If you are interested in blogging or want to promote your book, please contact E. B. Davis at writerswhokill@gmail.com.

August Interview Schedule
8/7 Rhys Bowen Love and Death Among the Cheetahs
8/14 Heather Gilbert Belinda Blake and the Snake in the Grass
8/21 Lynn Chandler Willis Tell Me No Secrets
8/28 Cynthia Kuhn The Subject of Malice
8/31 Bernard Schaffer An Unsettled Grave

Saturday Guest Bloggers: 8/3 M. S. Spencer, 8/10 Zaida Alfaro

WWK Satuday Bloggers: 8/24 Kait Carson


Congratulations to our writers for the following publications:

Shari Randall will be writing again for St. Martin's, perhaps under a pseudonym. We look forward to reading Shari's Ice Cream Shop Mystery series debuting next year. Congratulations, Shari!

Susan Van Kirk's A Death At Tippett Pond was released on June 15th. Read E. B. Davis's interview with Susan.

KM Rockwood's "Frozen Daiquiris" appears in The Best Laid Plans: 21 Stories of Mystery & Suspense, edited by Judy Penz Sheluk. The anthology will be released on June 18th.

Congratulations to Margaret S. Hamilton for being a finalist in the Daphne Du Maurier contest. Margaret competes in the Unpublished/Mainstream mystery/suspense category.

Congratulations to Shari Randall for WINNING the Agatha Award for Best First Novel. Her book, Curses, Boiled Again was published by St. Martin's last year. Read the interview about the book here. Yay, Shari!

Fishy Business anthology authors include KM Rockwood, Debra Goldstein, and James M. Jackson. This volume was edited by Linda Rodriguez.

Please read Margaret S. Hamilton and Debra Goldstein's short stories (don't ask about their modus operandi) in a new anthology, Cooked To Death Vol. IV: Cold Cut Files

Warren Bull's Abraham Lincoln: Seldom Told Stories was released. It is available at: GoRead: https://www.goread.com/book/abraham-lincoln-seldom-told-stories or at Amazon: https://tinyurl.com/ydaklx8p

Grace Topping's mystery, Staging is Murder was released April 30.

James M. Jackson extends the Seamus McCree series with the May 25th publication of #6, False Bottom.


Monday, July 15, 2013

What Not to Wear: Detective Edition

I went shopping for boots the other day, but they weren't for me. They were for the main character in my WIP.
We learn about characters by what they do, what they say, what they think, what they feel. And sometimes, what they wear. For the character I'm writing now, a former model, clothes are a big part of who she is.
Serena Monterey, the P.I. protagonist of my work in progress, is, of course, a clotheshorse. When she has to leave her glamorous life behind, the most wrenching good bye she says is to her designer clothes-stuffed walk-in closet.
She makes a new start for herself, taking along only clothes that will be practical in her new, under the radar life. But she does hang on to one very impractical item: A pair of thigh high leather boots - because they make her feel powerful.
I made a Pinterest page and put up a few things that immediately say "Serena" to me - a Cartier ring, a slinky black evening gown. All sleek, sophisticated, alluring. When I see what Serena wears, it is easier for me, a dress for comfort kind of girl, to slip into her character.
But the boots - I couldn't picture them. So I shopped, er, did research on the Internet and finally found them:

Boots that a former model would wear....
Boots that would not fit into a new life in a quaint seaside village....
Boots that would make a woman feel powerful....

What's your character wearing?


Paula Gail Benson said...

Since I just finished a 18th century pirate story, my characters wore pilfered garb. Some velvet, but no designer duds. Great post, Shari.

Barb Goffman said...

The main character in the story I'm revising today is wearing bereavement shoes. It came up in a discussion Saturday with my critique group: What exactly were bereavement shoes and where could my friend get some?

Anonymous said...

Those boots would make me feel wobbly & foolish, not powerful! But I realize different people (and characters) are very different.

Most of my characters wear very practical clothes, since most of them are factory workers. Jeans, steel-toed boots, always long sleeves (for protection) sweatshirts & long johns in the winter. Little jewelry or flowing clothes to get caught. Fair number of people in uniform--police, ocrrections officer, etc.

On the other hand, other characters are defined by thier dress--a suave detective, investigative reporter in skimpy dresses, bikers with their club colors etc.

Clothes are big part of anyone's life.

I'd never thought about "bereavement shoes." What comes to mind are the lace-up, high clunky heeled oxford-type I associate with Italian grandmothers (how's that for a stereoype?) It would depend upon what period you're talking about, whether your character is male or female, whether they can afford to buy new things,

Shari Randall said...

Hi Paula - Love pirate stories - great opportunity for fantastic costuming. What's the title of your story?

Kara Cerise said...

I love the boots! Good idea to use a Pinterest page for your character, Shari. I should try that.

Actress Glenn Close said, "What costumes bring to a character is just invaluable."

Shari Randall said...

Barb and KM: I think KM's description came to mind when I read "bereavement shoes" (right after I scratched my head and thought, "bereavement shoes?") Barb, is your character truly grieving, or does she want people to think she is in mourning?
KM - I'm with you on these boots - they are not built for comfort, that's for sure.

Paula Gail Benson said...

Shari, I love pirate stories, too. Mine is titled "Ghost of a Chance" and will appear in Dark Oak Press' anthology, A Tall Ship, a Star, and Plunder. It's about a ghost pirate ship and has a character who is identified by the bonnet she wears.

Kara, I'm going to remember the Glenn Close quote. It's so true.

Barb, thanks for introducing me to the term "bereavement shoes."

KM, I can see those people you describe. You and Shari are right. Dress makes the character!

Shari Randall said...

Hi Kara, thanks for stopping by! Neat quote from Glenn Close - I can just picture her slipping on a costume and "becoming" a character.

Gloria Alden said...

I can't imagine wearing boots like that. I wear calf high rubber barn boots when the weather is yucky. They sure wouldn't fit your character, Shari. :-) But I agree the closes a character wears defines who they are.

As a woman of a certain age who has gone to more funerals that they care to think about, I have never heard of the term 'bereavement shoes.' I'm thinking more of a black oxford shoe.

Barb Goffman said...

My character is a sleuth attending a wake so she needs to appropriately mournful. And I don't know what these lace-up shoes KM mentioned are. They're not what I have in mind.

James Montgomery Jackson said...

I only dress characters if their dress is an important aspect of their personality, otherwise the most they will get is something distinctive. However MCs and big supporting characters do get a clothing allowance, hair dresser, maybe a trip to the parfum section of the mall or Chanel store, depending on the on the character.

Did you find Nancy Sinatra’s “These Boots are Made for Walkin’”?

~ Jim

Shari Randall said...

Jim - I found the awesome Nancy Sinatra video of These Boots "you keep lyin', when you ought to be truthin'" - love it!

Shari Randall said...

Barb - maybe these?

Warren Bull said...

Historical mysteries need appropriate clothing.

Carla Damron said...

Shari, those are some kick-butt boots!

Barb Goffman said...

Shari, those shoes are lovely and would have qualified to be my character's bereavement shoes. Alas, the shoes bit the dust this afternoon on the editingt room floor. We can now grieve for the shoes.

Sarah Henning said...

Those are rockin' boots! Love it!

The detective heading up my investigation has an obscene love for Nike golf polos. They make it easy for her to look casual,yet professional and not too girlie, which is a concern of hers in the masculine culture of South Florida criminal investigation.