Adriana Trigiani, novelist, "Brava Valentine" INTERVIEW 2010

Valentine Roncalli is 35 and feeling every bit of those years while her friends and siblings all have families of their own she lives in her 80 year old grandmother's home amongst all of her grandmother's trinkets and memories running her grandmother's shoes company valentine wants no needs a man Gianluca is that man the suave sophisticated Italian lights are off like a roman candle when they're closed which isn't often as she's in Manhattan and he's in Italy what's a woman to do that's the issue novelist Adriana tree Johnny confronts in her second Valentine's story Bravo Valentine unveiled today February 9th in bookstores everywhere and online the previous novel that very Valentine was a New York Times bestseller and this new one is probably headed for the same territory Adriana welcome to mr. media well hello mr. media Bob is that a gorgeous review and set me up beautifully for the reader to have a ball with this one I'm thrilled I pleasure thank you for having me I'm glad to have you here I gotta ask you though and now you put poor Valentine's do so much angst in between boyfriends and family and business dear I feel guilty welcome to life Bob where have you been life is hard life is very very hard and I think I think it's getting harder and I think things are going by more quickly and we have so many ways of communicating with each other and yet we're lonelier than we've ever been so my characters hang on to what their what they know which is the craft that is handed down from generation to generation Valentine is a shoemaker she lives with her grandmother but she also works in the shop and they make shoes together and then you also have those layers of of love which we all want that and I think it's very organic in a in a woman's life to look for that and to hope for it and then pray when you get it that it lasts and that that's it's the right person but I would say somatically that the two things that my books are always about is who do you love who do you choose to love and then what do you do with the labour of your own hand what do you do kind of work in love and love and work and there are really two things that keep on giving well speaking of work one of the things I was interesting and I want to ask you about is in the in a period of time it takes place in the book it is very close to where we are now there there's a lot of conversation about it how hard it is to get loans and the banks are a mess people are out of work when did you finish this book actually when did you work on this from when to when and how recently did you finish well I completely I write a book a year I completely brought the economic the current economic crisis and condition into it as well as the whole notion of aging parents and all of the stuff that I talk about every day with my friends or I read about play into this but I will say this I Bob I grew up in a family we always work for ourselves and it's always a conundrum how to make a living you always need some money you always need there's always a bill to be paid I have I'm from working people I am a working person even though I'm an artist I consider myself a working person like my grandfather was a shoemaker and then my grandmother was a seamstress I just happened to write books but I look at all like the same you need discipline you have to get up early you got to meet your deadlines then you have to sell what you make and then it's just it's a circle and it I think people I'm thrilled that you noticed that it's very timely but I think that we lose sight sometimes you know when we're looking for a job or when when we're down we forget it's going to change again and it will change for the better and if my book can can you can share it with somebody and it can elevate you and kind of give you a new take on it that's what art is supposed to do so and I'm happy to do it and that's my job I wanted to ask you you mentioned family your own family how is your own family like and unlike Valentines Wow I come from a big Italian family and obviously I write about a big Italian family in this but what I love about this is I'm able to combine people and take people maybe that I'm not related to and pull them through I mean I have a really good I have a really really good time with it I really play with it and invent them anew I don't really write anybody specifically but I invent them and then there she a part of them they're part of the theme it's quite a bit of sibling rivalry and revelry here between Valentine and and her brother Alfred and of course and her sisters it's a very different relationship right well I know a little something about that you know I'm in the middle of seven children and I certainly had cousins that were from large families so I really understand it and I really see the differentiation of the characters you know when my family used to go out this is what people would say which one are you you know which one are you and you want to say I'm me but didn't really matter you know so I love to write and I have fun with it now now help me help me on a purely technical question that confused me early in the book if you don't mind yeah how old are Val entites parents her father is 68 he's 16 turned 69 in this book and her mother 63 but she can't say her age because her throat closes she's aging she's a little issue with aging okay that's Roger okay why were you confused I got confused because the the father's age is set at 69 right grandmother and I understand it's Valentine's maternal that's right my