Since Melissa visited my blog and talked music for the release of VIOLET BY DESIGN, I thought it would be fun to visit her blog and talk fashion for the release of my debut novel I WANNA BE YOUR JOEY RAMONE.When I was 18 and going to the very radical Antioch College, the sole goth kid among a group of punk friends, we had one friend who we called "Fashion Bug." We called him this because he was a bit of a "fashion punk," overly concerned about dying his hair and what he was wearing and he just primped way more than any punk rocker should. Because punk rock is about politics and music, not about how many safety pins are on your clothing and how big your Mohawk is, dammit! And this is definitely true to a degree. I don't like it when people are into punk solely as a rebellious fashion statement and who think about their clothing choices more than their political choices (not that Fashion Bug really was like that, we just liked to tease him), but I ain't gonna lie, I do love clothes and have always had a unique sense of style. In a way my weird clothes probably led me to punk rock--not because I coveted punk fashion, but because my fashion choices made me a misfit and being a misfit I found solace in punk rock. I started wearing stripey tights, Converse sneakers, and odd outfits from vintage stores, thrift shops and odd local boutiques when I was about 10. I did not fit in with my Gap and Keds wearing peers. It was okay. Eventually I found people who wanted to go shopping with me at Ragstock and the Alley on Belmont and Clark in Chicago. Those are very hip places now, but back in the early nineties, it was where the punks hung out. In fact the Dunkin Donuts on the corner was known as Punk'n Donuts. The fashion icons of my teenage years were Spike from the original Degrassi High and early nineties Courtney Love (ie. smeared red lipstick and babydoll dresses). Vintage dresses (along with great jeans) are still my number one fashion weakness to this day. I have a closet full of them and can't help myself from buying more. As for the Spike influence, I actually asked my mom if I could do my hair like Spike's when I was ten and she put her foot down. I started doing funky stuff with my hair at the beginning of sophomore year of high school and haven't seen my natural color since. First, I put a blonde streak in it. Then I dyed that streak many different colors. Then I went totally platinum. Then gothic black. Then I put different color streaks in the black, like pink and purple and blue. Then back to platinum. Then I got a "real job" and decided to go with reddish blond. My hair was funky and respectable for about two years... until yesterday. How did I celebrate my book release day? By dying my bangs pink of course!!! Hopefully it will fade in the next few weeks because I don't think my boss is gonna like it very much... Emily Black, the main character of I WANNA BE YOUR JOEY RAMONE, shares my love for vintage dresses. And she planned to wear one for her first gig. Here is the excerpt from the book: As un-punk as it was to do so, I even planned out what I was going to wear: a short, sea green, velvet dress that I'd found at a thrift store in Madison. I thought it complemented my father's Lake Placid blue '69 Mustang and that it just looked hot. I wanted to be a million times sexier and more mysterious than the false deities whose arrogance I'd fallen for at River's Edge. Like Emily, I've been planning what I'm going to wear at my book release party forever. Well, at least since Christmas when my boyfriend bought me this awesome Sailor Jerry dress. So here's what I'll look like if you come out to party with me tonight: Well, hopefully I don't sound like a total fashion punk, but hey, I don't really care. You'll usually find me talking music and politics, but today I'm pretty thrilled about my pink hair. Note from Melissa: I love pink bangs, and I'm psyched on that dark-and-summery Sailor Jerry number. Have a great party, Stephanie! And everyone reading: Do you have your copy of I Wanna Be Your Joey Ramone yet? PS-Go visit Stephanie's blog to see an interview with the awesome Jolene Siana, and comment to win a copy of her incredible book, Go Ask Ogre!