Oct 31, 2015

Halloween Guest Post: Where Is The Costume Spirit by Bridie Blake


Where Is The Costume Spirit?
by Bridie Blake

Violet Hayes loves Halloween. It reminds her of happier times in her childhood when she and Rose would get dressed up together and go trick or treating around the neighbourhood. It reminds her of a time when her parents were still together and she wasn’t the one holding the family together. But she also loves it because she can don a costume and transform into someone else. A character. She gets a night off from being who she is. A sad, lonely, lost girl. And a costume does that. You can wear it like a mask; a shield. Behind the costume and makeup the real you is hidden. If only for a few hours.

That got me thinking about writers and the characters we create. Do we use them as our costumes? 
Do we try and hide behind them? And then I realized that was going into territory that’s far too deep 
for me. I can only do deep after a few glasses of wine! So I went back to thinking about costumes. I love them. Throw a costume party, and I’m there. Unfortunately for me, not everyone else is as costume mad as me.

I went to a cocktail party the other week and it was superhero themed. Pretty cool, right? Wrong. Do you know how hard it is to find a cool female superhero costume in Australia? And one that doesn’t cost a fortune? Near impossible. Unless you want to go as Batgirl, Wonder Woman or Supergirl. I wanted to do something different. I wanted to be the only one in my costume of choice. I looked online, searching through dozens of websites that all sold the same costumes, just at different prices and sometimes different materials. Money was a bit tight at the time so in the end I gave up, caved and went as Batgirl; pulling together things from my wardrobe and borrowing what I didn’t have. 
Luckily for me a friend made me a couple of bat logos covered in glitter and if there’s glitter, all is 
right in the world. So, happy with my costume, I went to the party only to find that less than half the people there were in costume. And of those, most were just in a superhero t-shirt. Disappointing!

A few years ago I threw a ‘come as your favourite character’ party. Great idea I thought. The scope 
was huge. You could literally come as anyone from a book, movie, TV show. The world was your oyster. I, being a major Gleek at the time, went as Rachel Berry. I went all out with the outfit, even 
styling my bangs just like her and I expected everyone else to do the same. Most did. Two turned up 
wearing a sign that said ‘Extra’. True story.

Where’s the costume spirit? Where’s everyone’s inner child? Where’s everyone’s inner Violet?


Author Bio

Bridie lives, daydreams and writes in Melbourne, Australia. She’s happiest at her computer, coffee in hand, Tim Tams on standby and her furry companion Poppy at her feet. When not writing she’s usually found with a book in her hand or playing with her tribe of nieces and nephews Discover more about her at www.bridieblake.com, 

https://www.facebook.com/AuthorBridieBlake or @BridieBlake on Twitter!

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64 comments:

  1. Sounds perfect for me to get wrapped up in and have great read xx

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  2. Halloween looks like fun. We don't celebrate it much in New Zealand, but it is catching on. It would be more fun if it wasn't so commercialized don't you think?

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    1. It's the same in Australia. It's getting bigger but not quite there yet. I wish it had been huge when I was a kid. I would've loved going trick or treating:)

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  3. It sounds good, I put it in my wish-list :)

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  4. Thanks for introducing me to Birdie's book.

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  5. I have not yet had the pleasure to read your works. Thanks to Library Lavender I am now aware. I took a look and I must say that the beginning blurb form the look inside on Amazon is great. You managed to catch my intrigue in the first few paragraphs , awesome thank you. How long was this in the works ?

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    1. Thank you! I had bits and pieces of the idea for about a year but I didn't have Violet's voice quite right so I didn't get very far with it. Once I got her voice I had a first draft written in a month and the finished product was quick to follow. I loved writing this story so I hope people enjoy it:)

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  6. Sounds like a good read, I've not read any of your books yet either. Always great finding another Author I mite enjoy.

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  7. I like the title of the book, sounds interesting and mysterious

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  8. No I haven't read it yet but I give a review when I do thanks

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  9. Question to the author: how did you come up with the characters' names for this book?

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    1. Good question! I knew I wanted Violet and Rose to be named after flowers (there's a story behind that in the book) so I just went through all of the flowers I could think of until I settled on those two. The other names I was pretty lucky with and they just sort of popped into my head!

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  10. Looks great! I would love to know what genre this is?

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    1. Thank you! A Distant Voice is a contemporary young adult

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  11. If you could dress up in a costume everyday, for a whole week, what kind of costumes would you choose?

