Tuesday 2 October 2018

BLOG TOUR ~ The Tattoo Thief by Alison Belsham

Hi Everyone,

Today is my stop on the Blog Tour for The Tatoo Thief where I'm delighted to welcome Alison to my blog where I have a blog post about how Alison got the idea for The Tattoo Thief. I am really looking forward to reading this book and I'm really hoping to get it read over the next few weeks for you, Alison. I was thrilled to be asked by Tracy Fenton of Compulsive Readers who organised this tour in conjunction with Orion Publishing Books to take part along with some other fab book bloggers. You can find out who else is taking part in this fabulous Blog Tour at the end of this post so without further ado, here it is:

How I got my idea for The Tattoo Thief


Before I get started on telling you how the whole idea for The Tattoo Thief came about, I just want to say a big thank you to Celeste for inviting me to be here on her blog today – it’s a great opportunity to introduce myself and tell you something about my story.

In 2015, I decided after much deliberation that I was going to get a tattoo. I’d always wanted one. My grandfather was a submariner and, while posted to China in the 1930s, he’d had a dragon tattooed on each arm. These fascinated me as a child, and my brother and I would always ask to see them when we visited. As I grew older, I remained interested, but as a young adult, tattoos weren’t as fashionable as they are now and certainly not that acceptable for women. So the idea of getting a tattoo of my own was put on the shelf.

Fast forward to 2015 when my own children were old enough to get tattoos themselves. Now I finally plucked up the courage to get my own tattoo – a Japanese-style octopus on my right arm. I’d gone to the London Tattoo Convention to find a tattooist and I chose one whose work I loved. He was based in Berlin, so that November, I made an appointment and flew to Berlin for the weekend. On the Saturday, I finally took the plunge and had six hours of tattooing on my arm. And, yes, before you ask, it did hurt!

That night, as I lay in bed, staining the pristine white hotel sheets with indelible black tattoo ink, I had just one thought: finally, I’ve got my tattoo – and no one can take it away from me. I felt really happy that I’d done what I wanted after so many years. However, the writer’s part of my brain is never quiet and always asking questions. What, came the thought, if someone did try to take it away from you? And in that instant, I knew I had an idea for a gripping crime thriller – The Tattoo Thief. A story about a man who steals other people’s tattoos.

Over the next eighteen months, this tiny kernel of an idea grew into a story outline and then into a novel which was eventually bought by Trapeze Books, a new and exciting imprint of Orion. It took another four sessions over the following six months to complete my tattoo – and not only do I really love having it, I also have it to thank for giving me the idea that became become my debut novel. People sometimes ask me if I regret having a tattoo and it always makes me smile. How could I?

Alison Belsham bio

Alison Belsham initially started writing with the ambition of becoming a screenwriter—and in 2000 was commended for her visual story telling in the Orange Prize for screenwriting. In 2001 she was shortlisted in a BBC Drama Writer competition. Life and children intervened but, switching to fiction, in 2009 her novel Domino was selected for the prestigious Adventures in Fiction mentoring scheme. In 2016 she pitched her first crime novel, The Tattoo Thief, at the Pitch Perfect event at the Bloody Scotland Crime Writing Festival and was judged the winner. The Tattoo Thief is out now and she’s currently working on the second book in the Francis Sullivan trilogy, Death’s Needle. Alison lives in Edinburgh, and when she’s not writing she spends her time visiting tattoo conventions.

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