A couple of weeks ago, Adriana Trigiani stopped by The Reader's Den to answer a few questions about Brava, Valentine. This week, she returns to answer a few more. Read on to see what she has to say!
You described many amazing locations in New York City and in Greenwich Village specifically. Did any one location in particular mean more to you than the others? Were some settings made up completely for the book? Out of all the places described in the book, which location was the most fun to write about and why?
Every location in the book is real—and in fact, in all of my books, I anchor the fiction in real places (and in real restaurants, hotels etc). You'll see a restaurant on Hudson Street called Valdino's—which, sadly has closed since the books came out. I still mourn the loss of that neighborhood hang out. As far as locations and settings go, I like the challenge of figuring out how to describe a place to you—maybe one you have not visited—in the most descriptive way possible. I enjoy sharing what I see through the eyes of my characters. Also, I hope I do my job well enough that inspires you to visit a place like Big Stone Gap, Virginia or the meatpacking district in Greenwich Village in New York City. And if you live in the places in the books—I hope you feel... 'she nailed it.'
Alfred, Valentine’s dastardly underhanded brother, is a memorable antagonist in the book, especially at the story’s open. Did you view him as the villain of the book while you were writing him? Do you think that he maybe redeems himself by the story’s end, or is there still a lot more work for him to do?
He is the villain, but he too, grows up and changes—and hopefully, learns how to live in the arc of these books. He's interesting to me—he's so arrogant, and yet so insecure. Maybe those two things go hand in hand. This is another interesting element of writing about a large family—it's like an octopus, with so many arms pulling in different directions, and when calm rules, those arms support one another. Alfred, according to my readers, hits a nerve. He's the guy in the family others borrow money from—and I've heard, the one that loans the money ends up to be the villian. Just a thought.