Thanks much, Jack! I so appreciate your comment, but mostly I appreciate that my characters lived through your reading.
I write a lot of fiction, but this novel is special to me. Every character is someone I once knew well.
Some of them would be shocked at the situations I put them in, though — particularly Alonzo and Esteban, who in reality are very nice people who work hard to make a living in the restaurant business.
The idea for the novel came to me as I remembered one night at Cucina when Howie, Jill, and I were drinking too much Sambuco, and teasing Raph about his slutty, ambidextrous ways.
Alonzo overheard us and did more than tease his young cousin. He really let him have it. A homophobic diatribe.
Over the next few years, I saw Alonzo soften a lot, even to the point where he would “camp it up” a little with some of the restaurant’s regulars.
So, one day I got to daydreaming about the Colombian family, just letting my imagination run wild.
This novel is what came of that.
By the way, while I feel the ending is appropriate, especially given my themes, I always hate it when authors end stories abruptly.
So, I have an epilogue coming in a couple days, set in both the story’s past and its future.
Just to tie up loose ends and let everybody know how it all wraps up.