*disclaimer: I don't love the Arctic Monkeys as much as other people do, but this was the perfect title.
CODA started with a mental image. Just a glimpse, but one that engaged all of my senses. I knew how the room sounded, how it smelled. How warm the room was and where all the lights were. Most of all, I could see the boy in the middle of the crowd, dancing, lost in the music. Within minutes, I knew more about him than I do about the guy who makes me my caramel lattes at least four times a week. (And he's pretty chatty.)
When the chance came to write a post on what's in my main character's wardrobe, I jumped at it. Image is an important thing in CODA (as it is in a lot of books) and it wouldn't be the same book if I'd pictured Anthem, so many months ago, in different shoes. I would've liked him just as much if he were a jeans-and-Converse kind of guy, but it would be a different story. Many of the people who've read it so far have told me what a visual book it is, and all of that stems from that initial picture of Anthem in my head.
Cybergoth boy? Cyberpunky book. Of course, I could have put him as the outcast in an ordinary suburban high school, but I liked the idea of that being a "standard" look across the story. Anyway, it guided me through so much of the worldbuilding, plot, and necessary characters. It gave me a tone to aim for.
And if you're going to have a character turn into a rockstar, he needs to look good onstage. ;)
I mentioned shoes, so we'll start with those. As Anthem himself points out, they're the one thing he splurged on. Other things he can sew, mend, or alter himself, but "shoes are harder to make than they look." (It's possible he gets his shoe thing from me. Possible.) For these, we turn to my favorite goth-cyber-biker shoe manufacturer, New Rock:
Brutal. It takes a while to break those babies in, on that I speak from experience.
For the rest, picture black. A lot of it. Some blue, because he likes blue. PVC, tight shirts, and fishnet. This picture, which turned up on my tumblr dash a while ago, is the closest representation of Anthem--and his wardrobe--I've ever seen. It actually kind of creeped me out when I first saw it, like my main character had just popped into existence somewhere and let someone take a picture of him.
Naturally, no self-respecting post-apocalyptic cybergoth would be without his (or her) trusty gas mask.
Finally, Anthem is the proud owner of a set of glowing, blue neon tubes that twist through his hair. I used to have a set, long ago, but mine were powered by way of a tiny battery hidden in my hair, and not, you know, by plugging them into a jack in my neck.
Emma Trevayne is the author of CODA, a YA cyberpunk novel about an evil corporation who use music as an auditory drug to subdue a futuristic society, out Spring 2013 from Running Press Kids. She can be found on her blog, on Goodreads, or on Twitter.