The 20th annual event of the Lancaster County Public Library Board of Friends in 2021 raised $ 27,000, the largest amount of money in 20 years of fundraising. So, for the 21st annual fundraising event, the Council of Friends decided to perform another unprecedented feat: to bring two authors to the stage.
New York Times bestselling authors Adriana Trigani and Chris Bogalyan will speak with Scott Lamar of WITF at Calvary Church in Lancaster at 11 a.m. May 24.
Tickets for the event cost $ 65 and include free copies of Trichani’s latest book, The Good Left Undone, and Bagcalan’s latest novel, The Lioness. Ticket holders must show their ticket at the event to receive free books. There will be no dinner at this year’s event. Ticket booking forms are available at lancasterlibraries.org and in Aaron’s Books in Cliff.
Trigani is the author of 20 books of fiction and nonfiction, including her latest book, The Good Left Undone, which was published late last month. She is also a playwright, TV writer and producer, podcaster and director.
Trigan lives in Greenwich Village, New York, but is originally from Big Stone Gap, Virginia. She honored her hometown with a series of novels “The Big Stone Gap” and the film of the same name. And together with co-founder Nancy Bolmayer-Fisher, she recognizes her Appalachian roots with the Origin Project, a magazine writing project offered in 17 schools in Virginia for students in grades 2-12 that focuses on identity and background. The program, which began in 2014, annually publishes an anthology of student writing.
Her latest novel, The Good Left Undone, is a family epic of secrets, love, loss and heritage that spans the globe and generations.
Chris Bogdzhalyan is the author of 24 books, including his latest “The Lioness” – a historical thriller set during an African safari.
For more than 20 years, Bagelyan has written an award-winning column in a newspaper about the life of a small town in Vermont for the Burlington Free Press.
His work has been translated into 35 languages, and his 20th novel, The Steward, has been adapted for a mini-series starring Kaylee Cuoca, which is now airing on HBO Max.
Bagyalyan, who suffered from laryngitis during this interview, agreed to answer some questions about his work via email. (Read the interview with Adriana Trigani here.)
Since this is a fundraising event for Lancaster County Public Libraries, can you share how your experience with libraries has shaped you as a writer and reader?
I am a writer for many reasons, but libraries are great. I often moved between sixth and 12th grades, attending five schools in three states in six years. I was always a new kid in the neighborhood, and so there was often a period when, without knowing anyone, I went to the library and read. It was in the libraries where I first read Peter Benchley’s Jaws, Harper Lee’s Kill the Ridiculer, Joyce Carroll Oates ’Dear People, and William Peter Blaty’s Exorcist. I read these four books in eighth grade, and they taught me a lot about linear impulse and about how first-person narrators in novels are just as fictional as the fictional constructions around them.
You will share the scene with Adriana Trigani during the upcoming authoring event. Can you tell us about her?
Adriana is a great storyteller and an extremely gifted writer. She is also a writer with a huge heart. She understands that publishing is not a zero-sum game. In the tent is a place for everyone. She really cares about her readers and fans. She is the power of nature from the platform: affectionate, cheerful and charming, as well as a spectacular storyteller. And she has a very accurate moral compass. The result? She is a treasure that makes the world a better place through her art and her presence.
How do you feel about writing historical fiction? Do you write and research at the same time?
I usually do a few weeks of research before writing to make sure an idea is viable. Does the premise make sense? But then I write and research at the same time. Homework is critical. When I wrote Light in Ruins, set in Tuscany between 1943 and 1955, I spent months researching it. (I know it’s a daunting task.) I went on a bike tour of Vietnam before writing the word “Red Lotus”. And for “Lioness” I started with a safari. This was just before the world was shut down for a pandemic. If I have a writing unit, it usually means that my research is lacking: there is something I don’t know that I need to know.
Did writing a newspaper column in general help your process of writing a novel?
Yes, absolutely. On a weekly basis, it reminded of the importance of interviewing people and conducting research: asking questions and learning from their answers. It also helped me learn to create short scenes: the column always consisted of 675 words, and so I learned to describe someone in a few words and create an atmosphere in one or two sentences.
“Steward” was adapted for the series on HBO Max. How do you feel when your story is transmitted on another medium?
This is great. I love it. “The Steward” is my first series, but my three previous books were films: “Beyond the Tribune” with Richard Dean Anderson; “Midwives” with Sisi Spacek and Alison Peel and “Secrets of Eden” with John Stamas and Anna Gunn. I have three more books in development and I am the executive producer of one and helping to write the other. Isn’t Kaylee Cuoca brilliant in the role of Cassie Bowden? She is a fantastic actor. She can do anything. She is a flight attendant. I think TV series are a dream.