You might think, because I have a row of red cowboy boots across the top of my website,and a book cover (A Basic Renovation) featuring red cowboy boots, that I have a thing for footwear.
The reality is I have small feet that are difficult to fit. For me shoes are hard to come by. I have a closet full of size 2 and 3 kids shoes and a few pairs of ladies size 5’s–my grown up shoes. The grown up shoes took ages to find. Typically, a shop will only stock ONE five. Lately I’ve discovered the smallest size starts at 6. It is as if feet are getting bigger across the globe because this can’t-find-a-shoe-my-size situation has happened to be on three continents. So those red cowboy boots you see. They took me over a decade to find.
Meanwhile, it took me 15 minutes to find a pair of white Converse Chuck Taylor All Star low tops, size 3.
I like having my feet covered, protected from the elements. When I find a shoe my size, one that I like, one that is comfortable, I buy it. As a result, I have five pairs of Chucks, all size 3. There are the aforementioned white, as well as black, olive, brown and hot pink. The size five I’m-a-big-girl-playing-dress-up shoes I own I have amassed over two decades. This means everything old is new again and I’m in fashion!
As fashionable as I am, the publication of A Basic Renovation made me notice something about my shoes. While I don’t have a shoe fetish, I clearly have something deeply psychological, far down in my subconscious about the shoes in my life because in everything I ‘ve written I’ve described how characters are shod.
Is that shoe envy?
Is it what Dr Shrinky types call projection? Do I want to WEAR the same shoes as my characters?
Or is it that I already do?
Case in point: my next novel, For Your Eyes Only (due out in September from Escape!!), Willa the superhero wannabe who tries to save the day, wears Hot Pink Converse Low Top Chuck Taylor All Stars. In one draft I changed the Hot Pink to Green, but then I changed it back again because I don’t own green Converse Low Top Chucks. I did not realise I had changed the colour of the Chucks until I began going though the novel again, after it was accepted for publication. That was my Shoe A-ha light bulb WTF Moment.
So you tell me. If you’re a writer, what part of you makes it into your work?
If you’re a reader, do you wonder how much of the author is revealed in the characters? Do you rush out and buy red cowboy boots because Lesley has a pair In A Basic Renovation? Will you hunt down a pair of hot pink canvas Converse Chuck Taylor All Star Low tops because Willa laces up a pair in For Your Eyes Only?