Writing is my dream job, but my day job is actually about as stodgy as it gets. The forced conformity has started to chafe like an ugly polyester uniform, over a girdle in a size too small, and toe-pinching heels. All around me, I see tattoos decorating arms, legs, wrists, and backs. The book covers in my favorite genres sport heroes with tattoo-painted muscles. The real me wants purple hair, a piercing, and a couple of tattoos.
My characters have the freedom that I am denied. In Too Fast, Savannah has her nose pierced, and Luke has a tattoo. They live in Athens, Georgia, home of the University of Georgia, and a city close to my heart. In Athens, the unique mix of music, culture, and higher education has fostered an environment that encourages individuality.
Luke is no billionaire. In fact, he’s got the responsibilities of a man twice his age and the means of a twenty-year-old. Luke wouldn’t spend money on a tattoo without a good reason. Since he didn’t have any friends who were tattoo artists (which by the way, each of us should have), Luke needed body art with real meaning. His art signified his commitment to caring for his younger sister. He works to shield her from the tumultuous home life caused by his mother’s mental illness. Luke’s tattoo ends up playing a big role in the story.
I believe that the act of getting a tattoo always has meaning—sometimes a rite of passage, coming of age, or act of bravery. I have seen body art honoring loved ones, memorializing special events, and featuring literary characters.
Do you have a tattoo with special meaning?
How do you express yourself through body art?
Too Fast by Alexia Haynes
Twenty-year-old Savannah enjoys a one-time one-night stand because a real relationship would never fit into her busy schedule. Working two jobs and pursuing her degree takes all of her time. Besides, the guys she has dated haven’t been much better than the random barfly.
It’s a good thing Luke’s body is honed by the long hours of carpentry and construction because he carries the weight of his family on his shoulders. School hasn’t been an option for him since he dropped out to make the house payments his mother had failed to make.
Luke finds what he’s been longing for in a night with Savannah. She’s determined to stop with a one-night stand, but he wants more. Neither can deny the perfection of their passionate interludes, but with such imperfect lives, do they have any chance for a future together? Suddenly they’re falling in love but it’s all happening much too fast.