An Interview in the Author’s Lounge
Like you, I had many questions about the Author’s Lounge. What does it look like? Are the chairs comfortable? Do they serve coffee in the Author’s Lounge? Is it noisy and crowded? Is it expensive? Can I get a seat by the window? Is it like the name suggests a lounge only for authors, or are there also readers?
Well it turns out that the barista at the Author’s Lounge is an avid reader, and when she seated me by the window, with a nice frothy cappuccino (complementary!), I thought I’d arrived in heaven. Before I could really take the place in; the soft natural light, the hushed tones of other author’s talking at the tables along the wall, I noticed something that made me almost drop my coffee. Peeping out from the barista’s apron was a copy of my book, The Vales.
“That’s mine!” I said, pointing to the book.
She took a step back and gave me a look like I was nuts.
“No, let me explain, I’m the writer. That’s me.”
I showed her my phone with a picture of my book.
Then I showed her the various links where she could buy it.
I even showed her the QR code…
“Yeah, so what? Maybe you’re a writer, but just because you have a few dumb links on your phone doesn’t mean that you wrote The Vales.”
“This is me,” I said, desperately showing her my author picture, and another link (ok I’m a slow learner) to my author’s page.
George Graziani (author)
“Look, one thing I know about writers is they’re all liars,” she said.
“Fair enough. Ask me anything. And you can decide for yourself whether I am who I say I am.”
And she did…
What is The Vales all About?
The Vales seem like a normal Canadian family, but they are not. Patriarch Joseph Vale has a secret.
When the children and grandchildren drive north from Toronto to visit, they bring along their own problems and secrets. The novel takes place over a weekend visit, with multiple narrators, each offering their very personal take on what unfolds. Along with the riveting drama, it is the unveiling of inner lives; feelings, memories and relationships that make the story so moving.
The range of voices is as varied as it is deep; from Roland and Jay, pre-teens as different from each other as the characters in the online game they’re addicted to, to teenagers Danny and Ziggy, obsessed with an unopened love letter and a haze of blue smoke, to their middle-aged parents, like Bobby, a closet day trader with OCD. Lastly, the grandparents Joseph and Grace, wrestling with the memory and health issues of old age, and Joseph’s secret that threatens them all.
Surrounded by nature, the Vales are secluded and remote. They are however, not alone. Existing in parallel to the world of the Vales is a sinister underbelly, with its own set of secrets. Over the course of one stormy winter weekend, the Vales brush up against this evil, which triggers a sequence of events and a level of intensity beyond their darkest imaginations.
What inspired you to write The Vales?
The Vales grew from a fascination with the richness of our inner lives, our motivations, and yes, our secrecy. With every story, there is also the story we tell ourselves. I wanted to tell both.
What is your target audience for The Vales?
Adults who enjoy a well-crafted, moving story, with plenty of twists and turns to keep you on the edge of your seat.
What do you hope readers get out of The Vales?
The Vales, much like the title itself, works on a number of levels. First, it is an engaging story about a seemingly normal family with secrets. Over the course of a single weekend their lives are turned upside down by some very bad actors lurking up from the Canadian underbelly. It is also a psychological journey. The Vales explores the veiled inner lives and social perspectives of its generationally diverse narrators, each giving us their own unique take on what unfolds. For readers who like swimming below the surface, there are deeper moral questions about right and wrong, fate, consequences, and redemption.
What are your future plans for The Vales?
Yes, it is no accident that there is the potential for more of the Vales. It is a world with many rocks left to look under. Sequels, prequels, and spin offs are all on the table. I am currently exploring making a section of The Vales into a screenplay.
About the Author
George Graziani is a Canadian writer based in Ontario, Canada. George holds an honours degree in mathematics and philosophy from the University of Toronto. He is also a Fellow of the Society of Actuaries, the Canadian Institute of Actuaries, an Ironman triathlete, and a visual artist. George has been recognized by the Ontario Arts Council, and awarded an Ontario Arts Council Grant.
During his career as a senior executive in the financial world of international reinsurance, banking, and longevity, George wrote numerous articles on health and longevity with publishers including Institutional Investor, Canadian Investment Review, and Benefits Canada. George has been quoted in the Wall Street Journal, and interviewed by various media including Bloomberg Television, NPR, The Globe and Mail, the Toronto Star, and Rogers Media Television Network.
On March 20, 2020, as a public service, George developed and launched the first Global Contact Tracing App, which was used in 55 countries.
George has a passion for nature, and finds inspiration hiking near his cabin on the Bluffs of Nottawasaga, near Singhampton, north of Toronto.
George lives with his wife Carolyn in Toronto, near to their son Sam.
The Vales, crafted over many years, draws on an eclectic mix of characters and experience. It is ultimately about personal relationships and family. The Vales is George Graziani’s first novel.