When Wilson Library Board President Kathleen Neville asked bestselling author Lorenzo Carcaterra if he would agree to do a Zoom call with book clubs from the Niagara and Orleans county libraries, she wasn’t expecting that he would be interested to come out in person instead.
Now Carcaterra will be speaking in person at a free lecture at the Sunset Bar & Grill in Wilson about his new book, “Nonna Maria and the Case of the Missing Bride.”
“Carcaterra is brilliant at storytelling, but he’s also diligent and methodical with his research,” Neville said. “He’s the ideal author to speak to a group such as this.”
Carcaterra is a New York Times bestselling author who has written 13 books, which include his most famous novel “Sleepers,” which was adapted into the 1996 film of the same name. He was also a former writer and producer on “Law & Order,” and managing editor for the CBS series “Top Cops.” He even has a journalistic background in writing for the New York Daily News, The New York Times Sunday Magazine, People Magazine, and National Geographic.
Carcaterra’s new novel, “Nonna Maria and the Case of the Missing Bride,” involves its titular character, elderly widow Nonna Maria investigating a crime on the Italian island where she lives, after it stumps the police and the locals don’t know who else to turn to. The character of Nonna Maria is said to be based on Carcaterra’s own grandmother, who lived her whole life on the island of Ischia, where this book takes place.
“Nonna Maria was kind of a departure from my earlier work,” Carcaterra said during an interview. “There’s not a lot of ‘bang-bang’ action in it, but it’s very character driven and dialogue heavy which is what I like writing,”
Carcaterra mentioned that he’s already finished writing a sequel, “Nonna Maria and the Case of the Stolen Necklace,” and is planning on starting the third book soon. He’s also involved with a television adaptation of the Nonna Maria series being made for Italian television. He’s even going to be writing a few scripts for the show in Italian, which he’s fluent in.
While he does enjoy working on movies and television, and taking part in a more collaborative creative process, he still always enjoys coming back to writing books by himself.
“When working in film gets to be too much and I want a break, it’s nice to go back to a book where it’s just me, my characters, and my dog working on the story together,” Carcaterra said.
A factor that drew Carcaterra to want to come out to Wilson to begin with was that this event was being put on by a local library. Carcaterra said that libraries are very important to him, and even pointed out that one of the first things he did after he bought a house recently in Pound Ridge, New York, was make sure he got a library card for the local system.
He fondly recalls how when growing up in Hell’s Kitchen in New York City, he lived next door to a library, and that it was always a good place for him to spend his time. He also credited the brothers who taught him in Catholic school for getting him interested in reading early on.
“They showed us Jack London, Alexandre Dumas, Pat Conroy, and books like that,” Carcaterra said. “Once you get hooked early on reading, you’re hooked for life.”
Neville is hoping to have this meet-and-greet be the start of a new lecture series that the Wilson library system would hold. It’s looking to have three potential lectures each year, with authors who write for different genres and maybe even people from the film industry. She credited Library Director Megan Brauer in being able to make this event possible.
“She’s done an incredible job of making sure that there’s something for library patrons of all ages,” Neville said. “She’s been very instrumental in this effort.”
Carcaterra will be speaking at 6:30 p.m. Aug. 4 at the Sunset Bar & Grill, 3 O’Connell Island in Wilson. RSVP’s are recommended for those looking to attend, and can be requested by emailing email@example.com.