:::Sigh::: This picture of Sam isn’t theme related, but he does make me smile and helps me to unwind while taking a breather from writing lockdown. Somehow I went from having plenty of writing time on my next book, to chasing deadlines that snuck right past me. Realizing it was midnight, and I didn’t have a post for today (which officially started two minutes ago in CA– ack!) I tacked up this picture of Sam, sipped my tea and waited for him to tell me what I should blog about. Sexy, rugged, reliable cowboy that he is…he told me. He said, in that dreamy honeyed-hickory, baritone voice, “Let’s see what Lily has in her carpetbag.”
For some reason, while developing the heroine for THE GUNSLINGER’S UNTAMED BRIDE, her wardrobe played a big role. Lily’s an upscale San Francisco business woman (not my usual heroine) and I needed a crisp clear image of her daily office attire. During my quest, I fell in love with antique and replica clothing sites. I was able to find outfits that defined my heroine, or at least the persona she lived behind. When Lily first hit’s the page, she’s rather rigid and stern–a woman on a mission who dresses for success and takes pride in her appearance. This striped dress suited her business side to a T, feminine yet prefessional.
For her long four-day journy into the mountains, she packs durable, sensable clothing . The russet number on the left is the perfect traveling coat for the long carriage ride. Lily likes to maintain a professional outlook, but she’s not all drab colors and straight lines. She enjoys frills and fashion. I loved the swirls and fancy fabrics of this next dress. Lily wears a similar dress on her arrive at the Pine Ridge Lumber Camp. Sophisticated and stylish, and completely mystifying to the rough-and-tumble lumberjacks—as well as Juniper when he first sees her. He can’t imagine what a woman of her stature would be doing in a lumber camp (beware of the Smith & Wesson in her skirt pocket!).
While outfitting this heroine, I began to realize she was a woman quite hung up on labels. She labels her workers by their job titles, and everyone she meets by the clothes they wear. This poses a real challenge when she meets Juniper–his wardrobe is a clear contradiction to everything she’s come to believe about the gunslinger who killed her father. As she’s dragged deeper into Juniper’s world, she begins to look beyond simple attire, and learns a lot about herself during the process. As the story progresses and Lily’s rigid exterior begins to soften, so does her wardrobe. The fabrics and fit become softer, giving her more room to breathe…and to love 😉
This was the first time I’d ever “dressed” one of my characters. When I started searching for period clothing sites, I had no idea how finding Lily’s wardrobe would help to craft this character.
For anyone who’d like to check out more antique and replica clothing, here’s a few sites: