This week, rather than reminiscing on how an idea sparked to life for a story I've already written, let me prod my muse and see what she can come up with from this picture.
Willie Thomas, the photographer who took the picture I use for the covers of the Out of the Box series as well as a background to my website, contacted me recently to show me a series of pictures he had just taken. His work is always beautiful and eye-catching, but the picture above grabbed me more than anything in a while, and I bought the rights to the image right away.
Now, usually, I only start looking for the picture(s) I need for a cover when I have written a good part of a story, or even all of it. It's the first time I buy the image first and decide to write a story based on it. But hey, I did say I like challenges!
One thing that attracted me at once in this picture, other than the sensuality,were the tattoos, and in particular the man's. The wings on his back make me think of an angel. A fallen angel, maybe, or a demon. Maybe the tattoo is all that is left of his wings. Maybe he can extend them right out of the tattoo. Or maybe he had the tattoo made in remembrance of the wings he lost... I wrote a story about an angel 'Losing His Wings' and I could write a story in the same universe about another angel - or demon... I really think he might be a demon - adjusting to a human life.
He also has tattoos on his arms of some demon-like creature, and a couple of skulls... That definitely reinforces my idea that he might have been on the dark side of things. And since those don't have a 'natural' origin like the wings, maybe it means he had all the tattoos done as a reminder of who he used to be and what he used to do.
Now that I think of it... does he actually remember these things? Maybe his memory is incomplete, maybe he only has flashes of the past, just enough to form the images he has someone ink into his skin...
And could that someone be the woman, maybe? At first I thought they might meet at the tattoo parlor while waiting to get inked, but I like the idea of her being an artist. She might question him about the designs he chooses, and help him remember... and during this process they would get closer and closer...
Hmm maybe, but I'm not completely sold on it. Her own ink seems kinda tame to belong to an artist. Back to the fellow inkee scenario, then. I have to keep pondering who she is.
The other question is, where are they? It looks like an elevator, and it also looks pretty fancy. A modern apartment building, maybe? His or hers? Or maybe a business place - or, judging by the way she's dressed, a dance club? Now I have this image of a club on a roof, and he'd go there to feel closer to the skies where he once soared...
Then again I've based an entire series on a dance club, do I want to have another story with that setting?
Plenty of questions, not many answers yet. Now is time to let it all percolate. Or maybe YOU could tell me what you think... :)