I was very flattered when the lovely and talented Eliza Gayle asked me to write about costuming for her Blog for Halloween. I have always loved Halloween because of the opportunity to wear costumes. I’ve managed to wear some type of costume for every Halloween since I was a child, even when I was the only one in costume. But it is always more fun when other people dress up, too. And strangely enough, my love of romance novels and my writing aspirations led me to other opportunities to wear a costume.
I went to my first Romantic Times Booklovers Convention about six years ago and was delighted to see so many other women as interested in playing dress-up as me at the theme parties. I started with just pulling thrift store items together with stuff in my closet and graduated into making my first major costume- a mermaid costume for the Under the Sea Faery Ball at the RT in Pittsburgh (which was when I met Fabio- but that’s another story). I then got hooked on conventions and costuming and have since been to RT four times, the Sherrilyn Kenyon’s K-Con twice, Lora Leigh’s Reader’s Appreciation Weekend, and the Authors After Dark convention, for which I made my Jane Austen as a vampire costume. I then started going to other conventions based upon recommendations and author guests, such as Dragon*Con and Comic-Con. It was at my first Dragon*Con that I met Eliza for the first time, which I am grateful for, since it introduced me to her steamy books.
I haven’t yet managed to finish writing my own book, but I have found that I have a talent for making costumes, so I don’t feel too bad about that. The costuming is my main hobby because it takes me forever to plan it out and make each one. The mermaid one took more than a 100 hours to make. The rest have been faster, but the costuming does cut into my reading time. And now, every movie I see, I consider for potential costumes. I made the “tiny Alice” costume after falling in love with the new “Alice in Wonderland” movie staring Johnny Depp.
Anyone with any inclination can get into costumes. It can be as easy as buying something from Amazon.com or picking things out at the thrift store or juniors department to go together, as my early costumes were, or it can be as advanced as coming up with something from scratch. I didn’t own a sewing machine until about four years ago and now I own a serger, a dress form, and dozens of patterns.
What are some of your favorite costumes? What movies or books have served as your inspiration? Any tips about fun conventions to wear costumes to? What this year’s Halloween costume for you?