Tag Archive for: Character Clothes

When Fictional People Seem Real

by Sparkle Abbey

We had a conversation recently with a reader who asked about some of the fashions mentioned in our books. She wondered where we got the ideas for what Caro and Mel wear. Though this reader confessed she didn’t know many of the designers, she still loved reading the descriptions of the fashions. She wanted to know, did we shop for Caro and Mel.

The answer is that in a way, we do. We often look through magazines such as Vogue or Harper’s Bazaar in search of looks appropriate for these two former Texas beauty queens turned pet therapist and pet boutique owner. They each have their favorite designers so we may also haunt the online sites of the likes of Neiman Marcus or Bloomingdales. (And not just the sale racks.) Sometimes we’ll look at a particular outfit and say, “Caro would never wear that.” Or “That’s just not Mel.” They each have their own style and we know it well. Caro loves classic and vintage. Mel’s look is a little edgier and more daring. And, of course, then there’s Betty Foxx and her own unique and very individual look.

That got us thinking about how real these characters seem to us – and we hope to you.

It may sound crazy, but the truth is we know not only clothes they’d buy, but we could order for them in a restaurant, tell you their favorite music, and choose the movie each would pick for a night out. It’s kind of like we have these best friends…only they’re fictional.

What about you? Are there fictional characters who are so real to you that you feel like you could shop for them? (Or are we crazy?)

In our most recent book, we revisit lovely Laguna Beach with Caro and Mel as well as some of the other colorful characters we have come to know and love.

One Amazon reviewer has this to say about Downton Tabby:

How would you like to find a dead body in a swimming pool, have two friends disappear, be followed by a black SUV and have your ex try to take away your clients?

That’s what Laguna Beach’s animal therapist and sometime sleuth, Caro Lamont, faces in another page turning, suspense filled, and occasional humorous adventure as she tries to find a killer, solve the disappearances of two friends, and deal with a scurvy ex.

Need a treat today? Of course you do! Grab some snacks, your fav drink, turn off your phone and settle down in a comfy place and relish this latest mystery that’s pet friendly too!

Next up? Book 8: Raiders of the Lost Bark

As always, if you’d like to stay up on the latest news, new releases or upcoming appearances, sign up for the Sparkle Abbey newsletter at www.SparkleAbbey.com

On the Clothesline

Writing clothes has developed into a theme on the Stiletto Gang this week. I’ve been thinking of what I have to say on the matter. Unfortunately, it’s not much. I write at night. So when I write, I wear whatever I wore to work that day minus shoes, jacket and jewelry. I pull my hair back in a ponytail, grab a Pepsi One, maybe some Strawberry Twizzlers, and I’m good to go.

Of course I do have to dress my “people.” Descriptions of clothing can help define your characters. Anyone who has read Murder Off the Books can tell you what kind of clothes JJ wears.

“Can I help you?” A young woman in her late teens reluctantly looked up from her computer screen, then stood and stretched. Her short spiked black hair was shaved over her left ear, which sported a silver hoop earring the size of a tennis ball. A red plaid flannel shirt, cargo pants, black studded leather belt, and heavy work boots completed the receptionist’s attire.

In Murder Takes the Cake, JJ’s style draws her boss’s ire:

“Hey, you already yelled at me once this morning. You don’t pay me enough to put up with it all day long, mister.”

Mac narrowed his eyes. After her outburst, JJ had actually flounced out of his office; a difficult feat for someone wearing an outfit better suited for a military grunt than a southern belle.

He obviously needed to establish some boundaries. She worked for him! “And buy some appropriate clothes for the office. Nothing in camouflage! A suit maybe. And no hobnailed boots. I’m tired of you scaring off the clients.”

There! That was something he’d been intending to say for days.

And somehow when JJ does upgrade her style, she still stands out.

Edgar and the dog stared at her.

“What?” She didn’t need to ask why they were staring at her. After Mac’s order to change her wardrobe, she’d visited a consignment shop. Currently she was wearing a circa 1930s, knockoff, Chanel suit. Even though she’d had to re-sew the seams, the old suit had still cost her more money than she was comfortable spending–especially just to make a point. It was black wool with gold metal buttons. She’d added a white silk blouse. Around her waist she’d cinched a black leather belt to hide the fact the jacket was a little large. The four inch heels were already killing her feet and it wasn’t even noon yet. She’d left her jet-black hair in its normal spiked style, but she’d replaced her large hoop earrings with fake pearl studs and a matching double strand necklace.

“You got one of those little hats with the black netting?” Edgar asked, waving one gnarled hand across his eyes showing where the netting would be.

“Maybe.” She had seen one of those at the shop and thought about buying it. But she wasn’t about to take fashion advice from the old man. “Why?”

“Widow’s weeds. You could get a job as an extra at O’Herlihy’s when Mac fires you. You know, as one of those paid mourners.”

Do you pay attention to what characters are wearing in the novels you read? Is there a character you’ll always remember because of his/her clothing?

Evelyn David