Saturday, July 21, 2012

Black, White and Shades of Blue - Shannon Curtis

Have you ever had one of those days when you looked in the mirror, and thought you totally rocked your outfit, only to have others stare at you in horror as you strut your way through the day?

Welcome to my world. I’m colour confused (not to be confused with colour blindness). I can’t tell my blues from my purples, my pinks from my oranges, etc.

So for my second novel, Guarding Jess, writing about a woman who not only knew her blues from her purples, but who could also advise others on what to wear, was a real stretch for me (cue my close friends and family rolling on the floor, laughing). I was initially drawn to writing about a character who was an etiquette and image consultant through a really bad customer service experience with a really rude employee at a phone company, and I discovered that talking, behaving and communicating successfully went hand in glove with personal presentation.

I learned of my…quirk…the hard way. I wore an outfit to work that didn’t co-ordinate. At all. A kind friend took me aside one day to ask me why I’d worn a purple blouse with a certain skirt. That was my first clue that something was wrong. (What do you mean it’s not blue? I won’t even mention the shoes.)  I’ve had many similar situations occur since then – so many, in fact, that I generally have to ask others ‘does this go together?’ before leaving the house.

I discovered a whole new world of beauty and creativity when I researched this story – clothing styles, shoes, handbags – I discovered a hidden desire for Olga Berg handbags and Christian Louboutin shoes, and I’m not sure how to recover from this affliction.

My heroine, Jessica Pennington, does not have this problem. In fact, she’s the opposite. She knows the right thing to say at the right moment, manages to look fabulous with a minimum of effort, and sees fashion shopping is a necessity, not a punishment. Yes, I know, this is the kind of woman you’d love to hate (hence her stalker), but despite appearances, she isn’t perfect. This imperfect Miss Prissy was the ideal mate for my hero, Noah Samuels – a no-nonsense, tell-it-like-it-is kinda a guy – who doesn’t see the point in saying stuff just for the sake of polite conversation.

Oh, and he totally rocked, in and out of his clothes. Let’s just say that he convinces Miss Prissy to try a little naughty on for size, and leave at that.


I loved writing about these two – one who knew exactly what to do and when, and one who said and did what he wanted, and damn the consequences.

Anyway, getting back to totally rocking an outfit (not) tell me, what fashion trend would you like to see resurrected? Fluoro socks? Shoulder pads a Boeing 747 could land on? Safari suits?
Leave a comment and Lee will select a winner for a copy of my second romantic suspense novel, Guarding Jess!

Feel free to drop by my website,, for more information on the McCormack Security Agency series!

***Shannon's winner is Di!  Congratulations!  Please email with your name and mailing info!***


Karen H in NC said...

Can't say there's any particular fashion fad or style I'd like to see return. However, watching Mad Men brings back memories of some of the outfits I wore to work in the early 60's. That was the day in most offices, regardless of the business, men wore suits and ties and women wore dresses, hosiery and high heels. I remember a pair of navy and white slingback spectator shoes I wore and loved!

Took a look at your website too. Your books sound like really good stories. Going to take a closer look at your work. Thanks for visiting and thanks for the giveaway.

Laurie G said...

I'm a jeans and sweater comfortable, casual clothes woman. I dislike wearing skirts and dresses.

I still like the pea coats and toggle style coats that were popular in the 70's. I like blazers with nice slacks too.

I hated the shoulder pads and leisure suits.

I do like flowers in your hair!

Eli Yanti said...

i'm a fashioner actually so i simple wear jeans and t-shirt :)

Kathleen O said...

The only thing about my sense of fashion is I love colour.. I never wear stripes, horizontal or vertical. I love basic pieces and I have lots of black and white to match with all the colours in my wardrobe. And that god the shoulder pads went out..
What I would love to see stay is that basic Long shirt with stretchy pants we used to wear in the 90's.. or was that the 80's.. Anyway, I always felt comfortable in those outfits... Oh and you had to wear heels with them at all times..

Jane said...

I think a safari suit would be pretty chic. I loved Grace Kelly's outfits in Rear Window and can totally see that style become popular again.

erin said...

thanks for a great post and congrats on the newest release!

I'm a tshirt and jeans kinda gal so fashion doesn't really thrill me. I hate shopping! But one thing that I would change if I could would be to make the shorts that the girls are wearing these days just a few inches longer... I'm no prude but this season's shorts are ridiculous!

Michele L. said...

Oh my gosh, the guy on your cover is a total hunk! Wow! Anyway, I always loved bell bottoms on pants. Although, they do have pants now-adays with a boot cut which is pretty similar. I had this black outfit in the 80's with tailered leggings with a snap at the ankle, black/white top with spaghetti straps and a tailered black sweater that I just loved! I wore it with a pair of black high heels. I just loved that look! It made me look so thin!
There was another outfit that loved which I always got so many compliments on was a cream colored sweater that was cropped and had a fuzzy collar,(really elegant looking), with a tailered pair of cream slacks that were lined and a cream colored blouse that had a low draped v-neck with gold buttons along with a pair of kitten high heels. It was such a comfy outfit and so nice looking at the same time. I worked at an architectural firm so I had to dress up all the time.
I guess the elegant outfits of days gone by are the ones I wish would come back.

Di said...

Everything seems to come around again eventually in fashion, just because designers have to change each season. I just like classic comfortable clothes & shoes - tho often those are hard to find. So perhaps that is what I would like to see more of, basic navy blue pants & skirts - they are very hard to find.

Annie West said...

Shannon, commisserations on the colour perception problem, but good on you having someone so great at it as your heroine! Like Jane I loved some of Grace Kelly's outfits, not only in 'Rear Window' but what about that amazing ball gown in 'To Catch a Thief'? But personally I don't favour the corseted look. But something I always want more of - polka dots - they always make me smile.

Pat Cochran said...

There are very few fashion styles that I
would enjoy seeing again! I like a more
classy look, so I vote for Grace Kelly
and add in Audrey Hepburn! I didn't like
every thing they wore, but most were so
elegant. Those Hepburn "little black
dresses" were to die for!

Pat C.

marybelle said...

I have always loved tie dyed clothing. Bring back the Hippie.

Maureen said...

Fashion trends and I never did get along but I would like to see flats become more popular since I am tall.
mce1011 AT aol DOT com

David said...

i love blue color. and you are very fabulous colors matching adviser. thanks
fashion stylist