Last week, I promised you an exclusive Reader's Den interview with this month's author of Brava, Valentine: Here is the wonderful Adriana Trigiani.
I think the first obvious question to ask you would be, how crazy is your real life family compared to Valentine Roncalli’s fictional one? Have you ever had a major holiday blowout like the one that happens in the book? That was probably my favorite part of Brava, Valentine; I think that situation mirrors a lot of problems and issues faced by real life families in business together.
Of course we have blow-outs on holidays—we also have big laughs and a lot of fun. This is what I love about family life—and life around the dinner table—it's exciting and you never know what is going to happen. I love to write these scenes because they are layered and delicious—when fifteen characters are weighing in—it makes for great comedy, secrets revealed and general pandemonium which, when you're part of a big family is a lot like life—very real—authentic!
I can't tell you how much fun it was for me to write that scene. It took a few days, and I was on my feet hollering out the lines—the jabs—the drama. At one point, I was acting out Clickety Click and I had her wriggle like she was pulling a tight skirt down over her legs—and I thought, that's just the movement Susan Boyle made to Simon Cowell (it was a shimmy) when she was flirting with him—so it made it in.
A big theme of the story seems to be Valentine balancing her professional life with her personal one. Do you think she accomplishes this successfully? Her work life seems to flourish while her personal relationships, especially her romantic one with boyfriend Gianluca, suffers. Do you think it’s possible for women to truly “have it all?"
I don't know anybody who has it all—and if you ever meet someone who says they do—they're lying—and if you read about a person who has it all—it's a con. I go with the late, great Erma Bombeck on this one—by the end of life, we should hope that any talents or gifts we had—were used up—and shared for the greater good of those we love and those we reached. That's the healthy definition of having it all to me.