Wednesday 17 May 2017

Interview: Abigail Baker

Tattoos, Death, and Romance...

It is pretty hard to surprise a reader once he has already discovered many different ideas and proposals, with several other cases are just recycled elements taken from other works. Because of this, you might take it very seriously when I say that there’s an author with a creative potential I want to see more often: Abigail Baker.

Miss Baker is the author of the 'Deathmark' series, a story created based on an imaginary link between tattoos and reapers: Ollie Dormier is a Scrivener, which means she marks those who are meant to die soon, but her powers seem to be... on fire, let’s say, which makes the Head Reaper want to see her head on a silver plate she fully becomes a Master.

You might now understand why I’m so amazed with this series, which makes it better to say that the author took part of her time to do this interview and make me laugh with her smart responses. Keep reading and you might experience the same as well!

Intravenous Magazine: What was it that inspired you to write 'The Reaper's Kiss' and its sequels? What motivated you to start with it?

Abigail Baker: Tattoos are magical in my opinion. I love hearing why people get them—to honor a loved one or one of life’s milestones. But what if a client unknowingly asked for a tattoo that caused them harm? Some tattoos don’t heal or get infected. What if those tattoos did more damage than that? That’s what started the idea for the 'Deathmark' series. Plus, I have a close friend who is a tattoo artist and she was partly my inspiration for Ollie. I wanted to tell a story about an artist who did something remarkable with her tattoos… and that’s how Ollie’s character started.

IVM: Starting with the genre and in your own words, how would you describe the entire plot?

AB: This is a story about a supernatural woman who tattoos death into humans, who is forced to tattoo death into her best friend and the resulting rebellion. It’s about standing up for those whom you love at all costs—even if it goes against the will of the universe.

IVM: Do you think tattoos are related to death in some, or any, sense?

AB: No, I don’t (I hope so anyway!). Tattoos are about life. They only exist as long as we are alive. And I’m damned glad they aren’t related to death, particularly because I have six tattoos, one of which is a skull.

IVM: Would you say this series will cause controversy by linking death with art? Why?

AB: I hope not. But controversy can be good—it sparks conversation. I’m an advocate for artists and skin art. I don’t seek to hurt the culture with my story. If this series sparks any controversy, it should be about what one person can do in the face of fascism. It takes courage to stand up to leaders. In doing so, a person can lose everything—even people they love. But is it worth it? Is a better world worth the suffering? I’d say so. So, would Ollie.

IVM: Now that the books are done, do you think you'd get a tattoo, a skull, to be specific?

AB: Hah! I have one already. It was done by the artist who inspired Ollie. I bear a 'Deathmark'. So far, life is good.

IVM: Was this the idea for a series since the beginning or did it all start as a stand-alone book?

AB: I had a story in mind but wasn’t sure how many books I’d need to tell it. I think, perhaps, it was originally going to be two books, (SPOILER) ending with Ollie taking down the Head Reaper. But I thought it would be more interesting to see the world AFTER he is gone. What does it look like? Is it immediately peaceful? I thought that part of the story was worth telling. So, out came book three—The Reaper’s Embrace.

IVM: Is there a project you can speak about right now?

AB: I’m thinking about venturing into romantic comedy. But I am also considering writing a 'Deathmark' novel with Delia Sinclair as the heroine. If a reader knows Delia at all, they’ll expect a funnier, lighter story than Ollie’s.

IVM: What are your not-book-related plans now that the series is getting published?

AB: This year brings several trips and another cross-country move. I’m headed off to Olympic National Park and then Ouray and then—eek!—another chapter of my life with the man I love. Ollie and I are getting our Happily Ever Afters, I guess.

IVM: Which would you consider to be the best tip you could give to those aspiring writers that read your books?

AB: My best advice is to write a book, polish it, and then write another, then another, then another. I have met extremely talented writers who work on one book for years, hoping to get that one book sold or picked up by an agent. They put their stock in that story, revising and revising. I say, be proud of that project. Tout its brilliance. But write another story. Keep writing more stories. One of them, if not the first one, will find a publisher.

IVM: Thank you so much for your time! I hope we all hear again from you and those dark and amazing stories you are creating!

AB: Thank YOU! I really appreciate your questions and interest. Happy reading! 

But things don’t end in here. 'The Reaper’s Embrace', third book in the series, came out a few days ago! Check out the synopsis down below, and I dare you to say it doesn’t look juicy and participate in the giveaway, you could win a $50 Amazon Gift Card!
“I’m marked for death.If I can get this Deathmark removed, I can help save the world from total ruin. Only thing is, Brent Hume, Grim Reaper and love of my life, is hot on my trail, zeroing in on the mark that beckons him. The Reaper’s instinct cannot be denied. He would sooner stop breathing than ignore a Deathmark’s call.He’s a tireless supernatural hunter, and I’m his top prey. If I don’t find a way to stop him from doing his job, everything and everyone I love will suffer. The world will suffer. And I’m sick of letting people down, dammit.But even as I run from him, I want to run toward him.”

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