls on.  Towards you, then over you in the blink of an eye, and then, yes, on without you.  The honu is my totem animal now; I visit them often and learn something new every time, and with this tattoo, I can carry with me (and, some days, access) their strength, their grace, and their spirit of adventure.  Also, it’s just a gorgeous tattoo by an artist who “got” me and what I was going for, which I think always shows.

5.     Tattoos on a significant other, like or dislike?  Why?

Love ’em.  In my book, Kiss Me, Straight, Todd flips for his straight co-worker Josh, whose torso full of cheap, off-the-rack tattoos lends him a bad-boy-gone-good aura and heightens his sexy factor considerably.  In my real life, when I met my husband, he didn’t have any tattoos, didn’t have his nipples pierced — I had a lot of work to do.  And this kid went big, which I love about him.  He waited for the right tattoo and for the right artist (who did my sea turtle), and for his first tattoo he got a huge phoenix-man the length and half the breadth of his back.  And he’s 6’3, 350, so that’s a commitment to ink.  I think a well-chosen, well-executed tattoo shows a sense of adventure, a creative spirit, and a certain tolerance for pain, which are three deal-breaker qualities for me in the romance department.

Michael P. Thomas is a flight attendant whose passions include cheap wine, strong coffee, and fine-lookin’ men. His first novel, Kiss Me, Straight, is available in eBook and paperback at and on Amazon; his second one, Crazy Like Fox, comes out in September. He writes gay fiction because when he was coming out, he sure was glad to have it to read. After misspending his youth in San Francisco, he now gets his tattoos in his native Colorado, where he lives with his husband.

Visit him at
Follow him on Twitter @MrStewardess

If you have a tattoo story, let me now if the comments. I would love to feature you on Tattoo Tuesday.