mother had her very young her mother was 20 when she had her okay I'm dead there was a point at which I thought that her father said I was 22 and she meaning his wife was 21 and maybe I misunderstood that but I was very confused after that about it how old people okay okay no oh well that's interesting I did know that all right I'll look at that okay I'm just a time menagerie gasps Bob let me be honest Matt so so I was in my little older than she you know he's like seven years older but no I remember that now are six years older yeah with the mother taught her very young yeah did mom have Valentine at 12 what what am I missing here no good the mopping it up yeah yeah we got to straighten out the mother plenty much the matter so you can do that yeah well let me ask you this today it's probably why I stumbled on in the introduction but today is the first day that the mr. media ratio is sponsored by so I was curious to ask you about your own experience with audio but audio book editions of your stories I noticed that everyone from you to Mario Cantone has read your books that's right and Mira Sorvino read Lucy Liu Chia and then we have the wonderful Cassandra Campbell reads fare the Valentine series I got to tell you my audiobooks are really an important part of my readership people take long car trips and really enjoy them and now the fashion is to do them unabridged and I when I recorded them and I recorded about six of them they were abridged but we have an actress a professional actress who comes in and I love I know all the folks at they've been very very good to me and it's a wonderful wonderful thing to listen to a book it's really a smart thing to do because you can be hands-free and if you like and you treasure someone having read to you when you were a kid it's like having that treat all over again as someone who's written these romance books do you do you feel like you mentioned people can be hands-free do you feel like like they should be you know making out or you know cuddled up with someone close while they little Bob when they listen to an audiobook yeah all right well sure whatever you like why not I find out for the romantic sections of the book and I guess then when he talk about the bank you should do that at work I don't know there you go there you go so um you are known for being very close to your fans being very much in contact with them and you've got you've got a tour coming up tell us something about people who read your books Oh Bob they're they're it's every kind of I look at them like individua – there's a lot of intergenerational sharing a lot of women now we see that the men are growing in numbers it's mostly people who love to go to see happy ending movies an audience that loves to read that loves images and hopefully good writing that it's literary romance is an element but it is not the whole ball of wax with my books by any stretch but it is a good part of it I wouldn't describe them as romance books I would call them fiction you know novels literary fiction they call them women fiction sometimes which is a honor to me because I'm a woman so I would say that they're just well told lush stories and in the case of Valentine it's a contemporary family saga somebody said to me the other day it's the godfather without guns and I that made me laugh so I'm sharing that with you at audible and blog talk what's uh what's next is you have the net is there will there be another Valentine book there will be another Valentine book and there will be a couple of movies the Big Stone Gap movie and very Valentine the movie and I have ideas about the next direction I want to take the stories and I've got a couple of good ones and I think one of them will make itself known to me through my subconscious and then we'll be off to the races and be back talkin to you right great well folks listen you can find Adriana true Johnny's new book Brava Valentine the second story in the life of Valentine Rantala in great bookstores everywhere or hey you can order the audio book for free today go to to get a free audiobook download of your choice when you today again that's audible slash mr media for your free pardon me for your free audiobook CI chokes me up just to say that and I say something free I'm on the phone I gotta sign up now review to go order yeah there you go and you can also meet Adriana in person on tour in February starting tonight tonight February 9th at the Barnes & Noble store at 150 East 86th Street in Manhattan check her personal website Adriana Chur Johnny dot-com for more details and Adriana thank you so much for joining us in media today Bob you're fantastic and it's been my pleasure thank you very much take care and good luck thank you bye bye folks for more interviews with your favorite novelist surf over to our main website wwm our Mediacom but we can listen my earlier conversations with Lisa McMann Sara Zarr James Dashner Richard Deutsch Monty Shultz Peter Collin Bach John Darton Sue Anne Jafar Ian James Sheehan and many more subscribe to mr. Media on iTunes and you'll never miss a show just search mr. media interviews from within iTunes and subscribe for free you can also listen with a piece of string in a tin can in many locations if you've got an idea for a guest email me directly at Bob at Andelman dot-com you can also follow me on Facebook or on Twitter ww slash handle them thanks so much for joining us today always appreciate when you give a piece of your day and come spend it with mr. median thanks for listening everybody

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