Silver Shoes

(Frank) And again we’re back. You’re gonna get to talk because I’m going to introduce you. There’s something about Silver Shoes that you want to talk about. (Deb) OK. The most famous movie about Kansas? (Frank) Uh huh. (Deb) Is not Picnic. What is it? (Frank) Wizard of Oz. (Deb) OK. It is. Now maybe it’s Picnic but before this series that Frank did it was The Wizard of Oz. So The Wizard of Oz of course by L. Frank Baum, the original book has spawned all kinds of movies, and other books and just…Wicked. I actually got to see the production of Wicked in London with my two girls, with my granddaughter and my daughter. We went to see the production of Wicked. So, it’s just spawned all kinds of sequels and just off shoots and just more retelling of the story. So, one of those is called Silver Shoes. In the original book by L. Frank Baum, Dorothy’s slippers were not ruby slippers, they were silver. But in the movie they thought that the ruby slippers would show up better. So they changed that. The silver shoes were representative…and I think Tom Avril may teach a class in this. It’s all about the economy at the time and they were talking about the silver standard and all kinds of stuff. So, there’s all kinds of political and economic references, that really who cares. But that…the original was silver shoes. So, my friend Paul Miles Schneider who lives in Lawrence. He lived in L.A. for a time, has written this novel that’s incredible called Silver Shoes. So, we’re gonna take a look at that. For years people have thought of The Wizard of OZ as a fairly tale. But Donald Gardner is about to learn the story is true. When Donald Gardner’s parents tell him they’ll be taking an exciting road trip through Kansas, he openly cringes. He is sure it will be a boring summer vacation. But at one of their final roadside stops on the way home, they are approached by a poor woman offering to sell a curious item—an antique silver shoe. While Donald’s mother is initially reluctant, she is ultimately smitten with the shoe and buys it. Donald is skeptical that the shoe is anything more than a relic, but when the new school year starts, he brings it in for show-and-tell, attempting to impress his classmates. His friends liken it to something out of The Wizard of Oz, and his teacher agrees the idea is not far-fetched considering author L. Frank Baum wrote about silver shoes, not ruby slippers, which were strictly in the movie. Yet when he accepts a dare from his two best buddies to try it on, frightening and incredible things begin to happen. Strange animals cry out in the night. Dark, shadowy shapes lurk in distant corners. Scratching sounds are heard just outside his bedroom window. And when he meets George Clarke, a reclusive man who has been in hiding and on the run for many years, Donald finds out there is a lot more to Baum’s story than he thinks. Sound far-fetched? The Wizard of Oz has inspired authors and film-makers alike and this novel by Paul Miles Schneider, entitled Silver Shoes, is surely one of the most compelling. Paul Miles Schneider was born in New York City and raised in Lawrence, Kansas. At various times he has been an actor, writer, composer, singer, and arranger. In 2010, he relocated to the Midwest from Los Angeles, where he spent a decade producing and designing DVD/Blu-ray menus and interactive content for Hollywood films and television shows. Silver Shoes is his first novel, and it was selected as a 2010 Kansas Notable Book by the Kansas Center for the Book and the State Library of Kansas. A sequel, The Powder of Life, was released in 2012. His latest book, More Than Tongue Can Tell, co-authored with Warner Bros. film star Andrea King, was published in 2014. Paul has another interesting connection to Kansas and the West, in that he is, in fact, related to General Nelson Miles. He has appeared at numerous Oz-related events and surely there will be a big-screen adaptation of Silver Shoes, and this time, the little boy will be the hero. Watch out, Dorothy!

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