I don’t have any tattoos. I admire some tattoos – very few to be honest – but some. My favorites are the ones that are not thought out in advance. The ones that are sketched in a dark bar and inked that same night. I also love the roses. So many roses on so many bodies, and why not? They are beautiful and thorny. The only thing I envy about tattoos is the concealment. You order a coffee and the barista has no idea you have a snake on your hipbone. A coworker pulls up his shirtsleeve to reveal a lyric from a Taylor Swift song. The secrecy and subsequent disclosure are exciting to me.
My secret is Edie Richter is Not Alone, my debut novel coming out in March 2021. This is a story I’ve wanted to tell for many years. It is not my story. It is fiction. But ever since Edie appeared in my mind and persistently tapped me on the shoulder, I have held her close and not shared her with many people. I didn’t know if I could write a book. But it turns out, showing up every day, writing a lot of words, and then eliminating most of them, works.
Edie doesn’t have any tattoos. She probably wouldn’t see the point in trying to make something permanent out of something so temporary. But she would certainly notice them and wonder about the inspiration. She might ask someone an uncomfortable question, like how they feel about regret.
Feeling alone is something we all understand. Especially in 2020. But of course, as Edie learns, we are never alone. We have each other. And some of us have snakes on our hipbones, and faded roses on our arms. And it’s all beautiful, and we’re all going to be ok.
[Edie Richter is Not Alone (Unnamed Press, March 2021) is available for preorder at most bookstores. If you live in the states and would like a signed copy, please order through Green Apple Books in San Francisco.]