Monday, July 5, 2010

Conference Countdown - Julie Cohen Talks About The SHOE Question

Shoe Lover Julie Cohen gives a glimpse into her thought process of shoe selection for the gala dinner on Friday...

Like any good romance, the relationship between the Romantic Novelist’s Association and shoes is complex and passionate.  It’s not that you need to have the perfect shoes for an RNA party.  But if you do happen to have the perfect shoes, there will be much rejoicing.

Of course, I’m all about making others happy, and if I can cause much rejoicing merely by my choice of footwear, who am I to deny the world a little bit more happiness? 

So my obsessive planning about what outfit to wear to the RNA’s Gala Dinner at the conference in Greenwich, celebrating the 50th anniversary of my favourite writing organisation, isn’t because of vanity.  Oh, no.  It’s about spreading the joy.

The question is, which shoes will cause the maximum happiness for others?  This is a complicated equation, which has several different factors.  Should it be new shoes, or a pair I already own?  My bank balance will thank me if I don’t have to buy any more, and the RNA is actually very welcoming of shoes that have had a previous outing.  They welcome them as if they were old friends.  But this is a gala dinner, and surely something a bit special is required.  New shoes, then, or shoes I haven’t worn to an RNA do before.

They must be photogenic.  There are several RNA members (naming no names, ahem *your blog editor*),who go around pointing their cameras at the ground and who then post the resulting photos of shoes on their blogs and websites for all to see.  So shoes that look good on camera, and that preferably don’t have a big wad of gum or toilet paper on the heel.

They don’t have to be expensive.  In fact, they should either be super-expensive, or super-cheap.  I cannot forget the crowd that gathered around Penny Jordan’s red Louboutins at the Romantic Novel of the Year awards lunch.  You could hear the gasps of admiration from across the room.  On the other end of the spectrum, I wore a pair of electric blue cork-heeled slingbacks to a Summer Party last year and got great satisfaction from telling everyone who asked, “They’re twelve quid from Primark.”  There’s a reason for the saying “Cheap and cheerful.”

The comfort of my own feet, of course, doesn’t figure in this at all.  This is altruism, pure and simple.

I think I have the perfect pair in my closet.  Black patent leather, extremely high heeled platform court shoes with a red sole and a certain designer’s name on the bottom, which have not yet seen an RNA party.  They tick all the boxes, they are things of beauty, they don’t even hurt that much, and they are bound to cause rejoicing.

Now, what about the dress?  Well, that’s another complicated equation...

**

Julie’s latest book, which features, among others, red slingback Fendis and black strappy Jimmy Choos, is NINA JONES AND THE TEMPLE OF GLOOM (Little Black Dress, March 2010).  There are indigo crocodile stilettos in her next book, GETTING AWAY WITH IT (Headline Review, October 2010).  There’s some romance in there somewhere, too.

For more about Julie and her books, visit http://www.julie-cohen.com

16 comments:

Anna Lucia said...

But Julie, you haven't broached the whole pedicure question!? I can't be the only one thinking that if there are cameras pointed in the foot direction, I want to be free of dry skin and cracked heels, with neat, painted nails?

Kate Walker said...

Oh Julie, I do love your unselfish and generous devotion to the cause of celebrating the RNA's 50th together with pleasing your RNA members with a sight of the shoes you choose. You are such a giving person ;o)

And Anna - no, you're not the only one. I have exactly the same fgeeling as you - note to self, is it too late to book a pedicure . . ?

See you both there

Carole Blake said...

I'm thinking lilac suede peep-toe slingbacks with purple chiffon bow. But much depends on the weather. As a part-time visitor I shall expect to spend much time sneaking peeks at everyone else's!

Julie Cohen said...

Carole, it was the discussion of shoes on Twitter with you that inspired this blog post. Thank you, and your shoes sound as if they will cause much delight.

Julie Cohen said...

Yes, Kate, that's me all over—utterly unselfish. I hate to mention it, but I donate quite a bit of my income to this particular philanthropic cause.

:-)

Julie Cohen said...

Anna, the pedicure goes without thinking. I've been moisturising my heels for months, and am also spending lots of time when I should be writing debating the merits of purple vs. pink varnish.

Sarah Morgan said...

Emergency extra intensive heel moisturising tip - first make self very comfortable on bed with everything a girl needs for an hour of undisturbed writing, then liberally apply chosen cream to heels and place each foot in freezer bag/sandwich bag and tie at ankle with pretty ribbon or similar. Leave for an hour to absorb. Remove from bags (this part is essential, particularly before school run) and your feet with be beautifully soft.

WARNING: attempting to walk around while feet in bags will result in broken nose which is generally more unsightly than cracked heels and therefore not advised. Discard sandwich bag after use in case innocent family member is in process of assembling picnic lunch.......

Julie Cohen said...

Very good tip, Sarah, particularly about not walking around in plastic bags!

Jane Lovering said...

This is how sad I am - I booked a pedicure and my shoes don't even show my toes! It's my competitive spirit, sigh.

Shirley Jump said...

Julie,

You're a woman after my own heart! I have more shoes than one can count, and yet STILL just bought four new pairs for the RWA conference. I needed those black suede platforms, I swear ;-)

Shirley

Debs said...

Love those shoes.

Now need to stop giggling over Sarah's hilarious advice and go and cook something for children to eat.

Cat Marsters/Kate Johnson said...

Julie! Those red-soled beauties...they wouldn't be Louboutins, would they?

Sarah, brilliant advice!

Julie Cohen said...

Jane, I think it's very sensible to have a pedicure even if your shoes don't show off your feet! It's like wearing good underwear: even if nobody else sees it, it is its own reward.

You can rest in the knowledge that if you are suddenly called to throw off your shoes (eg you need to rescue an imperilled swan on the Thames), your feet will give you no cause to blush.

Julie Cohen said...

Shirley, I understand your addiction, and YES, you DID need the suede platforms. It's all about projecting a professional image. And giving joy to others. No price is too high.

Julie Cohen said...

Debs I hope you didn't cook anything involving sandwich bags!! LOL

Julie Cohen said...

Cat/Kate....hmmmmm.......they look like them, don't they? *whistles innocently*