Monday, December 5, 2011
Dressing for Success...Sci-Fi Romance Style
Let me share something fun I've been up to--putting together a book signing costume. No, I'm sorry to report I have no news on the publishing front yet, but that doesn't stop me from thinking positive and looking to the future.
At last years' RWA book signing event, a peer commented that she wished the SFR/CDSF authors would dress the part, so she could have a clue who is kicking out the spacegoing romance fare among all those hundreds of authors.
Hmmmmm, I thought. Now that would be fun! Come in character...literally. What a great way for the authors in our subgenre to stand out.
Since then, I've devoted a bit of time (a very little bit in between writing, polishing, revising, editing, querying, platform-building and entering contests) to scour the web for parts to a subgenre specific (and somewhat novel specific) costume.
But where in the galaxy do you look for space age garb, ray blasters and like paraphernalia?
eBay (and a little imagination) is my friend!
I found searches using keywords "steampunk" and "futuristic" and occasionally "space pirate" netted the best results in finding the sorts of things I was looking for. What started out as a costume search and acquire mission for my female P2PC pilot--Drea--soon led to stumbling on some apropos items for a Katrina (3rd novel) costume, too. And that naturally expanded into a few costume pieces for Lissa--video reporter and stalked-keeper-of-dangerous-secret extraordinaire from The Outer Planets.
I thought it might be fun to share some of my adventures in costume hunting and the resulting finds with you.
Drea (heroine of P2PC)
I had a couple of thoughts there. Shiny stuff and lots of colorful patches.
I had to get a little inventive here, since patches for entities and planets of registry in the year 3500 don't really exist yet. Here's a passage from the novel that gave me some inspiration:
Sair’s gaze settled on the registration numbers and bright red diamond insignia. Licensed out of the Azures, she carried the registry of preference for half the pirates in the galaxy. He blew out his breath. No kid of Mennelsohn’s would resort to piracy, would he? Zaviar Mennelsohn must have left a fortune to his heirs.
Then I found this military patch to signify Drea's home planet of LaGuardia, a planet with an insignia of a flame inside a pyramid. Hmm, that sounds like a tough order, yes? I didn't think I'd find anything close.
Now I needed something to represent Drea's line of work--a P2PC. Maybe something with stars or planets or suggesting space flight. I ended up finding two patches that seemed to fill the bill, and since I discovered a second forgotten long-sleeved black t-shirt in my Summer Clothes box in the garage, I ordered a pair of each.
Here's a YouTube introduction of the 1st Space Brigade and an article if you want to know more about what they do:
You Tube Introduction to 1st Space Brigade
Developing Doctrine for the First Space Brigade
Toss in a few additional patches for color and effect:
I heart these blue dragon patches. Not sure how I'll use them yet, but possibly the pair running up the sleeves? or a single one up the middle of the back?...or just framed on my wall. Do dragons = space? They do in my universe. :) Thy could also represent an Anne McCaffrey tribute of sorts. (RIP *sniff*) I also collect dragons and these are gorgeous. Couldn't pass them up.
Love how the silvery sparklies set off all that black, and you never know when they might come in handy as a weapon of opportunity for the savvy space express pilot, right?
Now I just needed a few finishing touches.
My P2PC pilot definitely totes some righteous personal armament--for self-preservation in the wild and predator-rich space lanes, ya understand--so back to one of the steampunk shops to pick up a grommeted belt with double thigh holster (I decided to only use one thigh holster for the outfit)
(Shadowy steampunk guy is kind of fun to look at, too.)
And what pseudo-military P2PC captain's outfit would be complete without a set of silver Star Dog Tags to complete the ensemble. Shiny!
So there's my P2PC Circa 3500 costume. Space pirates and galactic superpowers, beware!
I'd love to hear what you think? Does it work? Anything missing? Have you ever put together a book-signing or Con-attending SFR costume? What did you include? Would you like to see SFR authors dress the part or do you think authors should dress traditionally and let their books speak for themselves?
About Spacefreighters Lounge
Hosted by 5 Science Fiction Romance authors with 8 RWA Golden Heart finals and a RITA final between them. We aim to entertain with spirited commentary on the past, present, and future of SFR, hot topics, and our take on Science Fiction and SFR books, television, movies and culture.