Rosie and her Ragamuffin Sam was inspired last summer from a writing prompt about finding a pair of shoes in a thrift shop, putting them on, and getting carried away. Ideas started perking for me and I filed them away. As November approached, I heard about NanoWriMo, otherwise known as National Novel Writing Month. It’s a challenge in the month of November, to write a novel of at least 50,000 words in that time. I decided to go for it, using the story that started with a pair of brilliant red, vintage shoes in a thrift shop in New York City. Little did I know that it would take over my life. Fifteen days in, over 51,000 words were down and I had my story.
As I wrote, my mother-in-law and father-in-law’s stories about growing up in Brooklyn made the words race from my fingertips. My grandfather’s favorite music from the Glenn Miller Band, “In the Mood,” and “Moonlight Serenade,” played in the background and hummed in my mind. I scoped out pictures online and immediately fell in love with Michele Dyson’s photo above…the only thing I needed to change were the shoes. They had to be red. Like Dorothy’s shoes in The Wizard of the Oz, shoes that had a magic about them.
This novel is truly a labor of love. A love story. One that takes us back to a simpler, yet much harder time. To Brooklyn, the 1940’s, and tenement life at the end of the Great Depression, on the brink of World War II. At it’s heart? What matters most. Family. Faith. Hope. And an incredible, unforgettable love story between Rosie and her Ragamuffin Sam. I hope you’ll come along on the journey.