Have ever had a reader show up to a book signing who really surprised you, like a 95-year-old great-grandmother or something?

Yes, that always happens.  Part of the surprise is … well, since it always happens it's not a surprise anymore.  They'll show up with their children—some of them are kind of old children now—with names of the characters in my books.  The other night we met Charis which is one from one of the early Arthur books.  There are loads of Aidans around now, and that comes from Byzantium.  So that's always fun.  So they have me to thank for their names [chuckles].

But no one's showed up yet with tattoos of The Skin Map on them have they?

No, but they will!  They will. 

And then for those who aren't inclined to get inked, how would you persuade them to try The Skin Map?

This is real hard because I guess it's life, universe and everything, who are we, where are we going, why are we here.  And are those people—the ultra materialists—are they right?  Are we just some sort of fluke of nature and we're here today, gone tomorrow or is there really a purpose for all of this?  And that's why the quote at the beginning the book is why is the universe so big.  Because we are here.  It had to be this way.  There's no other way for this universe to create what we are except the way it is.  And the two are intimately connected. 

It's not a mistake, and it's not a fluke.  We are meant to be here.  And all that we see around us is meant to support us.  And the reason is because this is the way God has chosen to grow conscious creatures that can know and experience and have a relationships with him.

For more information about Stephen Lawhead, The Skin Map, upcoming titles in the Bright Empires Series and other literary works, please visit www.stephenlawhead.com.