Andrea Thome of Burr Ridge is a former broadcast journalist who now explores some of her favorite travel destinations in her novels. The wife of retired Hall of Fame baseball player Jim Thome, they continue to make their home in our community and give back as much as they can. She will be signing copies of the third and final book in her Hesse Creek Series, House of Belonging, on Wednesday, September 5, at Anderson’s Bookshop in Naperville. This installment of the popular series tells the story of Laina Ming, a chef opening a new concept restaurant (with a love triangle to add spice). All proceeds from the September 5 launch party and signing will benefit Philanthropic Educational Organization, where the advancement of women is celebrated through scholarships, awards, grants, and loans. Here are a few of this award-winning author’s most memorable lasts:
Last fabulous meal that could show up in one of your books?
We had an unparalleled dining experience at Alinea in Chicago not long ago which was the perfect example of what I love to write about—food as art. At the end of the meal, they brought sugar-spun balloon filled with helium. You don’t see that every day!
Last author that inspired you?
I’ve written and published three books in three years now, and I know how much time and effort goes into that kind of production schedule. I’m in awe of writers like Diana Gabaldon and J.K. Rowling, who are able to write so prolifically and on such a consistent basis.
Last trip that you may want to write about someday?
I recently had the incredible opportunity to attend an exclusive event called “Live in the Vineyard Goes Country” with a dear friend in Napa Valley. There was so much to take in—from the exclusive access to musicians to the beautiful vineyards. I came back with a brain chock full of ideas after that experience.
Last great discovery?
I’ve been reading a lot of young adult (literature) lately, in preparation for trying my hand at that genre. I devoured three of Jenn Bennett’s books in under a week. (Starry Eyes; The Anatomical Shape of a Heart; and Alex, Approximately.) Where has she been all my life? I think her young characters are so interesting and her dialogue is witty and interesting. I want to be more like her when I grow up.
Last positive feedback from a reader that made you feel proud?
I love when readers tell me that they are grateful that my male characters are kind and generous instead of being brooding or angry. I am lucky to have had great examples of that in my own life—from my father to my husband. It’s also such a wonderful compliment when people tell me that they feel like they are experiencing the destinations that I write about. That’s my goal—to take readers on vacation when they crack open my books.