Thursday, October 18, 2007

Guest Author: Shelley Munro!

Today's guest is my good friend, Shelley Munro. We've known each other for a looooooong time, so I'm very excited to have her guesting with us today. Shelley is giving away one of her books - read on to find out which one. Just leave a comment to enter. (Winner will be announced in the comments).

Dressed for Success

My name is Shelley Munro. I live in
New Zealand and love our casual, outdoorsy lifestyle. Like many New Zealanders I enjoy sports and getting out to play in our beautiful countryside, cycling, walking and sometimes boating or swimming. I dress accordingly, love jeans and have a huge collection of T-shirts. During the summer I live in shorts and a T-shirt. When it’s time to dress up, I go smart casual, which usually means trousers and a fancy T-shirt, although I have a couple of formal dresses in my wardrobe.

Dressing my characters can be a problem because some of them plain demand posh and formal. In other words, they venture into places I don’t. Take Kate Fawkner from The Shadow. She attends lots of balls and wears designer gowns and shoes. Let me tell you it was a relief when sh
e got into the cat burglar business and moved into coordinating black. Much easier for a befuddled author!

It’s no secret to my editor that I have problems in this area. She threatened to report me to the fashion police because I mismatched shoe and dress colors. I write mainly for Ellora’s Cave these days. Yes, there’s lots of sex, which means no clothes a lot of the time. You’d think this would be easier, but no. I get these little notes from my editor. Did he take off his boots? Of course he did, I mutter. But, oops. My wonderful editor is right. He’s doing the deed and he’s still wearing his muddy boots! In my defense characters who whip clothes off and on so often can cause confusion.

Luckily, most of my characters are like me. They like casual or wear casual to fit in with everyone else. Here’s a snippet from my Ellora’s Cave release Talking Dogs, Aliens and Purple People Eaters. Janaya, the alien heroine has stowed away on her aunt’s spaceship and they’ve jus
t crash landed on Earth.

Hinekiri pulled a small control box from her low-slung Earth trousers. Jeans, she’d called them when she’d handed a similar pair to Janaya. “Camouflage on.”

“Something wrong, dear?”

“This damned G-thing you gave me to wear is right up my—”

It seems aliens have similar problems to me with their clothing! I don’t care for G-strings either.

Clothes are giving Nikolai, my hero from Summer in the City of Sails fits as well. He’s promised his friend and next-door neighbor he’ll keep an eye on Summer. Unfortunately, Summer is taking exception to a bossy military man and is exerting her independence while enjoying life in the big, bad city. She wants to seduce him but Nikolai is fighting the attraction.

Son of a bitch.

He did a double take. His eyes narrowed while shock punched him in the gut. What the hell was the girl wearing? He eyed the long expanse of tanned leg beneath the short hem of the tight black skirt, the strappy heels on her feet. Then his gaze lifted and paused to savor the two
inches of creamy skin at her waist before he hit cloth again. What had happened to the baggy sack thing?

When Summer turned to face him his mouth emptied of every trace of spit. Her black top was sheer and lacy. And low. His gaze fastened on the swell of luscious curves before he had time to veto the move. She might be nine years younger than him, but she was fully grown. Not a shred of doubt there.

I’ve been watching Murder She Wrote and Charlie’s Angels recently. The clothes and hairstyles have really dated and make me laugh. So my question to you is do you notice clothes and shoes in a book? Do you think about reporting the author to the fashion police? And finally, just because I’m nosy…ah, curious!...what is your everyday style? What clothes do you feel comfortable wearing?

Everyone who comments will go into the draw to win a print copy of Summer in the City of Sails or if you prefer a non erotic romance, The Shadow. Your choice!

Shelley has recently completed the third book in her Middlemarch series. The heroine is an assassin and wears lots of black while the hero is a leopard shifter. When he’s not naked he’s a kitty, which makes clothes less problematic. You can visit Shelley at


Laura J. said...

Hi Shelly!

I guess I have to say nope, clothes (or the lack of) the character is wearing (or not)I don't notice so you won't have to worry about me calling the fashion police on you!!

