Friday, May 11, 2012

Erma Bombeck 2012: Dinner with Adriana Trigiani, author of THE SHOEMAKER'S WIFE

Friday night dinner at the Erma Bombeck 2012 Workshop was an unforgetable experience. The reading by Andy Bombeck before dinner of his mother's column about his marching to a different drummer was a bittersweet moment that brought tears to the eyes of just about everyone in the banquet room.

After dinner, listening to Adriana Trigiani felt like sitting around the kitchen table with my sisters after a holiday meal talking about family, friends and  Hollywood celebrities. Adriana was open and funny and wise.

She spoke about her fondness for the Bombeck family, about leaving her shoes in Nashville, growing up in Virginia, her aunt's special holiday appetizer (cream cheese and crackers), going to school across town from Notre Dame, writing scripts for Hollywood celebrities, and lots more.

She joked with the audience--the "late responders" who were seated in the back--and with a few women who married into large Italian families. She answered questions from the audience, even the ones who crossed the line.  

Sadly, a couple attendees took the opportunity of being in the presence of a bestselling author and screenwriter to ask inappropriate questions. One guy asked her to dish out gossip on celebrities she'd worked with in Hollywood. She didn't rise to the bait; instead she deflected the question by sharing a humorous incident she had with Dolly Parton.

Another man asked Adriana to take a look at his manuscript and send it to her agent. Her response was graceful, yet pointed. She explained that legally she couldn't read his manuscript, but she promised to let her agent know the man would be sending his manuscript. She told us she liked to make her agent work hard and earn her money. Boy, would I love to read what Adriana wrote to her agent about the man's out-of-line request to fast-track his manuscript.

After her talk, a circle formed of people asking more questions. I didn't want to slow her down from getting to her book signing, so I missed my opportunity to meet her personally and tell her how much I enjoyed her latest novel, THE SHOEMAKER'S WIFE. I had brought my review copy with me and planned to ask her to sign it, then I decided it would be tacky asking her to sign a book I got for free--so, another missed opportunity.

The Friday night banquet was the last workshop event my sister Kathleen and I attended. I was worn out and having shoulder pain, so we left early Saturday morning to drive back to Missouri.

Of all the workshops and conferences I've gone to over the years, the Erma Bombeck Workshop in Dayton has been the most memorable, and the banuet dinner with Adriani Trigiani the most fun. 

Don't you love the gorgeous cover of her latest novel, THE SHOEMAKER'S WIFE? 

If you would like to read my review of THE SHOEMAKER'S WIFE, you can find it on the Bookreporter website. In essence, THE SHOEMAKER'S WIFE is a heart-warming tale about two young peasants who meet briefly before leave their separate villages in the Italian Alps at different times and are brought together in America through fate and faith. It's an epic family saga and a love story, which is based on the history of Adriana's family, and the book "she was meant to write."

If you visit the Bookreporter site you can also find an interview of Adriana. The book trailer will give you chills. No wonder THE SHOEMAKER'S WIFE has been on the New York Times bestseller list for several weeks. I'm hoping there will be a sequel!

Oh, and to show you how gracious Adriana is, here's some feedback I received from my editor after I returned from Dayton. Adriana's expresses her thoughts on my review which appeared on the Bookreporter's newly re-designed website: "How beautiful- the review! the new site design! the layout! it's totally gorgeous and energized and easy to navigate. The review of The Shoemaker's Wife is absolutely lovely!"

Even though I didn't get to meet Adriana personally, her comments about my review helped me get over it. 

That's all for the workshop, except for some photos I received the other day from Debe Dockins of the Erma Event at the Centerville Library; I'll post most them most likely next week. 

Hope you all have a great weekend.   Ciao!


  1. I'm sorry you didn't get to meet her and get your book signed! I bet she wouldn't have minded it was a review copy - she seems so down-to-earth and nice. :)

    The time I met her was at a talk and book signing - the signing went on forever because everyone wanted to chat and she was so gracious to everyone. :)

  2. Hi Madeline.
    Lucky! She really is gracious.

  3. I have read lots of AT's books...have you seen her recipe book that includes memories of growing up...great book! I just have gotten my hands on this new one...can't wait to start it! Bet it was wonderful to hear her speak!

  4. I am so envious. I love AT's work. Thanks for sharing with us.

  5. Sounds awesome and I have a feeling you may get another chance...

  6. Hi Claudia,
    I have not seen her recipe book, but it sounds wonderful.

    Hi Linda,
    You are welcome.

    Hi Lynn,
    It was awesome, and thanks. You are such a sweetie!


  7. Wow, what a great conference. Thanks for all the info you've been giving us on it. The book sounds like a great read, too.

  8. Sounds like a good book. Good timing, too, because I'm ready for a new read.

    Critter Alley

  9. Sunday, May 27...Hi Donna...Thanks so much for your visit and comment to my blog. Loved having you stop by. Susan


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