Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Who Do Authors Dress Up As On Halloween?

What should writers dress up as for Halloween?  


Ok, I won’t quit my day job promoting and marketing writers.

As I struggle to decide on a costume for the October 31 ritual of being someone I am not and am not likely to be, I thought about what writers, who usually live in fantasy, would wear?

Maybe I should consult scary writers like Edgar Allan Poe, Brian Stoker, Stephen King, Dean Koontz or Mary Shelley about what to wear, but with some of them I’d just be following a dead-end lead.

Amazon ranks Anne Rice as the most popular horror author.  I wonder what she’ll do this Halloween.  Maybe the Horror Writers Association can guide us.  Check out

Actually, some of the hottest costumes this year are of best-selling authors – Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.

Dressing up is just part of the tradition and festivities of the holiday.  Pumpkin carving, trick or treating, hanging scary decorations, and behaving mischievously are par for the course.  So is telling or reading ghost stories around a camp fire.

Maybe the real question is:  Which scary book or short story will you read on Halloween?

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow was published nearly 200 year ago – in 1820 – by Washington Irving.  It is among the earliest examples of American fiction with enduring popularity that’s associated with Halloween.

Classic scary characters like a vampire, werewolf, ghost, mummy, zombie, Frankenstein or devil can still be found, but they seem to be giving away to costumes that reveal dark fantasies, from ones that sexualize parts to ones that combine pop-culture with demons in the news.  We see pimps and dead brides, naughty nurses and superheroes.  There are emojis and tech device costumes.  Will anyone dress up as a writer?

Halloween is supposed to be a holiday where people can have safe fun but sometimes things get out of hand.

Growing up in 1970’s and 1980’s Brooklyn, I was afraid to go to school on Halloween.  Too many punks were up to no good, egging homes, houses, cars and kids.  Bad people used the day to honor their badness while otherwise good people tried to use the day as an excuse to get away with bad behavior.  It may not be the Purge, but Halloween is a get-out-of-jail card for low-level truant behavior.

Halloween is no longer just for kids.  After they stop trick or treating as kids, they dress up for parties in high school and college.  Older adults can dress up if they are attached to kids.  I use my kids as props so I can dress up.

You want to hear a funny story about Halloween?

Way back in the mid-1980s I went to a Halloween party on the Saturday night before Halloween.  Apparently, not everyone knew that the night was linked to celebrating Halloween.  I was dressed as a cowboy, fake gun and all, and waiting at a Brooklyn bus stop in Bensonhurst and all of a sudden two cop cars pull up and cops fall out of their cars, guns – real ones – pointed at me – with shouts of “get down, put you hands up, slowly.” I complied and straightened everything out but that was scary!

Halloween could be a good excuse to watch scary movies, like the horror franchise Nightmare on Elm Street, Friday the 13th, Halloween, or Scream.  Maybe the Purge series will join that list soon.

This Halloween I plan to be something or someone that I’m not, to touch base with the darker, weirder, or freakier side of me – but I will not go as a writer.   

What will you be?


“A classic remains a classic; it stands all the tests of time and changing sensibilities; we read the classics not because we are required to do so, because we have been told to read them, but because they are wiser, more enduring, and provide more pleasure than lesser works.”  -- Helena Hjalmarsson

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Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog 2016 ©.
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