Wednesday, 22 September 2010
I find something both revolting and compelling about bodies covered in tattoos. Maybe that is what is at the basis of this story about a sailor and his visit to a Japanese tattoo parlour.
As with Piroska, this story possibly came about as I went through various association with the sea - and sailors and their tattoos came naturally to mind. Ray Bradbury's The Illustrated Man may have drifted by in my imagination, but I'm not sure.
I think two things were at work as I wrote Irezumi: the idea of a living tattoo that could move on the body, and the fun of misdirecting the reader. The horror reader has been trained to expect twists and stings in the tail, of course: they know that you are taking them into a dark room to shout 'Boo!'
But a writer can play with that expectation. . .