Monday, September 20, 2010

What Would Carmen Wear?

Carmen is the main character in my upcoming novel VIRTUOSITY.  She’s a 17-year-old concert violinist, which means she gets to wear fabulous gowns like the ones you see on the red carpet.

So what would Carmen wear?

Not Exhibit A, B, or C.  That’s a guarantee.  And not anything Lady Gaga has ever worn or will ever wear.  Definitely not the meat dress.

And why am I wondering this now?  Because my editor sent me an email this last week full of gowns they were considering for the cover of VIRTUOSITY!  Imagine my joy, my glee, my freak out dance!

Thus far, being a writer has not been super glamorous.  (Unless you think writing bleary-eyed at 4:30 a.m. in footy-pajamas is super glamorous, and if so, try it and get back to me.)   So to be looking at pictures of real dresses that an actual live model was going to wear at a photo shoot was mind blowing.  

By the way, my editor, Anica Rissi, rules for letting me weigh in on this.  I’d heard not to expect to have input in my cover—most authors don’t—and I was okay with that.  Leaving things to the experts is smart.  My partially-functioning sprinkler system and dead dead lawn are evidence of that (sorry honey, you have other gifts).  I used to play chamber music for weddings, and I don’t know how many times I had a bride nearly ruin her nuptials by choreographing details she had no business messing with.  (And while my fifth bridesmaid is walking in I want you to play Ode to Joy, but then go back to Pachelbel’s Canon for the next two bridesmaids, and then when you see me, start playing Send in the Clowns, because it’s my dad’s favorite song. )  Think I’m joking about that last part?  Wrong.  I ACTUALLY HAD TO PLAY SEND IN THE CLOWNS WHILE A BRIDE WALKED DOWN THE AISLE.  Ask my mom, she was there, playing with me.  I lost a little bit of my soul that day.  Mom, if you’re reading this, back me up here because people never believe me when I tell that story.

Anyway, I was cool with leaving the cover art to the cover artists.

But then they went and asked my opinion, and the power totally went to my head.  How did I forget that I’m the girl who can’t shop for clothes without her sister there telling her what to buy?!   I wrote back with a lengthy explanation of why I loved my favorites.   I don’t know how much my opinion meant, but it probably meant considerably less an hour later when I sent a second email, in which I changed my least favorite dress to my most favorite dress.  Oh, credibility, where are you now?

Doesn’t matter.  I trust the people at Simon Pulse—they make gorgeous covers.  And I've decided that if I ever have the need for a red-carpet gown, I’ll go straight to Lady Gaga for her raw meat dress.  She clearly knows her fashion.  Classy.


  1. Hahaha, I love this post. :-) I'm intrigued by this novel, first of all, but also now definitely intrigued by these gowns -- I love dresses. Shh.

    Looking forward to the cover!

  2. Good, I'm glad! I can't wait to post the pictures I got to look at. I've been told I can eventually, but I have to wait for a while.

  3. that dress was disgusting...was it real meat? I feel like this book is so far away!

  4. How can I love Glee so much and yet have no interest in finding out anything more than the limited amount I have happened to have learned (my mom would say "gleened," but I don't do puns, obviously) from Glee, and now your blog.

    Did they choose the gown you liked best?

  5. The limited amount I heave learned about Lady Gaga, I should say. Why do people like her? Is her music good? Just had to clarify my previous comment. :)

  6. I think Lady Gaga is really smart, with her music and her public persona. She seems to know exactly how to shock the pants off people. But what I'd like to know is what precautions were taken to protect everyone from the salmonella? Was she sitting on a garbage bag all night? Was she regularly sprayed down with Bleach?