Artist-in-Residence Series Features ‘The New York Times’ Best-selling Author, Adriana Trigiani
Sunday, November 6 was a magical evening as prolific author, producer and director Adriana Trigiani visited LON’S at The Hermosa. During the Artist-in-Residence Series at The Hermosa Inn, 15-time “The New York Times” best-selling author chronicled her adventures in writing her latest novel, “All the Stars in the Heavens.”
The book is a novelization of much research, documentation and some reflections that the prolific author pored over in connection with a “wide open secret” that took place in the Golden Era of Hollywood. In the book, “All the Stars in the Heavens,” Trigiani explores the relationship that actor Clark Gable had with Loretta Young during the film, “The Call of the Wild” which resulted in a child that Young would not acknowledge as her true daughter, nor was acknowledged by her father, as he was married at the time of the affair with Young. In a book that brings Sister Alda Ducci into the fold and in to Young’s life, the book also includes a cast of real and fictional characters surrounding the heyday of filmmaking and some circumstances that back in the day were considered scandalous and recounts how Young dealt with a love child and those that assisted her. Other classic Hollywood actors and actresses drift in and out of the story, too.
Trigiani’s masterful storytelling allows each character’s life to unfold glorious and colorful detail. The author’s own stories that she shared during the special Artist-in-Residence dinner are filled with family, faith, food and friends touched with a warm insightfulness that only Trigiani can impart, and this is also the flavor in which the novel is told.
Although it would be difficult to share every story that Trigiani told during the dinner, it started off with a series of fun introductions within the group of a couple dozen guests. Trigiani says, “I want to go around and have everyone introduce themselves. What’s really fun is that you will discover that you have connections to each other and you will be friends, later. Because this is what has happened to me with books… As we go on in life, it’s all about relationships.” Rich relationships are certainly the common theme in everything from her books “The Shoemaker’s Wife,” and “Lucia, Lucia,” to her smash novel and 2015 film directorial debut, “Big Stone Gap.”
“All the Stars in the Heavens”
“All the Stars in the Heavens” was the result of Trigiani deciding to write this particular story, versus another novel she had abandoned. “When I went to make the movie ‘Big Stone Gap,’ I had this notion that the next thing I wanted to do was three books… One about the movies and the Golden Age of Hollywood, one about music in the Big Band Era, and the third one I wanted to do – which has been my passion for many years and I hope I live long enough to do it – I wanted to write the love story about Helen Hayes and Charles MacArthur.” Ultimately, Trigiani has found a hit in “All the Stars in the Heavens.”
The novel certainly includes many events and characters that are historically factual, but it also includes some additional characters that round out the story. At its core, it is an unexpected love story set in another time when morals were probably not all that different, but public perception was. Trigiani states, “In deciding whose story it was, I would only use the characters that would resonate in terms of what was true. I didn’t leave anybody out, but I didn’t pursue (for instance) the brother’s story, because it was immaterial to Loretta.” Trigiani’s novel does not judge, rather, she leaves everything up to the reader to decide.
During the dinner, I asked Trigiani what her physical office space looked like during the writing of “All the Stars in the Heavens.” She explains, “I said to my husband, ‘After 17 books, you know what? I can’t do it in the laundry room anymore!’ For years, the top half of our old house was rented out to my best friend and we told him he had to move out in January. That’s how crazy I got doing this book.” She had a timeline drawn out on butcher paper and other materials and objects that she referred to while writing. She adds, “But then, you have to put it all away. You cannot look at it anymore. You have to kind of take it in… I never go back and look at it again. I just write the story like I’m making it up… I might look at a picture of somebody, but I won’t look at words.”
The meal during the Artist-in-Residence dinner was orchestrated by LON’s at The Hermosa Executive Chef, Jeremy Pacheco. Guests dined on a delicious smoked local beets salad, a kabocha squash soup, and either braised beef short ribs or sea bass and Kauai shrimp. Dessert was LON’s outstanding signature, Cowboy Candy Bar. Each course was paired with a unique wine. Seasonal events at The Hermosa Inn include everything from wine and beer pairing dinners to special dinners like the one with Trigiani and even a pre-Oscars party featuring fashion icon, Robert Black, plus so much more. For a list of upcoming special events, visit http://www.hermosainn.com/events-calendar/. The Hermosa Inn was recently named one of the Best Hotels in the American Southwest in “Conde Nast Traveler’s” 2016 Reader’s Choice Awards. The Hermosa Inn is located at 5532 N. Palo Cristi Rd., Paradise Valley. Visit www.hermosainn.com or call (602) 955-7878 for additional information on any of the special events at the boutique hideaway.
About Adriana Trigiani
Beloved by millions, Adriana Trigiani is the author of 15 “New York Times” bestsellers published in 36 countries, including “All the Stars in the Heavens,” the blockbuster “The Shoemaker’s Wife,” the Valentine trilogy and Lucia, Lucia. Also the writer and director of “Big Stone Gap” starring Ashley Judd and Whoopi Goldberg based on her debut novel, the film became the No. 2 romantic comedy of 2015. “Known as the reigning queen of women’s fiction” (“USA Today”), “The New York Times” calls her “a comedy writer with a heart of gold,” her books “tiramisu for the soul.” The Artist in Residence Dinner was orchestrated as a partnership with Barnes & Noble. Trigiani’s works have been profiled in publications around the world, including “The New York Times,” “Virginia Living,” Publisher’s Weekly” and “Readers Digest.”