I'm a causal dresser. I'm a stay at home mom so there really is no need to dress fashionably. I'm discount store shopper and on sale at that. I just can't pay full price for something.

There are occasions that I like to dress up. In fact, this weekend is my anniversary and my husband and I are going away for the weekend that includes dinner at a nice resturaunt. Fortunately I have a couple of nice dresses for that.

Ashley said...

I hardly ever dress up,
i just go for comfy

Jaycee said...

I am a SAHM too Channel and Designer cloths arent as Crayola resistant as they should be LOL. I think you do great "dressing" the charecter BTW!

Bookstoredeb said...

I work a full time job and a part time job that does require a little more than jeans and t-shirts but I still go as casual as possible. Usually in khaki and a simple top.

Don't even mention heels to me. Ugh! Definite no-no to me. Give me comfy flats any day!

Cherie J said...

Like Laura J mentioned I also am a stay at home mom so I dress for comfort. I would not know the difference if you made a fashion mistake. Usually, I get so caught up in the plot that it does not matter what the characters are wearing.

danetteb said...

HI Shelley,
I'm not particular about clothes in books, I only really notice the clothes when they're coming off :D

I've got a comfortable style either summer dresses or shorts and a's ok I know I'm a bit of beach bum.

Hugs, Danette

JOYE said...

I am very clothes conscious so yes, I notice how the author describes the outfits. I guess that's why I enjoy reading historical novels. I used to say it doesn't matter as long as you are pressed and neat but anymore I added, and dressed appropriately for the occasion. I am so tired of going to weddings and seeing everyone in levis. Also, I think the more casual the dresser, so goes their lack of manners. When people dress up they act differently. Anyway, I am wearing my spider web hosiery on Halloween BOO

dobby said...

I dress casually but there times when dressing up and being a "girl" is fun. In books I don't really notice the clothes/fashion unless it is very out of place.

Ashley Linn said...


I read and reread books and I hardly ever notice if their clothes match or not. Unless the author points it out to me. Even if for some weird reason I would notice, I find mismatched people endearing. Probably because I am frequently a mismatched person. I will go out of the house in a really horrible combination of clothes and not realize it until my day is half over...So, mismatch away. I like it.

I'm wearing two different colored socks right now...


Tracy said...

Hi Shelly! I love clothes! All shapes and styles. And shoes! Love shoes. Now, that being said, do I buy all of that? No. I go for mostly jeans and nicer t-shirts. I dress casually for my job and you can mostly find me in tennis shoes. I do dress up on occasion, but not very often.

I do notice clothing in books though and if things are right, I have to stop and re-read! lol. I loved the way Camille in Yasmine Galenorn's Witchling dressed - if I could transplant her wardrobe to my closet I'd be a mighty happy woman! :)

Tracy said...

I apparently can't type today! The sentence was supposed to say:

I do notice clothing in books though and if things AREN'T right, I have to stop and re-read!

Sorry! :)

Sue A. said...

I'm not interested in fashion enough to know current trends or to know designer names. So it really isn't important to the telling of a story for me.

orannia said...

Hi Shelley,

Hmmm, I kind of notice what clothes the characters are wearing, but more as an afterthought (which is probably why my wardrobe consists of trackpants and T-shirts [the work dress code is very relaxed], mostly in black and grey). I have to say I find it hard to relate to heroines who are 'done up to the nines', probably because that's so far from me. Saying that, I do notice the clothes in the Anita Blake books...probably because they are listed. A list I don't want - details, such as texture and colour, especially if it adds to the story, definitely. See, I liked knowing that Vaughan had soft fluffy was because, as Faith deduced, he liked strokable things :)

Oh, and YAH! It's so nice to discover another Kiwi author :)


Anonymous said...

Hmmm, well, I work 4-41/2 hours every day at the library so I usually just throw on a pair of slacks or nice pants and a sweater or nice shirt. I'm more of a casual dress person. I go for comfort.

I usually don't pay close attention to what the caracters are wearing, so don't worry about me tattling on you. Your'e safe by me.

Jaded Britt

Shelley Munro said...

Wow! You guys are quick with the comments! ;)
Thanks, Nalini for inviting me along today. Except not so much of the loooooooong, please. It made me feel my age. Well, that and the buggy thing I think I've caught.

