Interview with Lisa Lucca & Mark Fiore, authors of You Are Loved
Tell us about You Are Loved
Our book is a non-fiction epistolary account of how our thirty-year friendship grew to become a unique modern-day love story. . .
Twenty years after first meeting in the San Francisco Bay Area and becoming tight friends, Lisa had long since moved back to Chicago when we began re-establishing contact via emails. Over the next ten years we wrote to one another about our respective lives, which, by now, were centered on dysfunctional relationships, child-raising, and a quest for life purpose.
Smash-cut to late summer of 2010 when I file for a divorce, Lisa moves back to the Bay Area, and we print out those ten years-worth of emails. During a sunny autumn weekend we start randomly pulling from the foot-high stack and begin reading these past emails aloud to one another, alternately laughing and weeping at the humor and heartfelt poignancy with which we had written about our lives. After one such emotional afternoon I gesture to the stack: “You know what this is, Lis? This is one hell of a love story”
We spent the next two years organizing and editing over two thousand of those emails into what is now our book.
So what genre would you say it is?
What kind of readers will it appeal to?
But how can emails tell the full story? There won’t be emails about your first walk by the Bay, your your first kiss, sex…
During the first days of the editing process for the book we considered writing some “fake” emails to fill in the gaps as to what took place during those weeks or months but decided against it because, for one thing, it would have been inauthentic to do so. Adding commentary didn’t feel right either. We also felt comfortable and a bit playful with the idea that, for those readers caught up in the story, those natural gaps would create a bit of tension and mystery for them, enough that they might actually enjoy coming to our book talks with their questions and participate in the conversation we want to have about what love really is and what it means.
Lisa: As Mark says, the book follows the emotional arc of our story and takes place primarily while we are across the country from one another. Having been friends for decades, we had had plenty of beach walks, all-night conversations and shared many hugs before our romantic relationship got under way. Those looking for the any juicier details will want to join us at our events!
Which of you was the first to realize that what you shared was love and not just friendship? How did it happen?
Lisa: Over the many years of our early friendship we had developed a real love between us. I secretly had a bit of a crush on him, too, though I never let on since he didn’t seem to have any romantic interest in me. As we reconnected years later, now both married, our friendship became about mutual support and the ease of having someone close who knows you and “gets” you. When I saw him again in 2009 there was an undeniable attraction to one another and that’s when romantic feelings emerged for me, though I was unsure of whether we would ever have the chance to explore them. The rest is in the book!
When you look back over the years, do you regard those 30 years you spent apart as wasted, or as necessary to ensure that you appreciate what you have now?
On the night of Lisa’s going-away party, bound for Tennessee to marry a man she’d met while working production for Janet Jackson’s world tour, I was there with my future wife, Lisa was there with her future husband, and we wished one another well after making sincere promises to stay in touch. We saw each other only couple times in the next twenty years.
Lisa: I agree completely with Mark. Our relationship would not have lasted if we had gotten together in the ‘80’s and we would not have the spiritually deep connection we have now if we hadn’t had the life experiences that brought us to who we are. We appreciate what we share so much more at this stage of our lives.
What was the most challenging part of producing this book?
Tell us a bit about yourselves.
Lisa is a successful Life & Business Coach specializing in helping others realize their creative potential. She had yet to adopt her current pen name when she was a contributing author to A Guide to Getting It: Purpose and Passion and Water Cooler Diaries.
We live in the SF Bay Area and can be found frequenting cool neighborhood establishments in search of good Pinot Noir and great calamari.
Have you got a blog where readers can keep up with your work?