When I heard YA author Kendare Blake was going to visit my library I was way excited. Blake’s incredible Anna Dressed in Blood was one of my favorite reads last year. Anna is like a good Supernatural episode, sufficiently scary, hot male protagonist with just enough angst and a seriously awesome ghost. I snagged the ARC of the sequel, The Girl of Nightmares before anyone else and devoured it in a few days. So I was ready for our author visit, or was I?
I had an idea as soon as I read Anna Dressed in Blood. Anna would make an excellent Halloween costume. Sure not many (or any) people outside of YAdom would get the reference but Anna is a ghost spooky enough on her own that I could pass as “creepy dead girl.” Anna is described in the book as having long dark hair and wearing an old-fashioned white party dress. When she appears her dress starts dripping blood and her veins go black. Very cool. And very easy. Here are my simple steps to creating this look for very cheap.
White Party Dress – $20 on sale from TJ Maxx although any sort of white dress would work as long as you don’t mind it getting a bit bloody.
White Bloody Tights – A steal for $7 from Party City since I was still trying to figure out if I could find white tights and then how I could dye them to look like blood without it being a huge hassle or mess.
Long Black Wig – A $17 splurge also from Party City because I am currently very blond and didn’t think dyeing my hair black wouldn’t be terribly effective or attractive.
Bottle of Blood – Also $8 from Party City (I seriously love Party City. Its where I got all my stuff for my Hipster Thor costume last year). Get the big bottle. You’ll need it.
I used a disposable aluminum pan to dip the bottom of the dress into the blood. I had my roommate help so I could hold up the top of the dress while she dipped just the bottom and make sure it distributed properly and looked bloody enough. Then I hung it to dry over the sink for a good 24-48 hours. The fake blood I got was slow to dry but looked realistic. The day of I just changed out of my work clothes (yes, I was technically on the clock for this. And what?) and threw on my get up. Luckily I’m a lovely shade of pale so I didn’t use white make-up although I probably will for Halloween and draw some dark veins on as well. I bought my books for Ms. Blake to sign and waited patiently.
I was worried for a second what everyone would think, a grown women dressed like Halloween in August. And I did get some funny looks but mostly my coworkers laughed and were impressed. They’re used to me by now. And as things turned out Kendare and the fellow authors she was on tour with (the lovely Lisa Desrochers and Marta Acosta) loved my look as well and obliged me with a photo and an autograph. Everyone who attended had a great time and the authors were very generous with their answers and time, sticking around after to chat with fans and crazy librarian who dressed up.
PS – Big thanks to Tor Books and Lake Forest Book Store from bringing Kendare Blake, Lisa Desrochers and Marta Acosta to my library. It really was a great event to kick off the school year in our teen room.