(Tomatoes hanging overhead by sylvar / Ben Ostrowsky; some rights reserved.)

Tomato Rhapsody, Adam Schell’s debut novel, is a romance set in 16th century Tuscany. It centers on the forbidden love between Davido, a Jewish tomato farmer, and Mari, a Catholic olive farmer, and also includes a grand duke, a priest who has come under a strange spell, an evil stepfather, a village fool, and some serious chefs in love with tomatoes, olives, and cheese. Vox Tablet host Sara Ivry spoke to Schell about the inspiration for this Italian romp, his meeting with Harvey Keitel, and what he hopes to do with his earnings.