An author interview with Adriana Trigiani, conducted by Etta McChesney, age 11.
Etta: This is the first time I've ever interviewed anybody unless you count the time that I interviewed Mr. Zackie Wakin for the school paper.
Adriana: How did that go?
Etta: He gave me a tour of his store which was interesting. He was very funny. I hope you will be funny.
Adriana: I'll do my best.
Etta: Also at the end of the interview he gave me a free pair of silver flip flops.
Adriana: Let me see if I can't come up with some sort of parting gift.
Etta: It would only be right. Okay. My first question: do you feel you got all of your facts straight about the time that we ordered coal delivered to Miss Benton's yard?
Adriana: I'm pretty sure I did. What do you think?
Etta: You did pretty good.
Etta: What's it like to write three books about the same person?
Adriana: Your mother is a very compelling character to me. So, it's a very fulfilling process to take the reader on a twenty year journey over three books. In Big Stone Gap, when we meet her for the first time, she is just beginning to open up her heart to the possibility of love, in Big Cherry Holler, she has to reinvent her marriage and her life, and in Milk Glass Moon, it's all about you, how she parents and juggles work and family. In a trilogy, the reader gets a long range view. Also, Ave Maria had a lot of deep experiences that my readers can relate to, and it was fun for them to see her grow over the long haul.
Etta: What does my mom learn in "Milk Glass Moon"?
Adriana: One of the hardest lessons we learn as grown ups is how to deal with change. Now, there are all kinds of change, some good, some very hard. When you have a baby, that changes your life, and though there are challenges, that's a good change. When there is death of a loved one, the process of that loved one's death and then the grieving are emotionally challenging. It is hard to adjust to the loss of someone you love. These are the themes of the book, and your mother as the central character takes us through these changes.
Etta: My mom hates change! It took her three and a half years to pick a new rug for the living room.
Adriana: So imagine how hard it is for her to see you growing up, each day you are moving towards the ultimate sacrifice of parenthood, which is turning to your child and saying goodbye as she makes her way out into the world. That's got to be tough, don't you think?
Etta: Probably. But I can't stay a kid forever either. That wouldn't work.
Adriana: No, it wouldn't. I have a question for you, if you don't mind.
Etta: Sure, but I'm probably not going to put it in the article.
Adriana: Fine. My question is: if you had to choose one thing about Italy that you like the best, what is it?
Etta: Straichetella gelato. It's soft vanilla ice cream with hunks of dark swiss chocolate in it. Kind of like if you smashed a brown mule ice cream bar they sell in the school cafeteria.
Adriana: Sounds delicious.
Etta: And you can only get it over there which makes it even better once you're over there and can have it. Can I have two things I like the best?
Etta: My grandpop. He's very cool and takes me everywhere when I visit.
Etta: Thanks for the interview. If I think of anything else?
Adriana: You can email me.
From the Trade Paperback edition.