I had the pleasure last evening of being the featured speaker (and new member) of the Sons of Italy, Leonardo Da Vinci Lodge in Boca Raton. While I am still learning to distill the many themes of the book into 10-15 minute presentations, I was well-received. Due to the nature of my audience, I focused on the Rose family characters -- based on my own wonderful DiGiovanni family -- discussing my efforts to create a positive (and accurate) portrayal of American families of Italian descent, celebrating the work ethic and determined spirit of yesteryear's immigrants (using my own grandparents and father as exmaples) and applauding the foundation of faith and genuine love and commitment that led to my brother Ralph's (born with Down syndrome) blossoming into a happy, productive and all-around incredible human being. Hint: it takes a family, not a village!
Many thanks to Lisa Rader, President Frank Giacalone, Vice President Bill Petraglia and Dr. Anthony Di Perna....all fantastic people who made me feel very welcome and comfortable. Looking forward to becoming an active member of this organization which -- judging from last night's agenda -- truly does amazing things for the local community.
Later on, at 11:30 p.m. to be exact, I was a guest on BlogTalk Radio's Young Gun Conservative Show, where we chatted about pop culture, overcoming hardships and loving the USA (among other things), as they related to characters, plot and themes. The entire show was 1 1/2 hours, yet it flew by! I fielded questions from callers and even live-chatted with lots of folks. Many thanks to Nick and Kender for giving me the opportunity!
This coming Monday, February 2, I will appear on the Michigan-based "No Taboo Radio Show" with Martin Dzuris. Hope you can listen in!