Bringing Willa Snap’s Clockwerk Dress to Life


Once we decided to attend Balticon 52, it was a pretty short jump to: Let’s make Willa’s Clockwerk dress!

But how?*

Well, as luck would have it, we have a costume designer in the family. In fact, Meredith was there from the beginning. After reading an early draft, and after pincushioning me with questions, she dashed off—within minutes—the first design sketch of the dress. She then sat at my side, answering my questions, as I converted her sketch back into words. (Meredith was 14 at the time she drew this sketch. She’s now in her second year at Rutger’s University, pursing a BFA in costume design.)


(please pardon the refrigerator magnets)

Years later, working from a newer draft, Carolyn Arcabascio created a quick napkin sketch, in color, to see if she was on the right track. (She was.)


The dress appears twice in Carolyn’s many illustrations for the book. Once in black and white:


Chapter Twenty-One: Villa da Vinci

And once in color, on the cover:


(detail from the cover)

At this exact second, Meredith is ordering all manner of supplies for the dress, which will be modeled at Balticon this May by two Willa Snap impersonators.

My plan over the next few months is to document Meredith’s progress as she brings Willa Snap’s Clockwerk dress to life. Consider this installment #1. Watch this space.

*All of the above is, of course, complete nonsense. The simple truth is that CeeCee da Vinci swiped the original dress pattern from Clockwerk Couture in the Clockwerk burg, Nimet relayed the pattern to me, and I delivered it to Meredith. There’s a longer version (as you might imagine), involving a midnight burgling, a dozen of Aunt Mila’s Clockwerk cats, a defective Smith & Blazooski mini stun cannon, and the careful deployment of ten balls of yarn (work with what you have). And if Willa ever figures out what we’ve all been up to . . . well, as Nimet would say, “Tanrı yardımcımız olsun” (Heaven help us).


Jaja Toosk


This is Jaja Toosk, bio-engineered pigmy elefantkin and short order cook at the Jolly Rajah Man-o’-War o’ Pancakes. (Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner; open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week).

Willa Snap and the Clockwerk Boy, by Richard Due, illustrated by Carolyn Arcabascio. Coming Dec 2017.

Don’t Mess with the Fez!


Don’t mess with the fez!


CeeCee’s Aunt Mila and Willa’s Clockwerk Outfit

Chapter21_Clockwerk Outfit

CeeCee’s Aunt Mila helps Willa into a Clockwerk outfit.

Willa Snap and the Clockwerk Boy, by Richard Due,
illustrations by Carolyn Arcabascio Illustration. Coming 2017.





In the very back, a little higher than everyone else, sat the largest and oldest cat I’d ever seen. He’d been white once, maybe. His ears were tattered and a single snaggletooth protruded past his raggedy cheek.

Excerpt from Willa Snap and the Clockwerk Boy, by Richard Due, illustrations by Carolyn Arcabascio Illustration. (Coming Dec 2017.)




Tuppence, from Idiot Genius: Willa Snap and the Clockwerk Boy, by Richard Due. Illustrations by Carolyn Arcabascio. (Coming Dec 2017.)


The Blasted Dragon



Excerpt from Willa Snap and the Clockwerk Boy. (Coming Fall 2017.)

We emerged into a hazy courtyard. The Blasted Dragon’s stone exterior looked like two immense dragons curving around face to face, their outstretched wings forming a high-pitched roof. A row of blasted steps between their smoking snouts appeared to be the only way in or out. A rumbling shook the cab.
“What’s that?” asked Nimet nervously.
Bertie glanced uneasily at the top of the steps.
“Wait for it,” he said grimly.
A few seconds later, the dragons’ mouths erupted into a fiery red blaze, completely engulfing each other’s heads.
Nimet let out a little shriek.
I turned to Bertie. “That’s fake, right?”
“Yeah . . . never really had the nerve to check that out.”

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Willa Snap and the Clockwerk Boy, by Richard Due, illustrated by Carolyn Arcabascio.