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    1. I love dressing up as characters! I'm Disney obsessed so I'd probably do Belle and Mulan because they're my favourites of the Princesses. And I'd throw in some Harry Potter characters. My friend dressed up as Bellatrix once and that was pretty cool! Princess Leia, definitely. And I love Arrow at the moment so I'd probably try Black Canary:)

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  12. Now I'm wondering who Violets dressed up as.
    Theresa N
    weceno(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  13. I think we do hide behind out characters to a degree. At least we express ourselves through them. Nice post, Bridie. Looking for my inner child right now! :) xx

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  14. My question is, what's the crazy idea you've had for a book?

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  15. Thanks for introducing me to Birdie's book.

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  16. I hadn't heard about this book, but it sounds great! I also really like the cover.

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  17. How did you come up with the names for your characters?

    Betul E.

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  18. Distant Voice has a mysterious and haunting cover. What is Violets favorite character to be? That is my question... though I will have to read the book to know. My niece had a stag and doe last night. Halloween night. That is right, her stag and doe was a costume party. We could not go because of work and no more time off but it was packed and every single person dressed up. So sweet.

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  19. I absolutely love this cover and the synopsis on Amazon sounds wonderful.

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  20. A Distant Voice sounds like an amazing read!

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  21. This book sounds good. I will try to read it as soon as I can.

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  22. Good luck with the release!

    --Trix

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  23. I like the title of the book, sounds interesting and mysterious

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  24. Where were you when you cam up with the concept of the story?

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    1. Walking home from work! Most of my ideas come to me when I'm walking and listening to music. That's my time to think and daydream so that's usually when it happens.

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  25. Thank you for all the support! I hope you enjoy A Distant Voice:)

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  26. Had you thought to make a future book with Violet in it perrhaps as an actress? Violet seems to enjoy being someone other than herself.
    Also do you think by writing it allows you to be your inner Violet?

    ellen becck on tee form up there

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  27. Definitely want to read. As someone who readily admits judging books by their covers sometimes, your book looks awesome!

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  28. This looks an interesting read, I love the cover too :)

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  29. Love the story, looks like a good read xx

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  30. Do you think that, in today's society, Social Media is our "costume"? We can appear to everyone else how we want to, editing our lives to show what we want and conceal our true selves.

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  31. I used to love dressing up for halloween ... then my kids grew up and it's not as fun =(

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  32. Is there anything you wouldn't write about?

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    1. Probably horror and crime because I don't tend to read those genres

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  33. What would you say is the minimum age to read this book? (I'm a school librarian)

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    1. The publisher, Evernight Teen, has recommended A Distant Voice for readers aged 14+

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  34. Just added this to my "to read" shelf on Goodreads. Can't wait to get my hands on it!

    Question for Ms. Blake: Who did the cover art for your novel? The art is so haunting and lovely, seems like it would really go with the theme of the book.

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    1. Thank you! Jay Aheer of Simply Defined Art designed the cover. It perfectly captures the feel of the book!

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  35. This book looks great! And I love the cover.

    Also, dressing up in costume and going all out with hair and makeup and accessories can be amazingly fun :-)

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  36. This cover is stunning! would love to check this out.

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  37. Sounds like a really interesting book from what age would you say it is suitable

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    1. Thank you, it's been recommended for readers aged 14+

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  38. I have dyslexia and find it easies to listen to the book whilst reading it. Is the book available as an audiobook on Audible?

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  39. Sounds like an interesting book! Is it available as an e-book for ipad?

    Kelly Ellen Hirst

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    1. Thank you! Yes, if you have the Kindle app on your ipad you can read it that way. Otherwise, it can be purchased from the Evernight Teen website or All Romance ebooks in various other formats

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  40. sounds great. my question is this the first book from this author?
    thank you

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    1. Thank you. A Distant Voice is my second book. I self-published my first, a YA fantasy, The Jewel of Kamara in 2013

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  41. Looks interesting
    waiting to hold this one :)

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  42. Great topic dressing up. How long do you spend writing?

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    1. Thank you! I typically spend most of my weekends writing. I work full time and am not overly productive when I get home from work:) I give myself one weekend off a month so I get a bit of a break but even then I can't help myself and still do an hour or so on those breaks!

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  43. Firstly, I have a daughter named Bridie :) And I so rarely get to meet other Bridie's!
    My question is, what age is this book suitable from?

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    1. I know, it's very rare to meet other Bridie's! I love having a name that's different:)
      A Distant Voice has been recommended for readers aged 14+

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  44. I can relate to a lot of this! Would love to read it

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