What inspired me to write Addressed?
Well, as the name of my novel suggests, it was dresses, or, more specifically, the power of a particular dress (or any well-put-together outfit really) to instantly make you feel better and more confident when you wear it.
I think the quote from famous Hollywood costume designer, Edith Head, puts it brilliantly: ‘You can have anything you want in life if you dress for it.’
Each to their own, of course, but I’ve always been a ‘girly girl’, and I love to dress up whenever I can (even if it’s just to take a load of rubbish to the tip, visit the hardware store, or to go to and from the gym!).
It simply gives me a huge amount of pleasure planning, coordinating, accessorising, and of course wearing, my largely vintage- and retro-inspired outfits, particularly my dresses (I have lots of dresses!).
They reflect my individual style, the image I want to portray and my outlook on life, to others.
Of course, it’s always lovely and uplifting to receive compliments from others – often perfect strangers – on how you look.
Those alone make it worth the time and effort taken in trying just that little bit harder with your presentation.
However, for me, the richest reward is in how a well-chosen and put together outfit can instantly make me feel brighter and bolder on the inside and how that is then reflected on the outside.
And that’s when the magic happens …
For me, there have been countless occasions where I can attribute meeting someone who subsequently became very important in my life; getting something valuable to me; overcoming a seemingly insurmountable hurdle or going somewhere special, to what I was wearing.
In short, what I’ve worn has opened doors and created opportunities for me and helped me turn important corners.
For a long while, I thought it was, perhaps, only me who ‘got’ this phenomenon; only me who was privy to the almost unbelievable power of a new frock to change your life!
But then, I connected with thousands and thousands of other women – of all ages and backgrounds – through some social media groups and I found that they all ‘got’ it too.
And, from these likeminded women, I heard story after story of how these ‘dress communities’ – and the connections and friendships forged within them – had successfully turned lives around: stories of previous insecurities stomped on; opportunities created; bad situations reversed and tragedies overcome.
And, tracing your way back to the start of each success story, you inevitably found a special dress (or sometimes a skirt, blouse or even a pair of shoes).
While Addressed is, of course, wholly and solely a work of fiction, my own experiences and these stories I heard from other women who like to dress how they want to be addressed, were my inspiration or, as I prefer to say, ‘dress-piration’.