Thursday, January 15, 2015

Featured Author: Traci Andrighetti

About the book:

For Franki Amato, life in New Orleans is anything but “The Big Easy.” When she met handsome bank executive Bradley Hartmann, she knew she’d finally found a man she could trust. But she can’t say the same for his sexy new secretary, who is about as trustworthy as Mata Hari and every bit as seductive. Meanwhile, Franki’s best friend and employer, Veronica Maggio, has named her the lead investigator in the murder of a gorgeous cosmetics CEO who was found lying dead in the master bedroom of a historic plantation home.

Now the pressure is on Franki to figure out what a bottle of pink lip gloss and the legend of a pink diamond have to do with the bizarre killing. The problem is that the plantation is notorious for being haunted, and Franki is less than enthusiastic about the prospect of meeting a ghost. Adding to her stress, her Sicilian grandma is up to her usual meddling antics—this time planning Franki’s engagement to Bradley before he’s even considered popping the question. As Bradley grows distant and plantation employees begin dropping like Southern belles during a sweltering summer, Franki turns to a psychic with a phobia of ghosts to solve the mysterious murders and her own relationship fears.

Interview with Traci Andrighetti

Traci, what’s the story behind the title Prosecco Pink?
All of my books' titles have an Italian liqueur or wine with a color – hence my author tagline “Cocktails, color and crime. With an Italian twist.” So, the first book in the Franki Amato series is Limoncello Yellow, and a short Christmas story I wrote about Franki is called “Rosolio Red” (Rosolio is a liqueur made from rose petals). Of course, my latest release is Prosecco Pink. In all the cases, both the liqueur and the color are tied to the mystery. So, I’d love to tell you more about the title, but that would mean giving away a huge part of the plot!

Tell us about your Franki Amato series. Is this book a standalone, or do readers need to read the series in order?
Prosecco Pink is part of the Franki Amato mystery series. But, if you read my reviews on Amazon, for example, you’ll see that a lot of readers have said that the books can be read out of order.

What do you love about where you live?

There are a lot of things to love about Austin, Texas. For starters, our motto is “Keep Austin Weird,” which really just means that we support our local businesses. Then, of course, there’s The University of Texas (Hook ‘em horns!), amazing barbeque like Franklin’s, the SXSW musical festival (not to mention Austin City Limits), and, most recently, Formula One racing. So, Austin just keeps getting better all the time.

What are your most cherished mementoes?
I have two items that are really special to me. One is a clear, quartz rock that I dug up in an alley when I was twelve (I thought it looked like a giant diamond), and the other is an old-fashioned key I bought from a flea market in Rome on my second day ever in Italy. The quartz ties me to my childhood, and the key reminds me of my personal connection to Italy.

If you could only save one thing from your house, what would it be?

Well, besides my laptop, I would grab a huge, original poster of the movie Some Like it Hot from my wall. It’s the Italian version, so the title is actually A qualcuno piace caldo. I love it because Marilyn Monroe looks fabulous in a tight black dress, and because Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon are dressed it drag.

What’s one of your favorite quotes?
I recently read a quote by the director Richard Linklater (an Texas original). He was asked about the fact that he had invested a lot of his own money in his last two films, and he explained his decision by saying, “You kind of have to bet on yourself in this world.” It’s a simple statement, but one that I profoundly agree with.

If you could live anywhere in the world, where in the world would it be?
That’s easy. The Eternal City — Rome, Italy. A lot of people think it’s dirty and noisy, but I think it’s lived in and alive. After all, “Roma” is “amor (love)” backwards. ;)

How did you create the plot for this book?
I was inspired by a visit to Oak Alley plantation in Vacherie, Louisiana. I took some friends who were visiting from Rome there, because I wanted them to see something that doesn’t exist in Italy. I’d been there before, but there was something about seeing the place through their eyes that convinced me it would be an intriguing location for a murder. To create the plot, I used a lot of elements from the mansion, itself, as well as elements from my own imagination.

Are any of your characters inspired by real people?
Yes! Franki, Veronica, David, and Franki’s nonna, Carmela, were all inspired by real people. So, if you think Carmela is too crazy to be real, think again. ;) The only one of my recurring characters who isn’t based on a real person is Franki and Veronica’s aging stripper landlady, Glenda. She was based on a group of strippers I met when I accidentally ended up in their dressing room in New Orleans (long story).

Where and when do you prefer to do your writing?
Well, I would prefer to do my writing all day long in my house. But, I have a day job, so I have to do it in the middle of the night and on weekends. And sometimes I like to write at a coffee shop down the street from my house. Getting all jacked up on caffeine has its advantages.

What would your dream office look like?
Actually, I just created my dream office in my home, and it looks a lot like a guest bedroom. I like to lie down when I write, so I got rid of my desk and put a day bed in the room. The room is orange, has a giant black bookshelf in it, and it’s filled with knickknacks and treasures from Rome, including a poster of the movie Gidget Goes to Rome with the coliseum prominently featured. I now call my office my “Roman writing room.”

How did you find your publisher, and how long did your query process take?
My story is completely crazy (no surprise there). I had maybe written a third of Limoncello Yellow when a fellow author encouraged me to submit the first 2,000 words of the novel to a contest to win a Kindle and month of mentoring. The next thing you know, I had a two-book deal in hand. I still can’t believe it.

What are you working on now?
Honestly, I’m working on a book in a new series that I’m not yet at liberty to talk about. But watch for it in the summer. It’s going to be big, but not for the reasons you might think. ;)

Other books by Traci:

About the author:

Traci Andrighetti is the national bestselling author of the Franki Amato mysteries. In her previous life, she was an award-winning literary translator and a Lecturer of Italian at the University of Texas at Austin, where she earned a PhD in Applied Linguistics. But then she got wise and ditched that academic stuff for a life of crime--writing, that is.

If she's not hard at work on her next novel, Traci is probably watching her favorite Italian soap opera, eating Tex Mex or sampling fruity cocktails, and maybe all at the same time. She lives in Austin with her husband, young son (who desperately wants to be in one of her books) and three treat-addicted dogs.

Connect with Traci:

Website  | Blog  | 
Facebook  |  
Twitter  |  Goodreads

Buy the book:
Barnes & Noble  |  
iTunes  |  
Kobo  | Smashwords