Saturday, April 21, 2012

An author crush, realized*

Some people dream of meeting movie stars. Some people imagine what it would be like to hang out with professional athletes. Some people want to meet philanthropists and humanitarians. Me? It's all about the authors.  I know...I'll give you a moment to get over your shock. After all, I've been quite public about my author crushes, so who can be surprised that I might possibly imagine becoming besties with some of my favorite authors? The problem is, I haven't historically acquitted myself well when I've met them.  I tend to become somewhat tongue-tied. (I could only manage to whimper with a ridiculous grin when I met Geraldine Brooks...not my proudest moment).

This past Thursday evening, I had the chance to hear Adriana Trigiani speak at Books and Co. at The Greene. My friend, Kristin, and I were positively giddy as we waited for Ms. Trigiani to arrive. My love affair with Trigiani's books began with Big Stone Gap, the story of Ave Maria Mulligan, a "spinster" pharmacist living in Big Stone Gap, VA, and was solidified by Lucia, Lucia, the tale of Lucia, a woman who wants a career in fashion in 1950s New York, but is increasingly tempted by a handsome businessman. The descriptions of the clothes, the food, and New York were incredibly vivid. In her newest book, The Shoemaker's WifeTrigiani reimagines her grandparents' love story as Italian immigrants.  As with her other books, I found myself completely engrossed and lost to their world. I was completely nervous about how I would present myself to this author whose work I adore.

Sometimes, the reality exceeds expectations.  Adriana Trigiani was funny, warm, gracious, and open. Despite being completely starstruck, she made me comfortable enough that I largely maintained my composure (perhaps overcompensating by tackling her with a hug...hurray for a lack of security personnel on hand!) and was even able to ask a question or two and converse more or less like a normal person. I believe she made everyone in that room feel as if she was their best friend (of course, Kristin and I know that really we were the ones she wanted to hang out with...or so I'll continue to tell myself).

If you've never read her books, do yourself a favor and check one out. If you already love her books and have never seen her speak, keep an eye out for her next visit (fans of the Valentine books: she says Ciao, Valentine is already written and she told me she will be back to Dayton when it's published). If you saw a crazy librarian hugging an author on Thursday night, don't worry: we're BFFs now. 

*With thanks to Kristin for her words summing up the evening. 

No comments: