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March's FEATURED AUTHOR: Danielle Trussoni...

March 3, 2010
Today, I am so very pleased to have Danielle Trussoni stopping by. She is my very lovely guest for the month of March! Welcome to drey's library, Danielle!

image credit: Nikolai Grozni

drey: When did you first realize that you wanted to be an author? What were you doing?

Danielle: I knew that I wanted to write from the time that I was a little girl. When I was around six years old, I took a notebook and pencil and tried to ‘interview’ my family. I remember very clearly thinking that one day I’d write about them. Many years later I wrote a memoir called Falling Through the Earth, which was about my father, so my early intuion was correct. I find it amazing how children know—and simultaneously don’t know, or forget—the paths they will one day take as adults.

drey: Who/what inspires your writing?

Danielle: I am inspired by so many things that it is impossible to name just one. I’m inspired by books and authors I love—19th century novels in particular. I’m inspired by painters and places and nature. I’m inspired by the biographies of writers, especially poets. All of these things seem incredibly abstract but when I find one particular thing that inspires me, I focus entirely on it. For example, I became interested in Renaissance painting while writing Angelology and spent a lot of time looking closely at art. I went to the Louvre and to the Prado so that I could see paintings up close. I really became obsessed. I hope that some of what I saw made its way—at least in spirit—into the novel.

drey: What prompted the move from memoir to fiction?

Danielle: I believe that my memoir was a once in a lifetime book. I had a very particular story and I needed to tell it in a very particular way. I don’t believe I’ll write another memoir, although of course I shouldn’t rule anything out! My first love is fiction. I see myself very much as a fiction writer. I went to the fiction writing program at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and wrote short stories and parts of novels before writing Falling Through the Earth. I think fiction is my true calling.

drey: Where did the seed for Angelology come from? How did you research for the book? How long did it take you? Was any of the research on location, and if so, where?

Danielle: It is funny, because I didn’t set out to write a book that had angels in it at all. I began with a set of locations that I wanted to use—Bulgaria, Paris in the 1940s and New York. I also knew that I wanted one of the settings to be a convent, and so I took a trip to do research in a convent. It was there that I discovered books about angels. The idea for my book came about after this trip, but it was only the beginning for me as far as research was concerned. I spent more time in the library with books of theology and biblical history than I had ever could have expected.

drey: What do you like to indulge in when not writing?

Danielle: Chocolate. Lots and lots of dark chocolate. And walks. One necessitates the other.

drey: Screen version of Angelology: Who's on your dream team?

Danielle: Well, in some ways we have the dream team. Will Smith’s Overbrook Entertainment is going to produce the film version of Angelology and Marc Forester is going to direct. Michael Goldenberg—who adapted one of the Harry Potter films--is writing the adaptation. As far as actors, I have no idea of who I would cast. I know, however, that for Gabriella—a French angelologist—that Marion Cotillard would be perfect. But I think it all really depends upon how the actor carries the role.

drey: Do you like chocolate? Dark, Milk, or White? Favorite topping or partner?

Danielle: Oh my! I didn’t see this question when I answered # 5. Yes, I love it. Dark. The darker the better. Absolutely solo.

drey: Electronic readers are becoming more affordable and available. There's been quite a bit of discussion about their impact on paper books, the environment, people's reading & buying habits... What's your take?

Danielle: I love holding books in my hands. I love having a physical library that I can browse. But I also love electronic readers. I have one, and use it when I travel, which is often. I only hope that the perfect one comes along. I’m really looking forward to the ipad.

drey: On the publishing side--what do you think publishers and authors ought to do about this side of the digital revolution? Jump in wholeheartedly, and blaze the path for others to follow? Watch from the sidelines till there's some consensus on what the new business model is going to be for the digital age? Cross their fingers that this is all just a fad & will blow over soon?

Danielle: I don’t think there is any way that the digital age is going to blow over. It is clearly a part of the future. And I think there is no point in resisting it. But that doesn’t mean everyone should blindly jump on board. I’m sure that there are ways to make it work for publishers and writers and readers.

drey: Your favorite swear word is? *grin*

Danielle: The editor of my first book, George Hodgman, had the most creative ways of swearing without actually swearing. He used to call a difficult person “A pill.” For example, he might say, “Oh, that Sarah Palin is such a pill.” I think that has to be my favorite expression of all time.


Mishel (P.S. I Love Books) said...

The swear word question made me laugh lol

Great interview ladies. I'm really looking forward to reading Danielle's book and the movie information was excited to read about :D

P.S. Danielle - I'm more of a MILK chocolate fan myself, that is when I'm in the mood for chocolate lol

drey said...

MILK?? No way, mish... DARK chocolate ALL.THE.WAY!!! =)

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