Every now and then I manage to talk a small press author into showing us a little skin... tattooed skin, that is. I know there are websites and books out there that have been-there-done-that already, but I hadn't seen one with a specific focus on the authors and publishers of the small press community. Whether it's the influence for their book, influenced by their book, or completely unrelated to the book, we get to hear the story behind their indie ink....
Today's ink story comes from Liv Hadden, whose novel In the Mind of Revenge released on audio yesterday.
I have quite a few tattoos, each one special and meaningful. I chose this one because the inspiration for this piece came from the same place as my first novel. Long story short, I was depressed and definite downward spiral. The only things keeping me afloat were my writing and my new obsession with Florence + The Machine’s album, Lungs.
Though I incessantly listened to the entire album for months, the song “Howl” in particular resonated with me. If you know the band, then you know the writing is poetic and vivid, making it ridiculously easy to actually picture the story being painted. The image of beasts emerging from inside heartbroken lovers, on the hunt and howling at the moon while lost in the forest captivated me.
The piece spans to both sides of my torso. On the left, there’s a wolf howling at the moon. On the right (at the bottom), there’s a bear doing the same (but there’s only a moon on the wolf’s side. Sorry bear!). For obvious reasons, I named the girl head Florence – in the box is her heart where she plans to keep it locked away safely.
I was dealing with a lot of shame and guilt at the time, but having this beautiful piece of artwork represent that time provided a lot of healing. Between that and my book, I look back on that time without bitterness…I have a sense of reverence for how I was able to come out on the other side better and healthier. I actually made something with it instead of drowning in it. With powers like that, who can hate art?!
Debut novelist Liv Hadden has been writing ever since she was a little girl. Her Shamed series began in college, when Hadden employed her writing as an outlet for her feelings during a serious bout of depression.
Hadden has her roots in Burlington, Vermont and has lived in upstate New York and Oklahoma, where she went to college at the University of Oklahoma,, and earned her degree in Environmental Sustainability Planning & Management. She now resides in Austin, TX with her husband and two dogs, Madison and Samuel and is an active member of the Writer’s League of Texas.