Amazon Ink is in the wild…

May 27, 2009 at 1:12 pm (General, Lori Devoti, New Releases)

Amazon Ink, urban fantasyYesterday was the official release day for Amazon Ink, and I wanted to blog here today about the shifters in it, but there is a tiny problem…the fact that there ARE shifters in AI doesn’t come out until a really good way into the book. So, I can’t really talk about how I used them. Sigh.

Instead, let’s talk totems. Animal totems are hugely important in Amazon Ink. I’ve used them in other books too, but not as obviously.

Animal totems are frequently used as spiritual guides. Seeing a bear in a dream, for example, may mean you need to take things slow and give them more careful consideration. Bears are courageous and strong too—perhaps that is the power you need to tap into. A leopard, however, is more active and aggressive, and snakes may be charismatic but vain. (And all of these will vary a bit depending on which culture you look at.)

In Amazon Ink, my Amazons have two totems–one for their tribe and one for them personally. They choose their personal totem and have it tattooed on their right breast around puberty. Their family totem is whatever their mother’s family totem was and there are only twelve animals used. Through these tattoos they gain the strength of their totems. So, choosing their personal totem is a huge decision.

In the book, I don’t divulge every characters totem–it is rather personal information, but for example I gave a hearth keeper a bee and a warrior a horse because to me those are the strengths those characters would have wanted to play up.

So, if you could pick your personal totem, what would it be? What animal strength or talent would you like to add to your own? Here’s a web site to help you with your choice…


  1. Liz Kreger said,

    Boy, that’s a thinker, Lori. I’m in the middle of checking out your link and haven’t a clue as to what I would be … although the cardinal really caught my attention. I adore listening to the cardinals in the morning and am always looking for that flash of color.

    I really don’t see myself as a member of the cat family or a bug … although the bug family would probably be one that I’d fit into. LOL.

    I loved reading about all the totem animals. Great site.

  2. Estella said,

    I think I would like the bluebird.

  3. Lori Devoti said,

    I have a book on totem animals too, but I refer to that site a lot. I love it.
    Interesting both of you picked birds too!
    Actually, I haven’t selected one for myself yet. I’d probably need to tattoo my entire body to get all the talents I’d like to have! 😉

  4. Lori Devoti said,

    BTW, why the bluebird, Estella?

  5. Beth C. said,

    My first thought would have been an owl because I’ve been taught it is associated with wisdom (Winnie the Pooh and associated with the Goddess Athena). Having read the note on owls though….wisdom isn’t even mentioned. So not what I’m going for.

    So my next choice is the Wolf and reading about it…balance between Family and Self I could really use. Strength and staminia…yep need them – overweight and frumpy, yep thats me. And Self Confidence…big need there.

    So surprise…surprise….I want a Wolf.

    Great site…yes I’m gonna borrow it as a resource.

  6. Lori Devoti said,

    Owls are definitely associated with wisdom and Athena. I’m actually using Athena in the book I’m writing now–Amazon Queen.
    Like I said, a lot of cultures use totems, and while there tend to be common themes, there can be differences.
    Owls are cool too. I like predator birds in general. Although I don’t think I am one…but then maybe that would be good. Maybe that is why I admire them.

  7. Colleen said,

    Thanks for sharing that link… My totem would be the Otter… I have loved those little guys forever, and after reading what they stands for I know why! Always looking at everything from different angles, playful, etc… Yep the Otter for me! 😀

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