How many of you remember VH1’s “Behind the Music”? Popular in the late 90s, “Behind the Music” was my favorite show when I was single living in Myrtle Beach. I had it on whenever I wasn’t working–the conflict, the drama, the bad hair….well, the behind the making of Tattoos, A Short Fiction Anthology from Main Street Rag, is not as dramatic, but it’s still a great story because Tattoos is a great anthology and it’s the first anthology I’ve edited!

 ***Purchase Tattoos HERE!***

The idea for this book came about in February 2011 when M. Scott Douglass, editor and publisher of Main Street Rag was looking for possible editors to pitch him ideas for a future anthology. I pitched Scott in person before my Charlotte, NC reading of my first Main Street Rag poetry book, Unfinished Projects. “How about having tattoos connect all of the short stories together?” I don’t have any tattoos, which I know is ironic, but I one of my first writing gigs was writing marketing articles about tattoos, their origins and tattoo designs. I absolutely loved researching and learning about the tattoo process. Back when I lived in Myrtle Beach, tattoos were more out of the mainstream than they are today, but they still tell a deep story. For if your tattoo doesn’t have a story behind it, either you or your tattoo is lame.


We announced a reading period for the anthology with me having the say in what would be accepted in the final book.  We were very slow in getting enough well-written stories across our desks, so we extended the reading period to November 15 last year. Then I read through all of the entries and found our 15 final authors (3 are from NC) from all across the country, many of whom are prolific, well-published authors and leaders in their writing communities.


Here are the contributors—find out more these amazing authors through their links!


Andrew Marlowe Bergman

L.C. Fiore

Gina Hanson

Margaret Karmazin

David W. Landrum

Nikki Mayeux

Nancy McKinley

Laura Leigh Morris

Julie Ortiz

Bill Pippin

Gary V. Powell

Kathryn Shaver

Jo Barbara Taylor

Lori Van Pelt

Susan Volchok



March 1st I selected the cover design from (it’s very nice and eye-catching, isn’t it?) and then September 1st all of the inside proofs were due. Tattoos then went on pre-order for $8.50 and was published November 24th!


While my husband and I were on vacation last June, Scott needed the book’s intro. I feverishly worked on it while waiting for our plane to take us to Minnesota and while on the plane, I read what I had just typed back to Keith. A guy in the seat in front of us liked it and wondered when he could get a copyJ


Here’s the beginning of the intro:


Hang out at any airport, pool or gym these days and you’ll find more people wearing tattoos than not. When did tattoos become mainstream so that by not having ink you’re an oddity? Perhaps because of the turbulent economic and political landscape we live in, people want to have some control in their lives-tattoos provide that control. Throughout history tattoos let others know the wearer’s totem, family, skill set or class. Not just for sailors or misfits, people of all ages now get tattoos because they want to heal after abuse, they reach a personal milestone or they survive a health scare. Or they just want one.


The collection’s stories and voices are diverse and that’s why I picked them—I didn’t want the same voice in two different stories. The stories I selected all ended up strong inner/outer conflict attached to a theme of escaping from one’s life. All of the stories are a reasonable page length—perfect to read during our frenetic holiday season!


If you live in North Carolina (or are willing to drive to Raleigh!) we’re having a Tattoo book launch reception on Thursday, January 10th from 6-8pm at the Chocolate Boutique in North Raleigh.  Here are the details:


Chocolate and Wine Reception featuring authors from the new anthology, Tattoos from Main St. Rag

Location:  The Chocolate Boutique in Lafayette Village, 8480 Honeycutt Rd Suite 100, Raleigh, NC 27615
Thursday,  January 10    Time: 6-8pm

Network, win doorprizes and meet the NC authors of Tattoos, a Main St. Rag Short Fiction Anthology: L.C. Fiore, Jo Barbara Taylor, and Gary V. Powell and editor Alice Osborn. The authors will also have their other books available to autograph. Renew and rejuvenate this January with complimentary gourmet chocolate and wine at the Chocolate Boutique in Lafayette Village. From wildly popular chocolate-making parties to featuring palette-pleasing flavors, The Chocolate Boutique is a fun, unique and educational experience for any chocolate lover.


***Don’t forget to purchase Tattoos HERE!***