I'm Bloggin' Today: About Tatia’s Tattoo
Updated: Jul 28, 2018
Tatia's Tatoo is Linda Brendle's first fiction novel and it is an intense story about a girl's unexpected journey into sex trafficking.
Hello Linda, thank you so much for joining us today. Could you please tell us a bit about yourself.
Thanks Andi. I appreciate the invitation.
I’m a life-begins-at-fifty kind of person. I earned my Bachelors Degree at 51, I learned to ride a motorcycle at 55, and I published my first book after I began collecting Social Security. I retired from the business world eleven years ago, but it didn’t take. I have a part-time job as secretary for my church and an on-line position as an accounting specialist for BookPros. I also write a column for the weekly newspaper in the tiny East Texas town where my husband David and I live with our feral cat Kitty.
What made you decide to become a writer?
I enjoyed writing when I was younger, and I toyed with the idea briefly until I received my first negative review from an English teacher. I don’t take criticism very well, and I took her comments very personally. Years later, when I became the primary caregiver for both my parents, my aunt advised me to keep a journal. Writing became a way of dealing with the frustration and heartbreak of our situation. When I occasionally shared something on Facebook, I received positive feedback, and that encouraged me to continue writing. In 2007, we took a seven-week, sixteen-state trip in our motor home, and we took Mom and Dad with us. I kept a daily journal, and with lots of editing, that journal became my first memoir, A Long and Winding Road.
That is so inspiring and I know that a memoir like this especially with the difficult subject of Alzheimers will help many people. I see that Tatia's Tattoo is completely different being that it's a fiction novel, what is your official genre in fiction?
Tatia’s Tattoo is my first novel, and I’ve had difficulty in finding just one genre that fits. First, it’s Christian fiction, and the sub-category I finally settled on is Legal Thriller. I suspect subsequent fiction offerings will be in the thriller/suspense/mystery area since that’s my favorite genre to read.
You tackle some pretty difficult subjects in Tatia’s Tatoo, can you tell us about your story and characters?
Tatia’s Tattoo is about sex trafficking in small-town America and how God’s mercy extends even to the darkest alley and the seediest motel. Tatia begins life as an orphaned foster child who becomes the target of the local pimp, Eric. When she is eleven years old, she meets Mrs. G, a mama bear of an attorney, and Jesse, a Christian tattoo artist and biker. They almost save her from becoming entangled in Eric’s world, but not quite.
How did you conduct research for Tatia’s Tatoo?
The inspiration for Tatia’s Tattoo came from a presentation at my church by a couple who have an organization called For the Silent. Their mission is to rescue girls like Tatia, and I was shocked to learn that their main field of operation is in a small town only fifty miles from the where I live. I read every word on their website and on similar sites including one whose owner is a Christian tattoo artist who does free cover-up tats for people who have escaped from gangs or traffickers. I picked the brains of a friend who is an ex-policeman with experience in vice and related subjects and a cousin who is an attorney working with Child Protective Services. I also relied a lot on the Internet. It’s amazing what you can learn when you ask the right questions.
Do you have any works in progress?
I have a second memoir called Mom’s Long Good-Bye that is scheduled to be published by Anaiah Press sometime this year.
The sequel to Tatia’s Tattoo is called Fallen Angel Salvage and is in rough draft form. It is the continuing story of Tatia, her family, and Eric ten years later.
Do you write daily? or What does your typical day look like?
I am very undisciplined when it comes to a writing schedule. My “writing place” is in the middle of the living room where the TV is usually on and the cat is getting into trouble or sitting on the back of my love seat, slapping my ear with her tail. When I’m blogging, writing my newspaper column, or marketing, I’m somewhat tuned into what’s going on around me and am easily distracted. On the other hand, when I am deep into a new project or major edits, I disappear into the screen, and David is lucky if he gets canned soup for dinner.
I am also an RV’er (not full time yet) what is your best RV tip?
Unless you are planning to go alone, be sure you really like your traveling companion before hitting the road. If your spouse irritates you when the two of you are sharing a 2,000 square foot home, imagine how you will feel after a week or more in a 400 square foot box on wheels.
Very sound advice, lol!!!
Where to buy Tatia's Tattoo:
About the book:
Tatia’s Tattoo begins on a Friday morning as Tatia Robins, a successful D.C. attorney, awakens from a nightmare that has tormented her for over a decade, a replay of her twelfth birthday when Eric stole her innocence and then sold her for the first time. After spending some time in prayer, she finishes packing and leaves for Royal Children’s Camp, a Christian camp for foster children where she first met Jesse and Mrs. G and now serves as a counselor every summer.
The journey to camp each year stirs up memories of her journey from a happy child in the arms of loving parents to one more statistic in the sex-trafficking industry in a small Texas town. She also remembers her day in court when she stood up to Eric, the man who was supposed to love her but instead branded her like a slave.
She is met at the airport by Mrs. G, the woman who recognized her as one of the least of these in spite of her skin-tight mini dress and the prisoner’s band around her wrist. Throughout the weekend, she looks forward to a reunion with other members of the Grochowsky Rescue Academy and with Jesse, the Christian tattoo artist and biker who waits patiently for Tatia to feel safe enough to tear down the protective walls she has built around herself. Will the love of her new family and Jesse’s surprise gift be enough to help her reclaim the power that Eric stole from her?
Excerpt from the book:
Tatia couldn’t breathe. She could feel his weight on her chest, his hot breath on her face – and pain – she felt hot, searing pain running up the center of her body. Then, he rolled off of her, and she could breathe again, but she wasn’t sure she wanted to. If she could hold her breath long enough, maybe she could go where Mama and Daddy went, to their Father’s house. Suddenly, he grabbed her by the shoulder and jerked her off the bed into a standing position.
“Go clean yourself up. My friend will be here in fifteen minutes. Stop your bawling and freshen your make-up. You look like hell.”
He turned to the bed to straighten the rumpled sheets. When he caught sight of the fresh bloodstains, he threw his hands in the air in exasperation.
“Was this really your first time?”
The only reply from the bathroom was the sound of running water and soft snifﬂing.
“I could have charged twice as much,” he yelled.
Tatia woke with start as her alarm clock freed her from the nightmare she had re-lived for more than a decade. She turned off the alarm and slipped to her knees beside the bed, asking God to take away the horror of the dream and to replace it with His light. Basking in the love she felt in response to her prayer, she rose and picked up her partially packed suitcase from the floor. She placed it on the bed, ready for last-minutes toiletries, and headed for the shower. She had a plane to catch and girls to rescue.
About the author:
Linda first began to write during her years as a caregiver. After two memoirs, A Long and Winding Road and Mom’s Long Good-Bye, she ventured into the world of fiction. Tatia’s Tattoo will be followed soon by Fallen Angel Salvage, the continuing story of Tatia, her family, and Eric ten years later.
In semi-retirement from the business world, Linda holds a part-time job as secretary for her church and an on-line position as an accounting specialist for BookPros. She also writes a column for the weekly newspaper in the tiny East Texas town where she and her husband David live with their feral cat Kitty.
Where to find the author: