October 31, 2012

The Character Costume Challenge

As I mentioned yesterday, Gillian Adams has issued a challenge to writers and readers: the Character Costume Challenge. You can read the full details here. And, since my Scottish ancestry forbids ignoring a challenge ; ) I have accepted. (Actually, my ancestry had nothing to do with it. The truth is, it was just too cool to pass up!) I was torn between two of my characters, though, so I decided to dress and take pictures as both of them.

First up is Celeste Harper, from my WIP, Empathia's Hope.

Celeste lives on the surface of Eclectia - a highly unstable, volcanic planet in the 94 Ceti system. Having lost both parents to the planet's hostile conditions, Celeste supports herself and her younger sister Celia by excavating artifacts from a city that was buried by a volcano over a century before, and then selling the artifacts on the black market.

Harsh conditions require a lot of protective gear - goggles, a mask, the works. Blowing ash and dust aren't pleasant to breathe or get in your eyes. The seasons are a bite to deal with too - there are only two, winter and summer, but they cycle every five days so you're never able to adjust fully to either one, and both are extreme. So you're either miserably hot or miserably cold. No happy medium.
Celeste tends to have a very cynical outlook on the world, since she's convinced herself there's nothing better than what she has to hope for. It's up to her sister and an archaeologist named Robin to convince her otherwise.

Next up: Ann Morgan, from my 2012 NaNoWriMo project, The Sword Masters of St. George's Academy.

Ann is a bright, brainy young lady who lives with her parents and siblings in Victorian-era London. (Yes, London - as I stand in front of an American flag in the bookcase. *sighs* Oh well.) She works as a watchmaker's assistant in his shop not far from her home, and loves learning about the art and science of watchmaking. She also loves experimenting with different clockwork and metalwork projects of her own... including a derringer that she made for herself and carries everywhere.

Ann is the daughter of my main character, Thaddeus Morgan, who is a master swordsman and teaches fencing at St. George's Academy - one of the finest schools in London. Thaddeus has taught Ann to use swords, knives, and firearms in self-defense, and she loves it. (Sadly, I don't have a derringer, so I had to use my great-grandpa's revolver for the picture instead.) She always has a gun and a dagger with her.

And of course, like all good home-schooled kids, she loves a good book. : )
Mom and I had a lot of fun 'steampunking' a corner of our living room for this picture.
Well, that about wraps it up for my end of the Character Costume Challenge. Special thanks to my mom for taking all the pictures, serving as wardrobe adviser, set adviser, etc. And of course a special thanks to Gillian Adams for inventing the Character Costume Challenge in the first place!

I'll be spending a lot more time with Ann Morgan starting tomorrow - November 1st, the first day of NaNoWriMo! You can track my progress at my NaNo profile, or follow my progress here at the Lair. I'll be journaling NaNo here just as I've done the last two years.
And if you'd like more pictures of characters, settings, weapons, and inspirations and ideas from The Sword Masters of St. George's Academy, well, you're in luck! I've set up an entire board on my Pinterest page dedicated to nothing but NaNoWriMo 2012. Click Here to check it out!


  1. How fun! I love your costumes! I'm so glad you participated in the challenge.

    I've read very little Steampunk but I find it fascinating! Do you have any recommendations for good Steampunk books?

    1. I confess, I have not read much in the steampunk genre either. There have been a few that I've heard decent reports on, but I read almost strictly Christian fiction (few exceptions) and Christian writers really haven't done much in the steampunk genre yet.
      Although... if I can say this without sounding like a car salesman... H.A. Titus, Elynn W. Marshe, and I have co-authored a Christian steampunk novel that's available to read at lostscribes.blogspot.com, if you're interested. ; )

    2. I write Christian Steampunk, but I've never heard of anyone else doing it.

  2. Love the pictures and the costumes! :D I'd also love to read your Victorian steampunk novel. Sounds awesome :-D

  3. Looks awesome!! You could easily make a book trailer with a character talking a little bit, how fun :) Well done.

  4. Wow! I love the first one it's so... so exciting and breathing and on the move!
    and the other one does too, I love the middle one of the steam-punk pictures.
    -By the way I did the challenge too, just in case you were wondering, my scottish heritage couldn't pass it up either! :D


What are your thoughts on this post? I'd love to hear your comments, questions, or ideas, even if you don't agree with me. Please be aware that I reserve the right to delete comments that are uncivil or vulgar, however.