The Twelve Kings Tattoo Challenge

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I’ll be honest, I get jealous when I see my friends getting cool new tattoos. Myke Cole. Delilah Dawson. And of course, the fabulous Mallory O’Meara.

I’ve wanted a tattoo for a long while, but never really found anything that I’d like to live with for the rest of my life. I came pretty close years (and years) ago after looking through an Alphonse Mucha art book. I love the art deco style, and Mucha is one of my favorite artists from any period. You can see the image I was going to use in the page from that same art book. It’s the hair comb/pin thingy, center left.

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It would’ve looked something like this:



Pretty cool, but in the end I just wasn’t tied enough to it emotionally. As the years have passed, I occasionally toy with the idea, but still haven’t found something with enough meaning.

Fast forward to now. I’m not exactly getting any younger. And I figure I’ll probably need something to push me over the edge and just do it. But what image to get? Well, last year, I worked up some chapter headers with Adam Paquette, the wonderful artist who created the cover for Twelve Kings in Sharakhai and also The Winds of Khalakovo. One of those, the symbol representing the Twelve Kings, is pretty damn cool.


I like the image a lot, but more than that, it would represent all that went into the creation of Twelve Kings. It would represent my journey from neophyte author to being published by some of the best publishing houses in the world. It would also represent the start of a long journey for me. The Song of the Shattered Sands took years before Twelve Kings was produced and ready for the world, and it’ll be years more before it’s complete. It will represent, in all likelihood, at least a decade of my writing career. Surely that’s worth memorializing in a tattoo.

And yet, I still feel like I need a push. So here’s the fun part. I’m going to make it a challenge and set some goals and rewards. What goals and rewards are those? Well, if Twelve Kings in Sharakhai reaches either 100 reviews on Amazon or 1,000 ratings on Goodreads before the end of the year, I’m going to pull the trigger. I don’t know where I’ll do it, or exactly when. I’m not even sure where I’ll put it on my body yet (queue tattoo-on-butt jokes from the peanut gallery), but I’ll get it done at some point in the months following. I’ll even post pics. Hell, I’ll even record some video of my crying like a baby as the needle bites. (I may even post it.)

I’d also like to make it about more than just me and Twelve Kings. I so admire what Pat Rothfuss has done with Worldbuilders. So the second part of the challenge will be this: for each review on Amazon and each rating on Goodreads, I’ll donate 50 cents to Worldbuilders, capping it at $2,500.

If I’m being honest, I write this post with some trepidation. I don’t want this to come across as a way to drum up fake reviews or fake ratings. I absolutely DO NOT want people to post reviews or ratings when they haven’t read the book. But if you have read the book or do later this year, then absolutely, I’m more than happy to see you post about it on Amazon or Goodreads. And if you liked the book, I’d be thrilled if you passed it along to others who might like it as well. (And feel free to let them know about this challenge, too.)

As it stands today, Amazon sits at 36 reviews.

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And Goodreads sits at 172.

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I’ll post updates now and again to see how things are going and to remind people of the challenge.

But for now, *Googles good tattoo artists*, let’s just see how it goes.