Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Playing Dress Up

One of my favorite things to do for each main character I put in a book is turn them into a paper doll. No, not literally (though I totally would if I had the drawing skills). Instead, I create a fashion set that highlights their personality and general wardrobe sense.

Penelope Blue: Jewel thief, cat burglar, breaker of laws

I will admit that this sounds a lot more like a way to procrastinate than anything else – and to some extent, that’s true – but there’s something about the visual component that helps to make a character seem more three-dimensional. 

Also, it’s fun to play dress up—virtually or otherwise.

Lots of authors I know do this on Pinterest or by “assigning” celebrity doubles to their characters, but I prefer to do my visualization on a website called Polyvore. It’s more of a fashion tool than a writing one, but the general idea is that you can create magazine-style pages of your favorite outfits and trends and then share them with the world. (The idea is also that you’ll then click on one of the outfits and spend a gazillion dollars buying it for yourself, but everyone’s gotta make money somehow, right?)

From a visually artistic standpoint, I’m pretty lacking as a human being. I can’t draw, I don’t do interior design, and my own fashion sense is pretty much yoga pants and t-shirts. I can’t even make those cute, colorful journal planners that everyone’s doing these days—and believe me, it’s not for lack of trying.

I think that’s why I love the idea of dressing up my characters so much. Even *I* have the ability to rifle through a well-stocked wardrobe and pick out the best outfit, especially since I don’t have to pay attention to things like price tags and fit. It’s like being a costumier for a play—a job I’ve always thought might be a nice backup plan if this whole author thing doesn’t work out.

Plus, it's fun to show people exactly how they, too, can dress like a sexy cat burglar who's married to an FBI agent. Next year's Halloween, anyone?


Tamara Morgan is the author of thirteen contemporary comedy romances and the upcoming Penelope Blue series. Her books combine fast-paced antics and humor with heartfelt sentiment, and have been described as both “utterly unconventional and wonderfully smart.” Her debut novel was chosen as the Smart Bitches Trashy Books book club pick in April of 2012, and her books have since gone on to receive two starred reviews from Library Journal and three Romantic Times Magazine Top Picks, one of which was nominated in the 2014 RT Reviewers' Choice Awards in the Contemporary Love & Laughter category. 

Visit Tamara online at:

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