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Voice-Interactive Addition to Michelle Rene’s Novel

Michelle Rene recently released her self-published novel “Maud’s Circus.” I discovered the book through the author's social media posts and grabbed a copy for my Kindle.

I thoroughly enjoyed the experience of reading the novel and learning about the life and times of Maud Wagner, the first woman tattoo artist of North America.

Maud Wagner is a larger-than-life character, not only because her body was covered in bright tattoos created by her husband Gus, but because she experienced so many interesting people and times during her long life.

Walk Into Maud’s Tent in Your Imagination

After reading Michelle Rene’s book, I thought it could be wonderful to transform part of her story into an interactive experience. It could be fun and uplifting to walk into Maud’s circus tent and talk to her, even if only in our imaginations.

And what if you could get Maud to give you a custom tattoo? If you're too reticent to get tattooed in real life, why not let yourself be tattooed inside an imaginary world? The tattoo Maud chooses for you is based on how you answer her questions.

When I reached out to Michelle, she was enthusiastic about the project. With so much rich material in her book, she was able to tease out three vignettes and turn them into interactive experiences for our “Storyteller Cafe” voice app on Amazon Alexa.

How to Enjoy the Stories with Maud

To access the three stories, ask Alexa to “open Storyteller Cafe.” If you haven’t visited the cafe before, take the quick tour and meet your four co-performers and friends: Alex, Maddison, Lilly, and Collin.

When Maddison asks if you know what story you want, tell her you want “Fly Until I Die.” That’s the first story of the “Maud’s Circus” series. After that you can listen to "The Egyptian Princess" and "The Forgotten Name."


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