Laura J. - phew! I'm glad we're on the same team. I tell you my editor put real fear into me. I have to really concentrate on clothes or the lack of now :)

Ashley - I'm with you. Comfort all the way!

Shelley Munro said...

Hi Jaycee. Thanks so much! And I agree. Designer clothes need to be crayola resistant :)

Bookstoredeb - we are of one accord. Heels are not comfortable!! Pretty doesn't equate to comfort, that's for sure. Do you think they were invented by a male or a female?

Shelley Munro said...

Hi Cherie - that's good! This morning I was thinking about the jobs I've had and most involved wearing a uniform. I never minded because I didn't have to think very hard about what to wear. Monday mornings can be quite difficult if you have to think as well ;)

Nathalie said...


Love to read more about guest bloggers because everyday I discover new appealing authors :)

Lily said...

Love fashion... it is almost an obsession, though I am not a compulsive buyer!

Shelley Munro said...

Hi Danette - being a beach bum sounds great to me. All that Hawaiian sunshine. Can't think of anything better!

Joye - yes, I agree. When I read a historical dress is important because it indicates status, gives color and shapes the character. It's not just those corsets!

It's true that people don't dress up much anymore. My hubby always makes me smile because he loves to dress up a little bit, and don't say I told you so, but he's a little vain :) When I say dress up I mean smart trousers and a nice shirt and jacket, sometimes a tie.

I love the sound of your spider web hosiery. I enjoy hearing about halloween and feel quite left out because we don't really celebrate it down here in NZ.

Shelley Munro said...

Hi Dobby - I agree. Despite my protests, I do dress up sometimes and enjoy "girlie" things. Um...apart from high heels.

Ash - LOL. Mostly my socks match but I do have lots of bad hair days. I'm just glad there aren't many people around when I take the dog for a walk in the mornings!

tetewa said...

I like to dress comfortable so I usually where shorts and t-shirts in the summer and sweats and sweatshirts in the winter. Glad to have you here today and good luck on your recent release.

Shelley Munro said...

Tracy - ah, yes. Camille did have some very cool sounding clothes. I have to keep reading this series to find out about that Smoky the dragon - mystery man!

Hi Sue. I always look at the fashion shows on TV etc and wonder who on Earth would wear the clothes. I don't think it would be possible to sit down in some of them.

Shelley Munro said...

Orannia - hi! Doesn't Nalini write the best heroes? I'm like you. I don't like lists but tactile images that are enough to help me picture the scene are great.

Jaded Britt - thanks! It's good to know that I'm not alone :-)

Shelley Munro said...

Hi Nathalie - I've discovered lots of new authors through blogs, too. Thanks for visiting!

Lily - maybe I could come to you for fashion advice? should probably start running...

Tetewa - thanks so much! I was really excited when Nalini invited me to visit.

Amy S. said...

Hi Shelly!

Great post! I usually just wear tshirts and jeans. I hate wearing dresses. lol. I've went most of the summer wearing sandals. Now that it's getting colder, I'm having to wear tennis shoes. Much more comfortable with sandals. lol. I don't really pay to much attention to what the characters are wearing. The only time I pay attention to what the characters are wearing is when the author is describing them at the beginning of the story.

Cathy said...

I might get my mind stuck on that boot thing, too, but, overall it's just not what I notice much. And I am totally a casual girl, love my jeans, my Birkenstocks, and my comfy sweats. While I was working, shopping was such a chore, I just never enjoyed playing dress up all that much. If you had put me in a uniform, I would have been totally happy. lol

Stacey said...

If I'm not working I'm in casual. . . if it feels good then I'm wearing it. . . I don't like having to dress up and feel like I'm in a stright-jacket lol

Amy Gallow said...

Hi Shelley,
There's two questions here. How do you dress yourself and how do yo dress your characters.

