Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Francine LaSala "Rita Hayworth’s Shoes"

Rita Hayworth’s Shoes is about finding yourself and knowing you’re worth it, and how your whole world can open up for you when you finally “get it.”

In my story, Amy Miller is a graduate assistant about to turn thirty. Her life is in shambles. Her fiance just jilted her at the altar (or, rather dive deli counter where they were set to get married) and her career is in the toilet. Her appearance has gone to hell even long before the breakup. She has great friends and a loving freakshow of a makeshift family. But she doesn’t believe in herself.

Then one say she comes across a pair of shoes that pretty much put a spell on her. (“It was like falling in love...but better somehow...”) She struggles with being obsessed with them and being outraged by the price of them because they are used (advertised as once having belonged to none other than Rita Hayworth), but when she finally resolves to buy them for herself, her whole life changes. She re-focuses on her career and falls in love with an unlikely soulmate. Which is not to say that everything is all wine and roses once she buys the shoes, but they definitely set her on the path of rediscovering her own worth.

I started writing Rita Hayworth’s Shoes ten years ago after a string of heartbreaks, which, in part, inspired a lot of what goes on in the story. But the big push for me to start writing the book was that I did actually have the encounter with the shoes. They were called “Hayworth” and they were adorable and expensive as hell. I decided to buy them and thought, “Wouldn’t this make a fun premise for a story? Woman treats herself to pricey shoes and transforms life!”

After that, the story started coming together. And while there are certainly some highly imagined elements in Rita Hayworth’s Shoes (I never killed my boss, my parents were never abducted by pygmies, my husband is quite the opposite of bald, and the guy who wanted to get married at Katz’s Deli wasn’t really a bad guy--we just weren’t good for each other), the core of the story is as true as anything in my life: When you believe that you are worth good things, good things will come to you!

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