Blog Post By Pippa J Green.

Blood and Ink – Writing Tattoos

When I started looking into publication for Keir, and at the titles that were around at the time, I noticed a heavy preference for tattoos, especially in the current trend of paranormal titles. Now when I first ‘saw’ Keir in my head, I’d covered him in tattoos. Not because that was the trend or the preference. Not even because I was a fan of them. I didn’t even have one myself, or really know anyone else with one either.

So one thing I did want to know was – how does it actually feel to have a tattoo? I’d considered it as a teenager, but back then the prospect of marking my own skin for the rest of my life just seemed too daunting. I’d already had my ears pierced three times each side, and felt that was enough. However, a few months after writing Keir and with my 40th birthday looming, I decided to be bold. I’d rather regret doing something than NOT doing it.

Even when I booked it, I don’t think my husband really thought I’d go through with it. I’m not good with pain (apparently that’s partly down to being a redhead – there’s scientific evidence that we have more pain receptors than other hair colourings – truly!) and I was afraid that the first stab of the needle would send me screaming for the door.

I’m not going to lie – it hurt. Not quite as I’d imagined it. Like cutting yourself and getting lemon juice in the cut. I had a celtic butterfly done on the top of my right wrist, and the tattooist swore over the delicacy of it. Bizarrely, I’m quite willing – keen in fact – to have another done when funds permit, so it can’t have been that bad.


So I did my ‘research’. I know what it feels like to have a tattoo. I could extrapolate the pain of that one into a body’s worth and imagine the effect that might have on a young boy (yeah, I’m cruel!). But Keir’s appearance left me with another problem. I had very specific ideas of the kind of tattoos he should have. Do you know how hard it is to find stock images that come anywhere near?! Try it. It drove me insane!

It also gave my publisher some trouble. Although I loved my cover when it first arrived in my inbox, the complete lack of tattoos was an instant shock. They’re such an important part of the story – of Keir himself. But the publisher said it would be difficult to put them on and have them look effective.

After some discussion between publisher and editor and me, and a couple of trial mock-ups, Keir got some tatts. Okay, they might not be the ones described in the book, but at least he has them. A token gesture.


So if you’d like to know exactly how Keir came by his tattoos and what they really look like, I have a free e-book up for one random commentator (please leave your e-mail address in the comment, and all prizes will be drawn after midnight BST on the 14th May at the end of the tour). Just tell me if you have a tattoo, or what you might have done if you decided to go ahead and get one.

There’s also a special swag bag up for grabs on my blog here from the 7th May to celebrate the official release day.

Keir – a science-fiction romance available 7th May 2012 from Lyrical Press Inc:


Outcast. Cursed. Dying. Is Keir beyond redemption?

For Keirlan de Corizi–the legendary ‘Blue Demon’ of Adalucien–death seems the only escape from a world where his discolored skin marks him as an oddity and condemns him to life as a pariah. But salvation comes in an unexpected guise: Tarquin Secker, a young woman who can travel the stars with a wave of her hand.

But Quin has secrets of her own. She’s spent eternity searching through space and time with a strange band of companions at her back. Defying her friends’ counsel, Quin risks her apparent immortality to save Keir. She offers him sanctuary and a new life on her home world, Lyagnius.

When Keir mistakenly unleashes his dormant alien powers and earns instant exile from Quin’s home world, will she risk everything to stand by him again?

Book trailer:



A stay-at-home mum of three who spent twelve years working as an Analytical Chemist in a Metals and Minerals laboratory, Pippa Jay bases her stories on a lifetime addiction to science-fiction books and films. Somewhere along the line a touch of romance crept into her work and refused to leave. Between torturing her characters, she spends the odd free moments trying to learn guitar, indulging in freestyle street dance and drinking high-caffeine coffee. Although happily settled in historical Colchester in the UK with her husband of 18 years, she continues to roam the rest of the Universe in her head.



Twitter:  @pippajaygreen

Facebook:  Keir – Beyond Redemption (book page)

Pippa Jay (profile)



24 thoughts on “Blog Post By Pippa J Green.

  1. Pingback: Keir Book Tour – Day Three « Pippa Jay

  2. Hi Pippa,
    Congratulations on the new book. i’m sorry i’m a bit late but the computer only seems to freeze when i need it. 😀

    i actually have 5 tats. all roses, 1 on my chest i got when i was 17 and i lived in Joplin (so illegal for them to give it to me). the left arm cuff i got after my hysterectomy and it is a beautiful but somewhat sad tat because it has thorns(big1/2 ) and teardrops on it. the one on my shoulder was just because it was gorgeous, designed myself, one red and one purple/black rose entwine with barb wire and babys breath. the artist was cussing me over that one. LOL! my right arm was for a remember my Harley that my ex-husband sold and the last one was design by a good friend and has a deep blood/burgandy rose wrapped around an eagle feather with a banner that says love for eternity. that was my second husband and i and the artist destroyed the sketches so that we would have the only ones.

    course now we are older and they don’t look quite the same but the meanings never changed and they are still beautiful to us.

    tammy ramey


  3. I like your tattoo! Very pretty. =]

    I have 6 tattoos. My first I got when I was 16; it’s on my lower back and it’s spiritual/religious in nature. When I turned 18 I got 4 done that year — one on my birthday in August (an Eye of Horus on my right inner wrist), one about six months after (Kanji symbols for “courage and spirit” on my neck), one in June (Kanji symbols for “Wolf on a quest” on my left rib cage — tattoo for my mom, and she got one for me at the same time), and then one in July (a tattoo for my suddenly-passed-away-dog on my inner forearm).

