|Today's guest author, Adriana Kraft, is an erotica author published with Extasy Books and Whiskey Creek Press Torrid. We met on the Passionate Ink forum, the Romance Writer's of America erotic romance author's chapter, and started talking about tattoos. Adriana just got her very first tattoo, so I thought it'd be fun to have her here, talking about her experience as a 'tattoo virgin' losing her virginity, and of course, to tell us a bit about her books!
Thanks so much for inviting me to be here today, Eden, and congrats on the release of your tattoo fetish story "The Art of Desire" in Hot Nights and Dark Desires! You've had some great blogs and interviews up all month to celebrate. It looks like I'm the tattoo virgin of the bunch - in fact, apart from the age difference, I'm a little like your heroine: "a sheltered young woman turned on by the idea of getting tattooed."
Let me back up a second and tell you a bit about myself. Adriana Kraft is actually the pen name under which my husband and I write erotic romance together. If you think "married" and "erotic" don't go together, come read our books!
My tattoo is about transformation. Growing up I didn't know anyone who had tattoos. If I thought about it at all, I might have associated it with circuses, or maybe carnivals, but not with other people like me. That didn't change much when I reached adulthood. I travelled in circles where it wasn't the norm.
I do think body art has been creeping gradually into mainstream culture, though I couldn't begin to put dates on that change. In the last decade I've crossed paths with people sporting tattoos more and more often, in a range of social circles. However my choice to transform into a tattoo wearer wasn't about conforming to the new norm, but rather about breaking out of old ones, especially as a writer of erotic romance. And it was a character we wrote who actually planted the seed, if that's possible.
We'd written and submitted several manuscripts and doggedly kept on writing, polishing and submitting, waiting for something to break. Over two years ago, not long before our first contract offer, we created the character of Merry Delaney, a recently widowed forty year old woman who'd been pretty sheltered and focused on raising her daughter and caring for her dying husband. We didn't know when we started putting her story on the page that she'd want a tattoo - but Merry emerged from her cocoon, started tasting everything she'd been missing out on, and decided getting a tattoo was part of her transformation.
We polished that manuscript - The Merry Widow - and it was picked up by Whiskey Creek Press Torrid and published in January, 2008 (available as an e-book and in print). There's always a part of us in every character we write, and I know I identified with the way Merry reveled in her new freedom. She just thinks life is delicious.
I'm part of an exciting group of about 30 authors who've banded together for mutual support and promotion, the Midnight Seductions Authors. One of our members blogged about tattoos in April at the MSA blog and I found myself confessing I'd been thinking about getting one. Events tumbled forward fast from that point - by the next day, I'd made my decision and had a plan. I blogged about my progress in April and May at MySpace.
I thought I wasn't nervous, and mostly I wasn't, but I did act out a little: after I finally got the details on the best local tattoo parlor from a co-worker, I went silent and didn't tell my husband for several days. He finally prodded the information loose from me, and that was all it took. Within twenty four hours I had the appointment set.
There was never any question what I wanted for a tattoo: Merry's butterfly was mine, from the beginning, though not as flamboyant as the stunning tat our cover artist gave her. Besides being beautiful, a butterfly symbolizes so many things I love: nature, renewal, spring, freedom, and above all, transformation and miracle. It's a symbol of owning my whole self.
I decided to place it where I could have choices about sharing it. It's on my shoulder blade, so it's covered up most of the time, but easy to reveal if I want to share it, and high enough that it'll be visible when I wear a swimsuit or halter top.
The actual process was almost a letdown - it seemed very ordinary, didn't really hurt, and hardly matched my great expectations. But having it - that's a spiritual experience, a naughty little secret and a celebration all rolled into one. Probably very much like Merry's.
Here's a blurb for The Merry Widow and a link to an excerpt at our website:
For recently widowed accountant Merry Delaney, sex didn’t stop at forty—it stopped in her mid thirties, shortly after her husband was diagnosed with M.S. Now it’s time for a change. A sizzling kiss from her best friend Camille St. Jermaine introduces Merry to Girls’ Night Out, but she’s hardly going to stop there!
Chicago Detective Jim Barnes solicits Merry’s help with a mob funds-skimming case, spies on her while she entertains female and male lovers, entices her into hot phone sex, and finally takes her wildly in her foyer.
Can the scorching passion that soon smolders between Merry and Jim survive the escalating mob threats of exposure? Having discovered a zest for sex, will Merry ever again be satisfied with one man?
We currently have five books and one short story available at Extasy and Whiskey Creek Torrid, with seven more under contract. Our most recent release is Through the Mirror:
Lacy Hogan’s mantra: hot sex, zero commitment. But Doug Forsyth demands her all before revealing his trump card— can she trust him with her heart?
Hope you'll stop by and check us out!