Saranna DeWylde and the meaning of tattoos.

This entry is part 12 of 15 in the series Pricked Party

Saranna is going to give away ONE copy of Furyous Ink per TEN comments, so comment away people! I will draw a winner on the 27th and announce it here on my blog.

I have a tribal tattoo on my thumb.

I got it when I was sixteen to piss off my mother. I was at a friend’s house and her brother had just gotten out of prison and asked me if I wanted a tattoo. He said he’d do it for free. Sixteen and intelligence don’t always go hand in hand. I nodded vigorously and he set about giving me my first tatt. The homemade gun didn’t have a needle, it used a piece of guitar string and hurt like holy Hell.

And I didn’t get the tribal art I wanted, I got something that looks like a cross between a tick and a spider. It’s the only tattoo I have that I regret. It kept me off of Missouri Highway Patrol because of its resemblance to a spider. A spider tattoo on your hand is a common tattoo among the Aryan Brotherhood—a gang that is believed to have its roots in San Quentin. Most commonly it means that the wearer is a racist. As I am not, I usually wear a ring over this tattoo. It gave me no end of trouble when I was working in the prison. I had lots of inmates think I would either treat them better or worse than they deserved based on that tattoo.

In prison, tattoos are another language with which to communicate information. They can note a person’s crime, status, sentence, and even their “specialties.” Some have multiple meanings. Teardrops, for instance, can mean the wearer has killed someone and the number of teardrops means how many, or it can be a tear for a loved one they’ve lost. A spider web can mean a web of addiction, but most commonly when its placed on the elbow, it means that the wearer is killer.

Many of these tattoos that are specific to certain gangs, if an uninitiated person is found with them, they will give the wearer the option to remove the tattoo themselves or said faction will remove it for them—usually by cutting off the offending tattoo.

There was inmate I knew who got “Evil Minded” tattooed across his forehead. He was only doing a short bid, though. Most inmates don’t get tattoos on their forehead in they’re doing life without the possibility of parole or belong to MS-13. In MS-13, every tattoo has a significant meaning and the more tattoos you have, the higher your place in the gang.

I think about these things when I write tattooed characters. My heroine in Furyous Ink is a tattoo artist and tattoos are an intrinsic part of her culture, especially with the Amazons. I designed the tattoos myself that marked the Arachne and the Amazons. They utilize a spider, but it is never on the wearers’ hands. Each signifies the others triumph over their enemies. For the Amazons, it’s a great horned owl clutching a spider and for the Arachne, it’s a spider clutching the owl in its legs.

Furyous Ink was a fun book to write and I hope readers have just as much fun with it as I did.

Marcus Kage has four dead women on his hands. As a detective, he knows that’s more trouble than his city needs. As a Lycanos, he knows that’s more trouble than his city can handle. A tattoo found on each vic identifies them as Amazons, and Athena’s tribe of warrior women need half an excuse to start a war on a good day. A clue leads him to the artist who tattooed the victims—and suddenly Marcus can barely keep his horny beast at bay.

As a Fury, Megaera Eumenides can see straight to the soul of a man, and she likes what she finds in the strong, honorable Alpha. They claim each other, mark each other, and with every heated mating their bond grows stronger. Life would be just about perfect if they didn’t have a supernatural assassin to avoid…and Marcus’ past haunting him…and Meg’s secrets to overcome…and a murderer on the loose.

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Saranna bio:Saranna De Wylde has always been fascinated by things better left in the dark. She wrote her first story after watching The Exorcist at a slumber party. Since then, she’s published horror, romance and narrative nonfiction. Like all writers, Saranna has held a variety of jobs, from operations supervisor for an airline, to an assistant for a call girl, to a corrections officer. But like Hemingway said, “Once writing has become your major vice and greatest pleasure, only death can stop it.” So she traded in her cuffs for a full-time keyboard. She loves to hear from her readers.

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13 thoughts on “Saranna DeWylde and the meaning of tattoos.

  1. Cathy M says:

    Wonderful post, Saranna. I don’t have any tattoos myself, but learning your way around the prison community must have been a fascinating experience.

  2. Lena Loneson says:

    Oh wow, talk about an unintended meaning. I also cannot even imagine a tattoo using guitar string — that sounds so incredibly painful! Your desire to piss off your mom must’ve been pretty awesome 🙂

    Furyous Ink sounds fantastic. I love me some Furies. Aeschylus’ Eumenides (well, the whole Oresteia) is one of my favourite plays.
    Lena Loneson recently posted..Guest blogging for Jayne Kingston todayMy Profile

  3. Fedora says:

    Wow–great post, Saranna! So much to know about the meaning of tattoos–not having one, I didn’t give it much thought, but naturally it makes sense that they WOULD have a language all their own. Thanks for giving us a peek, and looking forward to reading Furyous Ink!

  4. Ashley says:

    What a wonderful post. Tattoos have always fascinated me. I have three. I love to hear the story before a tattoo. On another note, I could only imagine how painful getting your first tattoo was. Furyous Ink seems very interesting.

  5. Amy S. says:

    Great post! I have two tattoos. I got both at the same time. I have a butterfly and a ankle bracelet of morning glories. My sister was dating the tattoo artist and I got it for a great price. I also wanted it for another reason. On my birthday I finished the last chemo round for that time. I had always wanted a tattoo and I sort of really wanted one after that. I’m really enjoying the Pricked series. I’m reading one right now. If you want to look at my tattoo, it is posted at this address.

  6. Joye says:

    Enjoyed reading the comments. I don’t have a tattoo or pierced ears. Just never thought that kind of embellishment was worth it.
    Your book sounds interesting and i like the cover.

  7. Saranna DeWylde says:

    Hey everyone, sorry it took a bit to reply. I was having connectivity issues and I was out of town with Romance Writers of America convention for a week.

    Anyway, the winner is Fedora. If you could email me at blackenedquill at aol dot com, I’d love to send you your copy of Furyous Ink.

    Thanks to everyone who commented.

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