The male main character of a Match Made in Venice is Piero Zanetti, eleventh generation Murano glass master and world-renowned studio glass artist. Piero is full of contrasts and conflicts: the drive for perfection in artistic expression and the pull of a very old and very strong tradition; freedom to be who he is and the desire to be loved by others. He feels deeply and acts on those feelings. He’s basically Didi’s opposite.
When we meet him, he’s just starting to come out of a spiral of depression related to the end of a relationship and also his career (but it takes him a while to realise it’s also related to his work). He is estranged from his father, which, in a small place like Murano, causes problems for both of them. But underneath it all, he’s got the truest heart. As much as he thinks he’s pushed himself for art, what really matters to him is his family, making him a much more normal sort of person than he’d like to think. It takes a kick up the bum from Didi for him to start to understand that about himself.
Piero was an absolute joy to write. I channelled some of my own vulnerabilities as a creative person into him and also just let him say the most outrageous things. He makes a few mistakes in the book – more than a few – and finding a way for him to make up for those mistakes was the most fun I’ve ever had writing anything. You’ll have to reach the end to find out how.