Welcome Frank and thank you for stopping by our blog today
1. How did you come up with the concept for this book?This story is an amalgamation of my love for baseball and my incredible experiences with Challenger Baseball and Best Buddies.
2.How did you come up with the names for the characters?
I just tried to create names that reflected the sort of names that one would expect to hear in the period of the 1940's.
3.How much are you and the characters alike?
I believe that every character that an author creates has some of him inside. It is very difficult to separate author sensibility from that of his characters.
4.Do you read a lot and what are you reading now?
I read whenever I can. I am presently reading the R.A. Dickey memoir.
5. What made you decide to go Young adult?
The age of Mickey Tussler makes him a natural hero for young readers. The coming of age theme also appeals to a younger audience.
6. How did the cover come about?
The cover was created by the art department at Skyhorse Publishing. I had absolutely no input at all, although I must say I love it.
7. So what is your next project and when is it due out?
I am presently working on a third Mickey Tussler novel to complete the trilogy. There is no release date yet.
8. Do you have a daytime job or are you a full time writer?
I teach high school English full time. Writing is just a very pleasant diversion at this juncture in time.
9. How did you get into writing novels and were you worried about peoples reactions to your books?
My first novel was inspired by a very special friendship I formed with two WWII veterans. Their stories were both haunting and captivating and inspired me to write the novel ECHOES FROM THE INFANTRY. Naturally, I was a little concerned about how it would be received, not so much out of vanity but because I did not want to do Eddie and Bill a disservice.
10. One last thing do you collect anything personally?
Yes...sports(mostly baseball) memorabilia. I am a baseball freak...
More about Frank:
Frank Nappi has taught high school English and Creative Writing for over twenty years. His debut novel, Echoes From The Infantry, received national attention, including MWSA's silver medal for outstanding fiction for 2006. His follow-up novel, The Legend of Mickey Tussler, garnered rave reviews as well, including a screenplay adaptation of the touching story which aired nationwide in the fall of 2011 (A Mile in His Shoes starring Dean Cain and Luke Schroder). Frank continues to produce quality work, including The Legend of Mickey Tussler: Sophomore Campaign, the intriguing sequel to the much heralded original story, and is presently at work on a third installment of the unique series. Frank lives on Long Island with his wife Julia and their two sons, Nicholas and Anthony.
The Legend of Mickey Tussler:
Seventeen-year-old Mickey Tussler is recruited to play for a minor league affiliate of the Boston Braves. Arthur Murphy swears Mickey has the greatest arm he has ever seen, that anybody has ever seen. And it might be true. But Mickey's autism is prohibitive. It keeps him sealed off from a world he scarcely understands. Lost both in the memory of his former life with an abusive father and the challenges of a new world filled with heckling teammates, opponents and fans, there's no way Mickey can succeed. But his inimitable talent -- one of the most gifted arms in the history of baseball -- gives him a chance. Can he survive a real life dream? Or are the harsh realities of life too much for him? This is the powerful underdog story of how a young man with an extraordinary gift comes of age in a harsh and competitive world.
Sophomore Campaign (the sequel to The Legend of Mickey Tussler)
It's 1949 and eighteen-year-old pitching phenom Mickey Tussler is back with the rejuvenated minor league Brewers in the sequel to The Legend of Mickey Tussler (the basis for the television movie A Mile in His Shoes). Despite Mickey's proclamation that he will never play baseball again after last season's violent conclusion, his manager and now surrogate father Arthur Murphy cajoles the emotionally fragile, socially awkward boy with autism into giving it another shot. Mickey reluctantly returns to the field and must once again cope with the violence and hatred around him. When a young African American player joins the team, the entire team is subjected to racial threats and episodes of violence, one of which Mickey witnesses firsthand. Struggling to understand such ugliness and hatred, and fearful of reprisal should he tell anyone about what he hasseen, the boy's performance on the field suffers. Mickey now must deal with a side of human nature he scarcely comprehends.
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