I personally think that cake design is a visual art that should stand out from baking, but she thinks differently, perhaps because she is a perfectionist. For Leda Intorta, in cake design visual and tasting arts must meet and be complementary. She is young, good-looking, and capable; through videos on YouTube she is teaching many sugar paste lovers. Her courses are crowded with artists from all over Italy.
Leda inspired the scene of my novel “I Watch You,” and her advice on the composition and texture of the gum paste was central to the structuring of the plot. I am often asked if Leda also inspired the character of Valentina, the cake designer in the novel. The answer is not simple and is likely to be incomplete.
In the first draft a few years ago, the two figures were very similar, and the name of the character, Leonora Laisi, was reminiscent of Leda (her middle name is Eleonora). This choice soon proved to be a mistake, because it greatly limited the development of the plot. While writing, I realized I was trying to match Eleonora’s personality with Leda’s in any manner, shaping a character at the expense of the story.
After about a year of the first draft, I took the manuscript and decided to get rid of that constraint. From that point on, the novel took a different path, and now my character Valentina is so different from Leda, my daughter.
And no, Intorta is not her family name.