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Author Archive: "Danielle Trussoni"

Inspiration, Etc.

People often ask how, as a writer, one comes up with the concept for a book. It is different for every writer, and I know just how different. My husband is a writer too, and there is nothing similar at all in the ways we work or in the books that we write or our style of writing. (Check out his website). He's the author of a very funny memoir called Turtle Feet, about his time as a Buddhist monk in India.

I think that I mentioned in an earlier blog that I was inspired to write Angelology during a visit I made to a convent, while sitting in the chapel, but there were other moments of inspiration which helped form the initial concept, most of which happened while I was traveling to do research. I went to Paris to find locations for the book but it was only toward the end of writing Angelology that I discovered a new interest in the grand old museums of art in Europe. The Louvre in Paris, for example, is one of my favorite places.

Good vs. Evil, Again

While doing a reading at Vromer's Books in Pasadena recently, someone asked me about the good and evil characters, the battle between good and bad, between Nephilim and Human, in my book. Although this isn't anything new, I thought I'd ramble on a bit about it here, especially because it is at the heart of Angelology.

Angelology is a theological study which has existed for hundreds of years. I've taken this idea and, in the world of my novel, posited that famous thinkers, philosophers, and religions have dedicated their lives to the study of angels with the purpose of fighting evil angels called Nephilim. In the library archives at www.angelologist.com, you can consult pages of a directory of some famous angelologists from my novel. Reading about these people made me want to write about them and their fight with the Nephilim — from ancient times to the present.

To Travel or Not to Travel — That Is the Question

I used to lead a more or less nomadic sort of life, moving around the States, but also Europe and Asia. If I want to analyze myself, which I suppose is what one does while blogging, this inability to settle in one spot might be reflected in my novel. For Angelology, I spent quite a lot of time researching each one. For me, research means more than reading a book or checking out information on the internet, it means walking the streets, climbing the hills, visiting a convent... and being there long enough to really get a feel for the place.

I was fortunate in being able to spend some time at a convent here in the States, which was where — during a late night's contemplation in the chapel — I suddenly knew what I wanted to write in this book. But I have also lived in Bulgaria and would love for more people to be aware of its history and its beauty. (This site gives you a quick overall picture of the country.)

Some Questions, Answered or Not

While I have been touring for my book Angelology, I have been asked some interesting, thought-provoking questions, and this seems like the ideal place to mull over them. One person came over and asked me about the role of women characters in my book... not just the grandmother/mother/daughter relationship, but the nuns, art collector, and others who play important roles, too. Abigail Rockefeller, for example, features in the book because I came across her life story and found it fascinating. You can check out information on her here.

Introducing Me

I'm Danielle Trussoni and I will be writing this week's blog.

I blogged at Powell's when my first book was published four years ago and it is great to be invited back. In fact, I also wrote an original essay for Powell's about my reading habits right around that time as well.

The essay is about my book collecting habit, something that has changed just slightly in recent years as I've moved a lot — I finally ended up stopping in a medieval village in the south of France — and have had nowhere to put my books.

My Day in Portland

It is fitting that my final days as a guest blogger on Powells.com were spent in Portland. Yesterday, I met Dave, the man behind the scenes at Powells.com, for a snack at the new conveyor belt sushi place a few blocks from the Powell's Burnside store. As I kept my eye on the sushi whisking past, I had a chance to chat with Dave about the authors he meets, his MFA in fiction writing, and the strange and wonderful world of books. How fun and amazing Dave's job is, I thought, as we talked about all of the writers he meets every week.

After sushi, we walked down 10th Avenue to a café. Dave pointed out the new condos and restaurants that have been going up and gave me a good sense of what it's like to live in Portland. We sat down with our coffee and talked music. Then, I pulled out my book and made him pose. Here he is, all smiles!

He's such a happy guy!

Then, it was on to Powell's, where I had to pry myself away from the books and go upstairs to the Pearl Room so that I could read.