    My latest one was almost 2 years ago, and it’s on my left calf. It’s my Oma’s favourite Bible quote and her signature; I got it for her after she died.

    Out of all of them, the lower back, the rib cage, and the calf hurt like hell. The others tickled. (I never take painkillers when I get tattoos; as most of them are religious or for ancestors/close family members I see the pain as an offering, and dulling it is dulling the offering.)

    I have more planned (including an *eventual* face tattoo), but I’m not sure what I want next. So I’m biding my time until the next one. But they are addictive.

    Also, when I first saw your book cover I thought “Ohhh, cool, he has tattoos!” =)

    (Not sure if you need my email in the actual comment or not, but here ye be: katjevanloon [at] gmail [dot] com.)


    • Thanks, Katje! I’m an August baby too. I have heard a lot of people say those on the lower back hurt, but I can’t imagine having one done on my ribs! And I love how they have such significant meanings for you, even the process of having them done. I did think about having one on my neck, but hubs said he’d kill me. 😛
      I wish that Keir could have had a few more on the cover, but since he started with none at all I’m happy to have got something. 🙂


  4. Hey,
    I’m a red-head with 2 good sized tats 😛 I can’t say if I felt the pain more than other folk but the tat artists were very impressed with how well I sat for them .

    I have a zebra on my ribs and a phoenix on my shoulder-blade, with plans for a magpie and raven on my thigh. All have very spiritual meanings.


  5. Hi Pippa

    Congratulations on your book tour – looks like a big success. I’ll keep my fingers crossed for great sales….

    As someone who was young in the fifties and sixties, I find the present trend for tattoos quite difficult. When I was young only sailors had tattoos. Then I read Ray Bradbury’s ‘Illustrated Man’ and that kind of freaked me out. I can see the appeal of tattoos when you are young and virile but always think how sad they must be when the skin starts to sag or you divorce your true love. I found so many reasons not to have a tattoo.

    My most difficult acquaintance with a tattoo was my son’s first tattoo. He’d gone away to uni and it was our first visit. We were a bit apprehensive as he had completed two years, one of those a repeat and now had ducked out of study completely. His hair was down to his waist, he was living in a squat and had erected two large poles over his bed and taken up Red Indian Dancing with a very disreputable-looking band. Then when he was changing his T-shirt, there revealed on his right shoulder was a large rose tattoo with various Celtic swirls. I couldn’t stop myself crying out: Oh No. Silly, I realise now, it was his life but this was my baby, his skin marked for ever.

    I got over it. He went on to live in a tree for a while protesting about open-cast mining. Now he’s getting on for forty, has short hair, a job, a cat and is taking part in a quadrathon. I noticed another tattoo at Christmas but then he’s a bit of a romantic.


    • Hi Diana,
      Yes, I can see how that association with tattoos would colour your perception of them, but I think the fashion for them and the styles have changed quite a lot. I have to admit to really loving the tribal style tattoos most of all, especially on a guy – and hence Keir. But I can imagine how it felt to see your ‘baby’ with one, especially when it’s a shock reveal like that!
      IMy two eldest children were somewhat shocked by the idea that mummy’s tattoo wasn’t going to wash off – they’ve had the odd temporary one from parties. After I explained about it hurting and the process involved in having it done, eldest daughter was very adamant she would never get one! Should that change, and I’m sure it will, I just hope that she won’t go for something too outrageous that she might later regret. It took me over 20 years to decide on one for myself!


  6. All in the name of research. I like it! 🙂

    I don’t have any tatts, but I do want one. I already have it all planned out. I just have to get the funds and the time to go. I’m not worried about the pain, just what I’ll do when the needle touches my skin. They often make me pass out. LOL

    All the best with your upcoming release!


  7. I was too old to be part of the tattoo generation…..when I was a teenager it was considered ‘racy’ to get your ears pierced!! My grandad had tattoos, and I was fascinated with them. I do like some of them, though I do think the positioning of them is crucial. I like the celtic ones, too, and love the chest one in your cover pic of Keir……difficult if he were ‘an hairy man’ though!


    • Amazing how something can change through the generations. Tattoos are so popular now. But I do prefer the celtic and tribal ones. Something about the simplicity of the black lines and swirls. Or maybe it’s my celtic background showing. 🙂
      And lol, I’m not a fan of hairy men so I always pictured Keir as fairly smooth. 😛


  8. Pingback: Keir Book Tour – Day Four « Pippa Jay

  9. Pingback: Keir Book Tour – Day Ten « Pippa Jay

  10. Pingback: Keir Book Tour – Day Eleven « Pippa Jay

  11. Pingback: Keir Book Tour – Last Day! « Pippa Jay

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