The Skin Artist

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Pub Date 07 May 2019 | Archive Date 27 Jun 2019

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Description

The morning Bill Becker awakes to find the butterfly tattoo, its wings poised for flight upon his chest, he is aroused and terrified by the itch of new possibilities—and addictions, including Lucy, the tattooed dancer who leads him on a quest for self-understanding. Both Lucy and Bill wrap themselves in new skins of ink, wrought by the same artist, a “shaman” who convinces them that every design will alter their futures. Exiled from his corporate life and from the failed marriage he left behind in a gated community, Bill journeys through the dark side of Charlotte, North Carolina, where he meets con artists and displaced hillbillies, each of them seeking transformation in the Queen City. Ultimately, Bill confronts the necessity to leave the city in search of his rural roots. There he must come to terms with his estranged family and with the skin he shed many years ago.


AUTHOR BIO: George Hovis has taught himself to write through eons of trial and an infinitude of error. After college, while working in an ink factory in Charlotte, he started writing seriously (and writing some seriously awful fiction!), and eventually pursued graduate school at Chapel Hill, where he was mentored by Clyde Edgerton and the late Max Steele. George’s favorite childhood author was Edgar Allen Poe, and he is still drawn to the Gothic; he wants the reader to feel horror and desire in equal measures, to believe in an enchanted realm. His stories and essays have appeared in The Carolina Quarterly, The Fourth River, and North Carolina Literary Review. A native of North Carolina, George lives with his wife and two children in Upstate New York. He teaches at English literature and creative writing at SUNY Oneonta.

The morning Bill Becker awakes to find the butterfly tattoo, its wings poised for flight upon his chest, he is aroused and terrified by the itch of new possibilities—and addictions, including Lucy...


A Note From the Publisher

On sale date: May 2019 • Page count: 350 • Final trim size: 5.5” x 8.5” • Price: $16.99 • ISBN: 978-1-970137-93-4 • • Genre: FIC019000 FICTION / Literary • FIC074000 FICTION / Southern • FIC025000 FICTION / Psychological

On sale date: May 2019 • Page count: 350 • Final trim size: 5.5” x 8.5” • Price: $16.99 • ISBN: 978-1-970137-93-4 • • Genre: FIC019000 FICTION / Literary • FIC074000 FICTION / Southern • FIC025000...


Advance Praise

“Hovis displays a world we know and try to turn our gaze from. But the story is too powerful ... and we readers watch, hypnotized, as the descent gathers friends, lovers, and family into its vortex. Can such dark passages lead to hope?”

—Fred Chappell, author of Dagon, winner of the Prix de Meilleur des Livres Étrangers


“Out of America's age of information, image, tattoo, and Adam and Eve eroticism comes a tightly written novel about addiction, family, and religion. Hovis's first novel—it never slows down one iota—is an extraordinary debut.”

—Clyde Edgerton, author of The Floatplane Notebooks and Raney


“It’s hard to believe this is a first novel. Hovis has created an old-fashioned morality tale set against some of the most garish manifestations of the Sunbelt...dark, sexy, and compulsively readable”

—Lee Smith, author of Dimestore and The Last Girls

“Hovis displays a world we know and try to turn our gaze from. But the story is too powerful ... and we readers watch, hypnotized, as the descent gathers friends, lovers, and family into its vortex...


Marketing Plan

• Debut at AWP 2019 Bookfair

• SIBA Spring Show

• Online and social media networking

• Full-scale blog review tour

• Consumer and trade advertising

• Targeted email marketing

• Book trailer 

• Debut at AWP 2019 Bookfair

• SIBA Spring Show

• Online and social media networking

• Full-scale blog review tour

• Consumer and trade advertising

• Targeted email marketing

• Book trailer 


Available Editions

EDITION Paperback
ISBN 9781970137934
PRICE $16.99 (USD)

Available on NetGalley

Send to Kindle (EPUB)
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Average rating from 4 members


Featured Reviews

Great read. The author wrote a story that was interesting and moved at a pace that kept me engaged. The characters were easy to invest in.

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This is not a happy story. It is a slow-motion train wreck and as much as you want to look away, you just can’t. Bill has a seemingly perfect life and one night starts a slow and steady slide to rock bottom and he’s taking as many people with him as possible. All of the characters in this book are damaged and fragile in a way that hastens their destruction and it’s so hard to watch. Their broken parts interact in the worst possible ways and everyone ends up with scars from the contact. Although the story won’t leave you with warm, fuzzy feelings, it is worth the read. This book shows that no matter how far you’ve fallen, there’s always hope for redemption.

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