In the first, like you, much of my working life involved uniforms or special purpose clothing, which was a great cop out (no accusations of poor taste or morning decisions) Retirement has removed this protection and I now dress comfortably in favorite clothes, to the point where the people around me scream their frustration. Yet, I love formal occasions, when we dress to the nines (as long as they don't come too frequently)

Dressing my characters is another matter entirely and their clothes are determined by the story and chosen with care. There is something touchingly erotic about the removal of certain items of clothing and undressing forms a powerful element of the preliminaries to seduction's climax. I recently ventured into historical fiction(around Jane Austen's time) and a one-woman-show based on her letters gave me a delightful insiight into the clothing of the day as the actor (political correctness here) changed outfits on stage. The effect of technology on clothing design is quiote fascinating.

I am a product of my generation so contemporary romance sends me to women's and fashion magazines and my daughters.

Kat said...

Hi Shelly,

I'm a strictly jeans, t-shirt, and flip-flops kinda girl, which means I shop pretty much at Gap, Old Navy and Hot Topic. There are sometimes I love to dress up (read: ballgown). But that's rare.

I don't really pay attention to what characters are wearing. The only time I notice is if the heroines in every single book in a series wear the same exact thing. Then it's noticable after 10 books or so and that's not good.


Crystal Adkins said...

Hi Shelley! I'm a stay at home mom so clothing is not a big thing for me...I don't have anyone to impress. Although I did just order a very nice corset ;)
So good to see you here :) Love and hugs, Crystal's reviews

catslady said...

I dressed up for work in a downtown office for 15 years - that was enough for me. Mostly I'm casual now. I have to have a good reason to dress up now lol. So I have to admit I don't pay a lot of attention to clothing styles in my reading.

Love the cover to The Shadow!

Pamk said...

wow sounds like a great read. I seriously need to get your alien stories they sound hilarious.

Christina Phillips said...

I really don't notice whether a character's clothes are described or not. A quick - she flung on jeans and top - is generally enough for me, unless a particular style of clothes is going to play some kind of important role in the scene or whatever.

And yes I'm definitely a casual dresser, lol! Though I did have a few bad moments soon after moving to Oz when people talked about wearing thongs on their feet. In the UK you wear flip flops on your feet and thongs on your bottom!!

Shelley Munro said...

Hi Amy - we're just moving into sandal weather down this end of the world. I can't wait for the warmer weather to arrive!

Cathy - I think I missed a gene somewhere because on the whole I don't enjoy shopping. The only shopping I like is book shopping and food shopping. Hubby loves the food shopping part, too, but isn't quite as keen on the books. I dragged him into every Borders I saw on our recent holiday in Hawaii :-)

Shelley Munro said...

Stacey - no strait jackets for me either. Thank goodness corsets aren't a necessary part of the wardrobe these days!

Amy - thanks for visiting. Yes, uniforms were a good part of the job IMO. The one woman show sounds as if it was interesting. The sensory details in relation to clothing do add richness and up the sensual tension. I agree.

Shelley Munro said...

Kat - I don't really notice clothes in books either unless, as you say, there's lots of repeating. With my current WIP I'm making a conscious effort to include more of the sensory aspect. We'll see how I go.

Hi Crystal - Thanks! Tell me more about this corset. Did you order it online? I have a storyline in mind :-)

Shelley Munro said...

Catslady - thanks. I love The Shadow's cover, too. I think the colors are very striking.

PamK - thanks. Talking Dogs, Aliens and Purple People Eaters was my very first book for Ellora's Cave and I still have a soft spot for Luke and Janaya.

Christina - LOL about the thongs. I worked with quite a few Australians when we were in London. They had some weird names for lots of things. It took me a while to convert it into Kiwi speak!

Nalini Singh said...

Thanks Nalini for inviting me along today. Except not so much of the loooooooong, please. It made me feel my age.

No need to worry, Shell - you still look as young and lovely as the first day I met you *grin*

Crystal Adkins said...

HI Shelley, I don't get to dress up much like I said so I thought I would buy this corset to spice things up a bit, its electric blue with black lace. It's coming from Australia but it is just beautiful! It also comes with the matching black stockings, thong, and garder belt. I think it will be a shocker for my hubby to see me transformed from mommy to vixen :) I thought about even getting those snap on extentions to lengthen my already long hair. What could be more sexy than riding your man and leaning back so that your hair can tickle his thighs?
What kinda story line do you have in mind?

