We’re honored to introduce fellow debut author Dave Jackson. Our first guest author! Not your typical author, “Gusto” Dave started writing in his constant pursuit to become a renaissance man. Then he fell in love with the art form. Comedy is one of his many passions. He writes and performs skits as well as performs stand-up. Also a songwriter and guitarist, he has composed over 300 musical titles.
In TATTOO RAMPAGE (Curiosity Quills Press, Sept. 15, 2013), Evangelina Marquez-James gets her first tattoo as a symbol of courage after her husband dies in the line of duty. Her skin art depicts an elite yet obscure super heroine created by a forgotten 1940s artist. After a solar disturbance triggers a metamorphosis in her ink, Evangelina discovers that she can transform into the embodiment of the character complete with powers. She sets out to wage war against the types of vermin who murdered her husband, most notably, Acid, a sociopathic killer who can assume the form of his warlord tattoo and who seeks his tattoo artist’s original sketchbook. When Evangelina comes into possession of the drawing pad, Acid not only tracks it down, but her family as well, forcing her into a standoff with his nightmarish army born of ink.
What inspired you to center TATTOO RAMPAGE around the art of tattooing?
Tattoos are cool. They’re everywhere. And it hit me that, other than them being used as embellishments in vampire novels, no one had really put ink on the center stage.
If you were a tattoo artist, who would be your dream client and what would you tattoo on him/her?
Angelina Jolie and Mickey Rourke. I’d like to go drinkin’ with Mickey … if he does that any more. I’ve got a lot of Irish blood in me. As for Angelina, in a way, she kind of inspired the heroine in Tattoo Rampage. I guess I’d stitch on Mickey and Evangelina whatever they wanted.
Who is one of your favorite (fictional or non-fictional) characters?
Right now, with Breaking Bad coming to a bittersweet close, I’d have to say Walter White. God, what an amazing character. He’s such an ass, but you totally get where he’s coming from. When a writer can create a character of his complexity, with so many flaws, yet make you root for them, that’s amazing.
The road to publication is twisty at best — tell us about some of your twists.
Hell, where do I start? How about when I was about to quit? Seriously. I’d had enough of trying to get an agent. It was like a Hail Mary. Just one final time, I sent Tattoo Rampage to the last agency I planned to query, the one that represents me now. The acquiring agent got back to me quickly, asked for the full manuscript, and read it over winter break. She got back to me when she said she would and we got things rolling. For what it’s worth, there were still mountains to climb after that.
Tell us a secret about the main character in your novel — something that’s not even in your book.
Set up: Evangelina Marquez-James is in mourning because her husband was killed in the line of duty as a police officer. Huey, her fallen spouse, was her college sweetheart. What’s happening with Evangelina emotionally now in Tattoo Rampage is that men are interested in her, but she is still grieving Huey. Subtly, there’s more to it than that. In the sequel, she will realize some of the emotions that were hidden under the depression…like keeping her options open.
Share one quirk you have that most people don’t know about.
Games bore me. I’ve never played Monopoly. When video games came out, I was off doing something creative. About the only time I participated in friendly sport was playing spades when we were underway in the Navy. From time to time, I shoot pool, but other than that, I have a tough time getting into such pastimes.
You can find Dave at his website/blog, Chiseled in Rock. Tattoo Rampage will be available in e-book formats and is represented for film by Hotchkiss and Associates, the same agency that saw Secretariat, The Kite Runner, and recently Joe Hill’s Horns from novels to movies.
Readers, do you have tattoos? If so, what inspired yours? Who’s your favorite not-so-nice character that you root for anyhow?
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