"Happy Halloween" Tumblr Series

Starting tomorrow afternoon (US eastern time), I begin my "Happy Halloween" series on tumblr. I will be posting scans of some spooky girl detective book covers (mostly Trixie Belden) and a few other things. Feel free to go over there and check them out.

As for this blog, I continue to work on it in what spare time I have. I'm not 100% happy with the current layout/colour scheme, but it will do for now. More posts and some re-written older posts will be up soon.

How to Be a Femme Fatale

The femme fatale is the plucky girl detective grown up and world-weary. She's seen too much, and cares too little. The only person she can trust is herself.

It can be a cold, isolated way of living, but it sure does protect her from heartbreak - and gets her a few choice jewels along the way (because every femme fatale loves jewels). So if you're feeling more like a jaded bitch than an earnest little girl, let's take a moment to consider how to be a femme fatale.

"Bart, I've been kicked around all my life, and from now on, I'm gonna start kicking back."
—Annie Laurie Starr, Gun Crazy aka Deadly is the Female (1950)

1. Dress to Kill

"I don't go to church. Kneeling bags my nylons."
Lorraine MinosaAce in the Hole (1951)

Attitude is important, but the femme fatale's looks are what ensure the interest of every man in a two-block radius. To channel the classic femmes fatales, you should be polished in all places at all times: Hair. Make-up. Clothes. Nails. Be coiffed and confident.

Recommended colour palettes are blacks with splashes of dark red. Make-up should be dramatic, because you never know when you'll be filmed in black and white. Contour, contour, contour. Your cheekbones should be sharp enough to slit throats.

2. Speak in witticisms 

Men like a little danger, at least stereotypical film noir men do. Send them to their knees with your caustic wit. Or you could flirt a little like Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall in this famous scene (the best part is from 1:59-2:49):

3. Be sexy

Think soft, throaty voice. Slow, deliberate movements. Draw attention to your most attractive areas: lips, neck, collarbone, fingers. A quirked eyebrow here, a suck of a straw there. You've got this one.

4. Confidence is key 

“She tried to sit in my lap while I was standing up.”
—Philip Marlowe, The Big Sleep (1946)

Who can resist someone who is so certain they're hot shit that they project it everywhere? Even if you don't feel confident, fake it till you make it. And don't forget...

5. Leave your emotions at home 

The femme fatale is a creature who exists mainly in smoky bars, dark cafes and mysterious train rides. She has no time for emotions other than confidence, lust and greed, and neither should you. If you have to break down, wait until no one can see you but your empty shell of an apartment.

6. Don't let it take you over

There's nothing less femme fatale than a girl whose drinking, smoking, and pessimism overtakes her and she loses control. Remember, you control the femme fatale, she doesn't control you. Also remember: never fall in love with the protagonist. It rarely ends well.

7. Always have a back-up plan

"Didn't you hear about me, Gabe? If I'd been a ranch, they would've named me the Bar Nothing."
Gilda Mundson Farrell, Gilda (1946)

Your thief lover double-crossed you and stole the coveted emerald you spent the last week stealing? Fine, double-cross him with the private dick you were flirting with last night. He wants to take the emerald for himself as well? No problem, just call up the Detective Inspector you slept with last October.

A good femme fatale knows she can be betrayed at any minute, so she must be prepared. Have a back-up plan for your back-up plan. And then get one for that, too.

I found my quotes on this great site.