Monday, March 4, 2013

Learning to Walk in Heels

The Stiletto Gang welcomes LynDee Walker, author of Front Page Fatality.
by LynDee Walker

I see it every day: women strutting around confidently in three-and-four-inch stilettos that could double as works of art, as un-tottering and sure-footed as if they were wearing Nikes.

Until a couple of years ago, I had no idea how they did it.

When my friends were learning to walk in gorgeous shoes, I was curled up somewhere with my nose in a book, seeing no need to put anything on my feet that would make me stick out more than I already did. I’m almost 6 feet tall, and while I’ve grown to appreciate that, in high school it was the bane of my existence. I was taller than half the boys in my class, and always, always the tallest girl. I had absolutely zero desire to accentuate what I saw as a flaw.

Then I grew up. I figured out that some boys like tall girls. I learned to stand up straight and hold my head high in a crowd. I focused on the good things about my height: I can reach things other people can’t (if I had a dollar for every time a little old lady has asked me to get something off a high shelf at the grocery store, hubby and I could retire right now) and I can keep an eye on my little ones more easily in crowded places.

With my newfound appreciation for my height, I browsed the pretty shoes, but still never bought any because I was afraid I’d teeter until I toppled right over on my face.

So when I started writing fiction after leaving my reporting career to be a stay-at-home-mom, my heroine could not only wear the shoes, she could run in them and kick butt in them, too (I didn’t believe this was possible until I saw a dear friend of mine do it. I still kind of think it’s a superpower, but she swears that when you wear heels every day, you can do anything in them).

Nichelle is as tall as I am, and she wears her eBay-gotten Louboutins with confidence, which is one of many things I love about her. So when I finished writing Front Page Fatality, I settled on a pair of killer stilettos as my celebratory present.

I took my shoe superhero friend with me to pick them out, and fell in love with a pair of peep-toes with four-inch heels. She stayed in Macy’s shoe department with me for two hours, teaching me how to wear them without falling. I’m not sure what made me feel more accomplished: writing a novel, or wearing those shoes out of the store.

With three small children, a household to run, and a writing career that’s just taking off, I don’t wear them every day. I definitely teeter a bit for the first few minutes when I do put them on. But when I get the hang of walking in them, I channel a bit of Nichelle’s confidence and stand up straight.


Excerpt of Front Page Fatality:

I paused outside Bob’s door, where Grant Parker was chatting with the features editor about the baseball season. I couldn’t remember ever having spoken more than a dozen words to Parker, an almost-professional pitcher who was regarded around Richmond as just slightly less than Zeus’ son, but the column he’d talked about in the meeting caught my attention.

I cleared my throat lightly and he turned his head, his bright green eyes widening a touch when they met mine. He was tall, but in my heels, I was almost nose-to-nose with him.

“What can I do for you, Miss Clarke?” He flashed the smile that made most women here channel their corset-bound ancestors and swoon—and sold a fair number of newspapers, too.

“I wanted to say thank you,” I said, shifting my file folder to the other arm. “For the column you’re doing today. My mom is a breast cancer survivor, and it’s nice you’re writ- ing about it. The sports section isn’t usually where you’d look for a breast cancer story. So thanks.”

“You’re so welcome.” His eyes dropped to the square- toed perfection of the shiny blue stilettos I’d shoved my feet into between my early morning body combat class and my mad dash to the meeting, then raised back to mine. “Nice of you to say so. I didn’t know you read my column.”

“I don’t.” I smiled. “But I will tomorrow.”

“I guess I’d better be on my A game, then.” He ran a hand through his already-messy blond hair and grinned at me again.

“I guess you’d better.” I took a step backward. “I’m told I can be tough to impress.”

“I do love a challenge.” He raised his eyebrows and twisted his mouth to one side.

“I bet you do.” I shook my head, making a mental note to call my mother as I turned and headed for my ivory cubicle, Parker and his too-perfect smile forgotten. Charles Bronson. Dead guys. The nagging feeling there was something beyond the obvious on the murdered dealers got stronger the more I thought about the scattered details I’d heard on the scanner.


LynDee Walker grew up in the land of stifling heat and amazing food most people call Texas, and wanted to be Lois Lane from the time she could say the words “press conference.” An award-winning journalist, she traded cops and deadlines for burp cloths and onesies when her oldest child was born. Writing the Headlines in Heels mysteries gives her the best of both worlds. When not writing or reading, LynDee is usually wrangling children, eating barbecue or enchiladas, or trying to walk off said barbecue and enchiladas. Her debut novel, Front Page Fatality, is an amazon top 10 bestseller. She and her family live in Richmond, Virginia.  You can visit her online at

FRONT PAGE FATALITY: A Nichelle Clarke Headlines in Heels Mystery (Henery Press, January 29, 2013)
Get a signed copy and support a wonderful independent bookshop: Fountain Bookstore
Twitter: @LynDeeWalker
Facebook: LynDee Walker
Goodreads: LynDee Walker
Amazon author page: LynDee Walker




  1. I always loved my heels, used to do everything in them including climbing ladders and inspecting roofs. Now with arthritis in my feet I can no longer wear them. (sigh) Love reading ahout women who do!!!

  2. I have a bum ankle, so I'm living vicariously through Nichelle and her high heels! Love FRONT PAGE FATALITY, LynDee. Thought it was a fun read with a sharp, tenacious heroine. Can't wait to read more. Congratulations!

  3. Thanks, ladies! I took a fun little tumble down the stairs this morning, so mine might be shelved for a while. Good thing I have Nichelle to keep me company! :)

  4. Years ago I wore heels all the time, didn't matter where I was going, even had sandals that were heels. Haven't worn them for a long, long time.