Berkeley, Nostalgia, and Le Bateau Ivre

Yesterday I found myself in Berkeley for the day. I had to be out of my hotel in San Francisco at noon, so I took a cab to Telegraph Avenue and hung out in a café called Le Bateau Ivre. I spent way too much time attempting to recall the Rimbaud poem of the same name. I haven't read it for ten years (at least), and this made me feel a great wave of nostalgia for that teenager I used to be, who had all the time in the world to simply sit and write in a journal and think about poems.

Here are a few stanzas from Rimbaud's "Le Bateau Ivre" (The Drunken Boat) translated by Holly Tannen:

I know the sky split wide by lightning, tides,
And surf, and waterspouts; I know the night,
And dawn exalted like a flock of doves
And sometimes I have seen what man has thought he's seen!
I've seen the setting sun light up the shiv'ring purple waves
Like actors in some ancient tragedy...
I've dreamed the evening green with dazzled snow and singing phosphor
And kisses rising slowly on the eyelids of the sea...
I've touched the shores of Floridas where flowers mingle


Sunshine, Fresh Air, and Snapdragons

My day in San Francisco was filled with sunshine. I walked down Market, had lunch at a café, and went shopping for a few hours. Then, back to my room (at the Argent Hotel on Third Street), where I looked out over the city.

When I'm away from home, I spend an inordinate amount of time on the Internet, and so I checked my email. Erica, Holt's superwoman publicist, had sent me an email that said:

"Maureen Corrigan reviewed the book on Fresh Air today!! You can listen here."

Needless to say, I put on my headphones and listened! Fresh Air! Who knew?

About five o'clock, I called a friend who lives in Santa Cruz. He asked how I was going to get to my reading that evening (scheduled at the Capitola Book Café at 7:30), and I told him I'd take a taxi. He laughed and told me that Capitola is an hour and a half south of San Francisco, a little geographical fact that had escaped my attention. So I scrambled to call Erica and we arranged transportation. I jumped into a car and zoomed south, past San Jose.

The reading was packed, standing room


Seattle, Sushi and Falling Through the Earth

What a busy day I had today! I woke up and was rushed off to KMPS-FM where I spoke with Don Riggs of "Introspect Northwest" about my book, Falling Through the Earth. Then, later in the day, I was on my first talk show at KOMO-TV (ABC), "Northwest Afternoon" with Kent Phillips and Elisa Jaffe.

Then, it was back to my hotel (The Alexis, on First Avenue), where me and my partner in crime hung out for an hour or two on some comfy chairs.

Later, my guide Diane took me to Elliot Bay, where I met a very nice bookseller and signed a big stack of books.

Then, I met fellow memoirist Maria Dahvana Headley (authoress of The Year of Yes) for a glass of wine in the lobby of and then dinner at a sushi place around the corner from my hotel. Maria was wearing the nicest white suede boots and (of course) looked stunning. She drove me to the reading, where I grabbed some coffee and read chapter ten of Falling Through the Earth, the girlfriends chapter. It was the strangest thing: a


Greetings from Danielle Trussoni, Blogtrotter

One thing about me: I am a creature of habit.

When I was in my mid-twenties, I taught English in a small rural high school in Yoshii-machi, Japan. Part of the program was that I had to go into all of my classes at the beginning of the year and introduce myself. I would stand before thirty very quiet, very well-behaved fifteen year olds and say (slowly, so they could understand every word), "Hello, my name is Danielle. I come from the United States." My students, who I came to love over the course of the year, would try to repeat my name and it would invariably come out something like: Da Ni Ey Ru Senei.

Well, because this is my first day as a guest blogger on Powells.com, and because I am something of a creature of habit, I really would like to stand up and just introduce myself, give you all the relevant information, and then go from there. So here goes:

I'm Danielle Trussoni. I was born in Wisconsin, grew up there, went to college at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, lived in Japan, England, and Bulgaria. I'm married to the writer Nikolai Grozni (who will be ...

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