Halloween Costumes for the Authorially-Inclined

The veil grows thin between our worlds. A time of soul-chilling horror draws nigh. We can avert our eyes, we can ignore the terror turning our bones into icicles. Yet the reality remains.

I refer, of course, to the agony of Halloween parties.

Okay, maybe the prospects of costumes and crowds and socializing don’t shamble menacingly through your noggin like freshly-animated, flesh-craving cadavers. Nonetheless, for other authors who, like me, have mummified themselves in denial only to find Halloween soirees have snuck up behind them, below I humbly submit a few literature-inspired costume ideas.

1. Your book. Just because it’s Halloween doesn’t mean you have to stop shamelessly promoting yourself! This can be as easy as two pieces of cardstock or cardboard slung over your shoulders like a sandwich board. The front, of course, mirrors one of your books’ covers.
2. A character from one of your novels or novellas. For me, for example, I could don some jeans, a black shirt, some butt-kickin’ black boots, and a suspicious expression. Pull my hair back into a low, no-nonsense ponytail, and voila, I’m Gray from Hunted.
3. Your muse. Now, I can’t pretend to know what yours looks like, but mine tends to come in the form of blond coffee in one hand and a (metaphorical) battle mace in the other. My muse wouldn’t be caught dead sporting a toga and fluffy blonde curls; she tends to bat away my excuses, ply me with caffeinated substances, and frown at me when I divide my attention. Finally, she smiles a lot… with fangs. (Now that I think about it, minus the caffeine part, my muse sounds an awful lot like one of my cats.)
4. Your literary s/hero. J.K. Rowling? Sherman Alexie? Alice Walker? Laura Ingalls Wilder? Mark Twain? The beauty of this costume is that it can be as elaborate or simple as you choose.
5. A stereotype of a brilliant author. What might this look like to you? A pipe-smoking, spectacles-sporting, pen-wielding genius with a distracted look in her or his eye and a pocket full of literary classics? Genius!
6. The reality of a brilliant author. In other words, you when you write. PJs? Check. Hair in curlers or a sloppy ponytail? Check. Mug of tea at hand, keyboard glued (probably not literally) to your fingers, glasses pushed up atop your head? Check, check, and check.

Introverts, procrastinators, and the overworked, we can hide no longer; the holiday parties are jumping out of the shadows at us, yelling “Boo!” Our best weapon is to show up prepared. And to ruthlessly promote our own literary genius. Always that. 


  1. This year I get to go as a job-hungry, slightly terrified job applicant. But your genius has sparked my own. Next year, I tell you - - -

  2. But you're the BEST job-hungry, slightly terrified job applicant begging for candy! Seriously, next year, when you're ensconced in an awesome job here in South Dakota, we'll dress as brilliant, literary sisters and storm the towns in search of edible loot. <3

  3. OMG I LOVE this! I would never have thought about it, and what a fantastic way to market yourself and your products! :-D Fantastic way to market a client as well!


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