You may want to grab a cup of something for this post, it might be a bit rambly.
I recently put a poll on Twitter asking people what they’d most like to hear about:
- The characters in the Ink Born series.
- The Ink world.
- Or how this series came about.
I think you know which won 😉
As with most things in life, this series came from a bunch of different places. It all started with Hidden Alchemy. I decided I wanted I write an adventuring alchemist, and Dacian popped up as a secondary character in that idea. At the time he was called Jake.
I adore tattoos, I think they’re an incredible art form. I have two, with plans of four more (yes one is a fox 😛 ). That meant it was unsurprising when I saw Jake as a tattoo magician. I poked at the idea a bit more, and the fact he was an ink magician came to the fore. The more I poked, the more he gripped me. And so, he became the star of his own show.
I knew that I wanted to write a fantasy kitchen sink. Somewhere where magic was out in the open and a normal part of life. A place with many forms of magic, creatures from myths, etc. Dacian and Hidden Alchemy fit perfectly into that concept.
From there, I began looking at Dacian and how he fit into the world. He’s an ink magician and he’s been hiding that fact his whole life. Why? From who? What would happen if they caught him? The world and plot started to unfurl from those questions.
I had another idea around tattoo magic a while before I really started focusing on Stolen Ink – what if someone stole magical tattoos?
The idea, the question, the possibility fit beautifully into Dacian’s world and plot. That then had me asking more about the ink network, the magic, how it all came together. Eh voila, a series.
Away from Dacian and the ink magic, I knew there was going to be a gay elf best friend – that’s a long standing joke/tradition at this point. My first book had a gay elf best friend in it. Future books have spawned the same character placement? Position? Trope? They’ve spawned a gay elf best friend too. (Kadrix is pan, and isn’t a best friend to Evie in Infernal Hunt, but he definitely fits this role wonderfully). So I knew that there would be one in there somewhere. Keirn popped up to fill the role beautifully.
Back on the topic of gay characters, Dacian wasn’t originally planned that way. I initially wrote the first three chapters, then returned to the Infernal Hunt books. I came back to Stolen Ink after a few months, re-read those chapters and noted the different way of describing male versus female characters. Dacian was/is gay.
Somehow the entire main cast ended up being gay, bi, or ace. It wasn’t planned or intentional, it’s just how they formed in my mind. I think it’s where I grew up spending a lot of time around gay guys in a social setting. My best friend’s a gay guy, I’m bi, as are my husband and a few other key people in my life. My world is made up of these LGBT+ people, so my fictional world became populated with them 🙂
Ink Born came about from my love of tattoos, magic, and a bunch of what if questions.
I’m madly in love with this world, these characters, and this series. I hope you’ll love them too.
What advanced readers are saying about Stolen Ink:
This book kicked ass. I instantly fell in love with the world Evans created, especially as it related to the ink magic itself. It was truly unique, and I found myself enamored with how the magic itself was realized–the imagery of painting on the ink still stays with me. The protagonist himself is a delight, and I was pulled in with the mystery he was attempting to solve.
— Bryan Miller. Full review here.
I found Dacian flawed but not unlikeable. The other characters too are very well written. The lore and background magic woven into the plot were brilliant too, and made the story just jump to life off the page.
— Miriam Brady.
You can get your free preview of the book here.
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Thanks for your love and support! If you have any questions let me know via my contact form or in the comments!