Wednesday, August 5, 2015

IWSG, Must I Corset?

Welcome to another installment of the Insecure Writer's Support Group conceived by illustrious Ninja Captain, Alex J. CavanaughOur Twitter hashtag is #IWSG

I'm not sure I can do this cosplay thing...

As you all may know, I am currently two books deep into a Steampunk trilogy. I LOVED H.G. Wells and Jules Verne as a kid and have always lost myself in this type of story. The what if and elegant inventions. Writing in a genre I have always admired is a DREAM!!

But the other day I was talking with a friend of mine about going to a conference as a vendor to offer my book and maybe connect with other lovers of the genre and she asked me if I was going to dress up.

I was confused... "Like, wear a suit?" I asked her.

No, it turns out that she thought I might go all steampunk'd out to the conference since the GearCon's and Gaslight Gatherings celebrate dressing up and cosplay. I knew that attendants did this, but vendors?

In fact she showed me some blogs of other steampunk authors and they are all dressed in period/world attire.

Panic Cat demonstrating my expression.
Panic set in. I'm not sure I can do a corset and not manage to fall all over myself. 

I want to look an author...not like one of my characters. I mean, I have never seen Stephen King dressed up as Pennywise or Cassandra Clare dressed as a Shadow Hunter.

I write Gothic Mystery also and have never had cause to be all 'ghosty' or whatever.

Not sure what to do. Is this something I should be worried about? Is there a compromise...perhaps some sort of 'nod' to the devices in my book that I can have displayed instead?



Kai Strand said...

Unfortunately, I'm not going to be any help. I wouldn't be able to dress up either. Just isn't my thing. I'd LOVE if it were, but alas - you can't force these things. Contact the conference coordinator and ask directly.

Good luck!

Stephsco said...

Personally, *I* think it would be super cool for you to dress up. It goes with your books, and you say others will be there in costume? A fantastic idea!

However, if this is really not your thing, it's your career. You choose how you want to present yourself. Maybe some steampunk accessories could do the trick--a cool necklace or something. Check out

This could be a fun opportunity to try something new. Maybe you can check out the other costumes at your conference and see if this is something you want to do. It took me 3 or 4 trips to the Ren Faire before I caved and bought a costume. Corset and all :)

Here is my August IWSG post. It's the second post on my blog today because my Pitch Wars mentor bio needs to stay at the top. Thanks!

Pat Garcia said...

If I were you, I would go with what I feel comfortable with. If you don't think feel good about dressing up like one of your characters and you do it anyway, it will show at the conference and you've already defeated your purpose for going there.

That's my opinion and I hope it helps you find the right decision for you.

Pat Garcia

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

If you don't feel comfortable dressing up, then don't. I wouldn't dress up. (Now if you can convince a friend to accompany you and he dresses up, that would be better.) Your profile picture with the black shirt (dress?) would be the best and most professional look for you.

Jenni Enzor said...

I don't see any reason you need to dress up. I've heard of picture book writers doing that, so that's what comes to mind for me. I think you'll be at your best if you're most comfortable personally. I'd wear my favorite outfit, but not necessarily dress like a character.

Raquel Byrnes said...

You all are so right. I'll do what I am comfortable doing and maybe give the facility a ring. I also like Alex's idea of bringing a friend along to dress up. Thank you all for stopping by you've been so encouraging. :)

C.D. Gallant-King said...

Dress professionally in what you feel is appropriate. If you can't get a friend or model to go with you in cosplay (or even if you can) you can still accessorize your outfit with an appropriate piece or two. A fancy pocket watch or clockwork necklace. A pair of goggles. Something like that. It's a nice nod to the genre without going overboard.

Liz A. said...

If you don't feel it, don't do it. Look to who else is there. Maybe at a future event you might feel it, but I don't see why you'd have to.

Nick Wilford said...

Like others have said, you should just do what you feel comfortable doing. Plain black is steampunky enough and usually says "professional" - ie "professional author" - but the idea of a small accessory is a good one. Good luck!