Tea with River Urke,
author of Women's Obsession with Shoes
An interview conducted by Thomas Blackwolf from Twowolvz Creations. Twowolvz Creations is an emerging Design & Publishing Company
TB- Today, we sit with River Urke, the author of the new book Women's Obsession with Shoes: Real Stories Straight from the Sole. A unique nonfiction of true stories from women encompassing their lives and shoes. First, I have to ask how you came up with the idea behind WOS?
River- The idea came one day while I was daydreaming in a shoe store about dancing in heels again when by chance two of my passions in life came into my thoughts and the idea of WOS was born. I love dancing in heels and listening to people tell their stories. It made total sense to bring them together to form a book
TB- I see! River, I read that you have the training to collect people's stories through your Anthropology degree. What was the process of compiling WOS?
River- Yes, I focused my degree towards the field learning the tools to gather and document people's stories. I began by interviewing women about experiences in their lives that involved a pair of shoes. I taped the interviews on an old tape recorder then transcribed them the old fashion way. It took forever but I don't have a transcriber. The stories were transcribed forbadum and edited just enough to be concise while still keeping the woman's voice. The introduction entailed a lot of research. It was a project in a half for many years.
TB- I understand you did much more than just write and compile WOS, that you designed and formatted the book as well, self-publishing the book. Is there a reason you chose that direction?
River- Oh yes, no one wanted to pick up the book. The market was either too flooded or the stories to raw. I decided to self-publish to get the book out and then look for a publisher to grab it up. A bit backwards but I didn't see any other way. I put myself in a self taught book building class and learned the ins and outs of formatting and marketing.
TB- WOS is a one of a kind book. Can you explain?
River- There are no books exactly like WOS out there in the book world. I designed it to be a coffee table book where someone could pick it up here and there, read a story or two, and catch a chuckle from a quote. The book is divided into four styles of shoes with quotes from the women scattered around the book. The majority of the stories are half a page with a couple over a page. They are all funny to me in their own ways.
TB- There are twenty-one stories in WOS. Do you have a favorite?
River- There are many I love but if I had to chose one I would say Moccasin Blues.
Womens Obsession with Shoes: Real Stories Straight from the Sole (Volume Two)