Wear Comfy Shoes

I am about to launch the sixth Alafair Tucker mystery, The Wrong Hill to Die On, An Alafair Tucker Mystery.  In fact, if you’re reading this entry on Saturday, I’m probably at Poisoned Pen Bookstore right now.  Wish you were there with me.  But as I write, I’m still in the pre-launch mode. Time is so close, the reality of it all has set in, and I find myself pondering the universal question : What am I going to wear?


My original plan for the event was to lose twenty pounds and get a face lift, but time grows short, so I’m settling for a nice outfit.  This happens with every book launch, and I don’t know why I bother.  I’ve been to many an author talk in my time, and it seems to me that the bigger the name, the rattier the look.  I suppose that when you’re rich and famous, why should you care?


Being neither rich nor famous, I’m always concerned about my clothes, though after six books, I’ve learned a lot about what not to do.  When my first book, The Old Buzzard Had It Coming, was launched in 2005, I decided I had to have a new pair of fetching shoes. I looked for weeks for something delicious to go with my carefully considered outfit, and finally chose a pair of gold backless sandals with a 2″ heel. They looked lovely as long as I remained still. I hadn’t worn heels in so long that I tended to pitch forward when I tried to walk with any speed. They made me taller than I’m used to, as well, and I found myself trying not to knock myself out when I passed under low objects. I really wanted to appear charming and dignified, so I had to be very careful not to end up sprawled on the floor with my arms and legs all askew and one of my new sandals wedged up under a bookshelf.


I discovered that if I carefully lifted and placed each foot as I walk, I could perambulate slowly but gracefully around the room, looking rather languorous and somewhat mysterious, like an Egyptian ibis. Fortunately I didn’t have to escape from predators or otherwise beat a hasty retreat. But those dang shoes added a dimension of discomfort that I didn’t need to an already nerve-wracking experience.

For the next book, Hornswoggled, my heels were a little lower, and even lower for Book Three, The Drop Edge of Yonder. In fact, the more books I come out with, the better my feet like it, because if there’s anything I’ve learned after launching six books, it is that you can’t put on a good program when your feet hurt.

So if any of you are wondering about the proper attire for a book launch, allow me to offer you some hard-won wisdom:  Dress to the nines, if you wish, but wear comfy shoes.


16 Responses to Wear Comfy Shoes

  1. Congrats on the launch Donis. It’s comforting to know someone else sweats the right look for this incredibly glamorous occupation. I’ve never figured out what a writer should look like, but I suspect my clothes aren’t it.

  2. Humorous & good to know!

    I love heels, hate to hear one loses the ability to pirouette in them as I am way out of practice, been living in comfortable shoes like SASes and other brands that feel that good for awhile. I think I’ll wear a blazer and turtleneck jeans and comfortable shoes when my time comes. Unless I am tiny by then.

  3. Dr. Seuss would be proud of your 2012 look. I sure as heck know that I am! On the subject of dress, I was once told by a TV stylist that male writers are expected to appear in jeans for TV interviews otherwise they’re not taken seriously… though I’m not sure how high the heels are supposed to be…or if open toe is preferable…

  4. One can look quite elegant in neat new jeans with fancy shirt / blouse and jacket, really, and a pair of sturdy, comfortable shoes. (Mind you, this is coming from someone whose first act upon getting to the office in the morning is to shuck the shoes and put on the L L Beans “wicked good slippers”. What the hey, I don’t have to deal with the public!)

    I was at a house concert once where the performer (wonderful Canadian folksinger named Maria Dunn) very calmly explained that her grandmother had knitted those slippers for her, and by god and by golly she was going to wear them and be comfortable. She did, and she was. 😉

    –Mario R.

  5. Absolutely love the socks — or are they tights? As for public appearances, I maintain that my working clothes are what I would wear if ever we managed to get the courage to do one, so my look would be casual, jeans and a t-shirt, but that’s just me — no interest in clothes as such plus I only possess two pairs of footwear, to wit, a pair of clogs and some battered running shoes. What a hopeless case I am!

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