New York Times Best-Selling author Adriana Trigiani is a beloved writer by millions of readers all over the world. Reading an Adriana Trigiani book is like hot cocoa on a snowy day: wonderful, heart warming, and cozy. Her characters are charming and hilarious, with rich backgrounds. The author, director, and playwright chatted with me about her new movie and book.
You have some very exciting news! The movie you directed, “Then Came You,” is going to be in theaters soon.
“Then Came You” starring Craig Ferguson and Kathie Lee Gifford will be in theaters Sept. 30 and then available On Demand on Oct. 2. I directed it in Scotland in 2018.
I’m sure everybody wants to know if you’re writing another book.
Yes. It comes out next year. It’s finished and I’m editing it now.
Can you give us any hints on the premise of the book?
I will say this — I think this is the best book I’ve ever written. This book takes place in present day Italy, and then it goes back in time. It’s an intergenerational story. It’s pretty great!
What have you been doing during quarantine besides writing this book?
I’ve been with my family. I’ve loved our time together. I’ve been trying to stay safe. I’ve also done a Facebook Live every week, which is a lot because I have to read all of the books.
Tell me about the Facebook Live events.
My Facebook Live events started because I wanted to talk directly to readers. I would bring readers their favorite authors and [talk to them about their books]. It has become a weekly party on Tuesday nights at 6. It’s a way for me to say thank you to my readers and the industry that’s been so kind to me.
Do you have a favorite interview?
I love them all! I can’t pick! I won’t have anyone on that I don’t love.
I love that so many of your books take place in different time periods. What do you love about period pieces?
First of all, I love that there weren’t any electronics. I love that people had to think for themselves. The time periods that I choose always have a relevance to my family’s story. They are always periods of time that my mother or grandmothers told me about.
Tell me about your books becoming movies.
I would still say that I’m a playwright. As a playwright, I love story telling through conversations. I’ve always like directing. I just write the stories as novels, and then later, I adapt them for television.
How many countries have you traveled to?
I can’t count! There’s been so many of them. But, whenever I get the chance, I go home to Italy. It’s where I’m at my most spiritual.
Besides Italy, where do you like to travel?
I love the United Kingdom. I love Scotland and Ireland.
Do you think you’d write another book to end the “Very Valentine” series? Do you think there will be a sequel to the first Lifetime movie?
Sure! You never know if there will be a sequel.
In your books, you always say you love Autumn in New York City. Obviously this Autumn is a little different, but what are your plans this fall?
This fall, I am in a state of complete gratitude. For me, fall is a time of rebirth. I am looking forward to the beauty, the crispness and all the promise that fall brings. Christmas will be very meaningful this year.
As a writer, how do you not get distracted by social media?
To be honest, I find it all very boring. I love books and magazines. Social media takes away precious time of my writing life. I get up really early in the morning to write. You have to make three or four hours a day that is just yours to work. I woke up at 3 a.m. this morning.
Do you have any writing rituals?
I always have to have a candle lit and my house has to be neat.
What is your favorite dish to cook or bake?
I don’t want to disappoint anybody, but I’m not much of a baker. I can cook some really great stuff. I like to make chicken artichoke casserole. And, I love to make pasta. I make a very light lasagna that I’m really crazy about. I love to make all the traditional Italian foods. I like to make stuffed artichokes.
I love how you incorporate the Italian heritage into your books. Growing up, I felt like there wasn’t a lot of writers besides Tomie dePaola that wrote about the Italian heritage.
I appreciate that! There’s so many great Italian writers. I could go on and on. Everyone should read Pietro Del Dinato. There are a lot of books that take place in Italy.
Do you plan on collaborating with [Cooking with Nonna’s] Rossella Rago again in the near future?
Oh yeah! I’m crazy about her! She’s very special and so talented. I’m just so excited for her. She works really, really hard.
What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
I believe all the answers are all inside of us. If you get afraid, just plow through it. Set aside some time, about three to four hours a day, that’s devoted to your writing. Then, start submitting to agents. I really believe you’re the master of your destiny, and you can make this happen. You just can’t take your foot off the gas pedal. If you find yourself getting distracted, you can allow yourself to be distracted. But then, say to yourself, this is a day when I won’t be distracted.
What are you currently reading?
I’m currently reading “Evil Geniuses” by Kurt Anderson.