Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Cross-Dress for Success:
“The Man in the Red Dress”

By Darvell Hunt

I placed fourth in the LDStorymakers first-chapter writing contest in romance/women’s fiction over the weekend. I believe I’m the first male to ever place in the romance section of this contest. I think that’s a good thing.

To accept my women’s fiction award, I wore a long dark wig and a red dress, and ran while cheering to the podium. I did this in front of some 250 or more people, with representatives from most of the LDS publishers with whom I have an interest in publishing.

It seemed like such a good idea at the time.

This is the first time I’ve worn a dress in public. I am quite sure that everybody there will remember me, which I think is probably a good thing, too. Writing conferences are not just about learning from the classes, but networking with people in the industry and making an impression.

Well, a man with a mustache and goatee in a red dress, screaming and cheering as he runs to the front of the room, probably made some sort of an impression. If I want to remind anybody who I was at the conference, all I have to say is “the man in the red dress” and they’ll remember.

My writing group, Authors Incognito, told me if I won, I should accept my award under the name of D. D. Hunt (my real initials) while in a dress, but I told them “I ain’t wearing no stinkin’ dress!”

But the night before the winners were announced, I thought, “Oh, why not? Might be fun!” I didn’t, however, tell anyone what I was doing—after all, what if I didn’t win?

Well, I did win. Nichole had brought me a wig, which I think is all my writing group expected me to wear. (Well, along with my normal clothes—I mean, wearing a dress was like a weird dream, but not the one where you’re naked in public!)

Curiously, even the guest speaker I met there who wrote the script for Friday the 13th (Part 9): Jason Goes to “An Unpleasant Place” congratulated me on my contest win—and I wasn’t even wearing my red dress and wig at the time for him to recognize me.

Now I have to actually write the rest of the story that won. All I have is the rough-draft of a prologue that I wrote three years ago and found on my hard drive the night I was submitting to the contest. I don’t even know the main character’s name yet.

The title, however, is Butter Diggers. Sounds like a juicy romance, huh?

(Thanks to Nichole Giles and Connie Hall for the pictures.)


Carolyn V. said...

Congrats on the win! You were very memorable and whenever I see you, I will be jealous of your gorgeous long hair.

LexiconLuvr said...

I think it was a brilliant idea! It was fun, funny, and really lightened up things. (There's so much tension in a room while waiting for things like that. =] ) Best acceptance ever!
Congratulations on winning!!!

Rebecca Talley said...

DD, might I suggest a trip to the salon for a bit of waxing before accepting your next award?!

As soon as I heard your name, I started laughing!

Congrats on your win!

Covington Sensation's said...

I wish there was someway we could read some of the winning entries! That would be cool. If you ever want a critique of your work let me know. I joined author's incognito this past weekend. That's so cool that you won! The writer's conference was the BEST! I want a copy of Stella/Tedward for my hubby to read! hilarious stuff!

Danyelle Ferguson said...

D.D. - It was so great to finally meet you after all this time. I mean, Darvell talked about you for years but refused to let you come out of the woodwork. We at AI have been trying to convince him to let that you come out of the box - and I'm so glad he finally did. :)

Seriously though - congrats on your win, Darvell! Now get back to writing! We want to read the book!!!

Heather Justesen said...

I'd love to cross dress if it meant I could succeed faster, but I doubt it would work the same for me...anyway, congrats on your award, and get back to writing the dang thing!

Nichole Giles said...

Dude...I mean, dudette...I mean D.D.--or whatever you're going by at the moment. That was one of the best highlights of the conference. It was brave and brilliant and no one will forget your ingenious win.



Anonymous said...

D.D. was the highlight of the conference - I only wish I'd had a video camera. The still shots are good, but they just don't do the whole episode justice.

Karlene said...

I thought you were hilariously funny.