Jennifer K. said...

Hey, Shelly (I'm from North Carolina, U.S.A., so we say hey instead of hi)

Anyway, casual is my dress of choice. Definitely. Jeans, tennis shoes and T-shirt or baggy shirt.

I do sometimes notice what characters are wearing. I actually just set aside a clothing catalog I received in the mail because I thought if I was writing a character who wanted to go to a club somewhere, she should wear some of these clothes. I'd have to use a catalog to dress a character since I have very little fashion sense of my own.

Jennifer K. said...

Oh, and as a P.S. to my post, I HAVE paid a lot of attention to how people are dressed in at least one genre ... cartoons.

It always used to bug me to death how the characters wore THE SAME CLOTHES every single episode. In the "Spider-Friends"? Same clothes. "He-Man"? Same clothes. "GI-Joe"? Same clothes!

Somebody tell those artist people to change their clothes every once in a while.

OK. I'm done. ;)

lisabea said...

Since my background is in costume design, I do notice the clothing. But I don't want a laundry list, I just want to get a feel for who the character is through their choices. And, I'm not a stickler for complete historical accuracy, either, unless it's glaring obvious.

Shelley Munro said...

Nalini, well thank goodness for that!! *grin*

Shelley Munro said...

Crystal - the corset sounds lovely and very sexy. Hubby is in for a treat ;)

I actually thought I'd have a good girl turned bad sort of story line but it's still a vague glimmer in my mind at this stage. I need to finish off some of my stories in progress before I let myself start another.

Shelley Munro said...

Hey Jennifer K. Good idea about the catalogues, unless you have a hubby like mine. He's always trying to tidy up (and that means throwing away things). It drives me crazy.

I had to laugh about the cartoons. I immediately thought of the Flintstones and their wardrobe. From memory it changed ocasionally.

Shelley Munro said...


Yes, clothing choice is a good way of showing another facet of character.

Maureen said...

When there is a dressy occasion it always has me confused. I want to dress appropriately so I travel from store to store trying to find something that is just right.

Amanda Ashby said...

Jeans, t-shirts, trainers. Yup, that's me!

Crystal Adkins said...

Shelley, I think a good girl turned naughty would be a wonderful story line :)
I will be on the lookout for it in the future :p

Angie-la said...

I guess I am sort of a paradox...I love designer clothes and shoes. I love to read about them, look at them, see other folks in them, but I am a jeans and sandals gal all the way. :)
I actually purchase more high end clothing for my teen-aged sons than I do for myself!

Pam said...

I like casual and all about comfort now - jeans, a Tee, no shoes indoors. Occasionally I like to dress up a bit more but still stay casual.

Shelley Munro said...

Maureen - I hear you. That's the reason I loved wearing a uniform at work. Everyone else hated them but not me!

Hi Amanda! I can see you're a typical Kiwi ;-)

Tracy said...

Ok - this is too funny - I was thinking of you and your editor last night as I read a story (author to remain anonymous) and they couple was having a nice time - then she unzipped and took his trousers off - then he was "pushing into her". I was LMAO as I realized that the author hadn't said a word about her undressing!! All I could think was, how is he doing that while she's fully dressed??? Anyway, had a good laugh!

Shelley Munro said...

Thanks, Crystal! I've just remembered a website I came across while reading the Air NZ Inflight magazine.
They're all about corsets.

Angie-la - you'd better be careful or I'll be chasing you for fashion help. My nephews and nieces are very fashion-orientated and into labels. Actually, maybe I should corral one of them to help me.

Pam - there's a lot to be said for comfort! :)

Shelley Munro said...

Tracy - there! You see how easy it is to get caught out. those clothes are sneaky little blighters ;-) LOL

Nalini Singh said...

I've run the random numbers, and the winner of Shelley's giveaway is: ANGIE-LA

Please email me at nalinisinghwrites @ (without the spaces) with your address.

Congratulations! :)

blessedheart said...

I don't really pay as much attention to clothes as I do to other areas of a story, like the description of the surrounding area, or the physical description of the characters.

Rhonda :-)