Wednesday, February 13, 2013
Frank Nappi - Echoes from the Infantry - Author Interview & Giveaway
Congratulations to our winner!
marypres (AT) gmail (DOT) com
About the Book
Echoes From The Infantry is the tale of one Long Island World War II veteran, the misery of combat, and the powerful emotional bonds that brought him home to Rockaway Beach and the love of his life, Madeline Brandt. It is about a father and son, and their ultimately redeeming struggle to understand each other's worlds - one a world at war, the other shaped by its veterans. Nappi moves artfully between the present and past, weaving a fictionalized tale of this Long Islander's struggle to reconcile with the demons from long ago and his family's neverending battle with many of the intangible burdens caused by the private life of a man they never really knew. He touches our hearts with a story of courage and perseverance...a story of men who faced the greatest challenge of their generation.
1. Who is your favorite character?
2. Why is he/she your favorite?
James McCleary is my favorite for the simple reason that he embodies all of the qualities of so many of the veterans with whom I became so close. Like these very brave men who for the most part remained misunderstood for so many years, he is an enigma to most around him, for he remains imprisoned in his own world, mired in a quagmire of memories from the battlefield. Consequently, he is a complex character, one who struggles with reconciling his past with his present situation. The essence of the struggle makes him sympathetic to readers and a compelling study in human behavior.
3. How did you come to create him/her?
James was conceived during my many conversations with two very special WWII veterans, Mr. Bill McGinn and Mr. Eddie Hynes. Listening to their poignant reminiscences of war torn Europe and their post war plight was truly captivating. I knew that I had the makings of a very heartfelt drama the minute I met each one of these incredible men.
4. When did he/she first enter your mind?
As part of an enrichment activity in my United States History/American Literature Integrated course, I asked two WWII veterans to come in and speak to my students about the war and the era of the 1940s. I watched and listened as these two amazing individuals captivated these young folks with their poignant tales of combat and of life for them once the final shot was fired. It was then that I knew I had to explore this idea further.
5. Where was he/she given life in the creative process?
Life began instantly for James McCleary. Because I was so invested in the men on whom the character is based, this fictitious man was imbued with a vitality from the very beginning. He is a living, breathing emblem of so many of the men who fought so courageously overseas and came home to a world that no longer knew them.
6. What do like the most about him/her and what do you dislike the most about him/her?
I love the multi-faceted nature of James McCleary. He is deeply complex and speaks so powerfully to readers. He is, as I said, alarmingly real. Not so sure I dislike anything about him -- all of his faults post-war can be attributed to the war and the ghastly experiences in which he was forced to engage. He's not perfect by a long shot, but I believe readers will see, as does his son eventually, that this man was a good soul who was a casualty of the war despite surviving.
Echoes from the Infantry can be purchased at:
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Release: October 13, 2005
About the Author
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. His follow-up novel, The Legend of Mickey Tussler, garnered rave reviews as well, including a movie adaptation of the touching story "A Mile in His Shoes" starring Dean Cain and Luke Schroder. Frank continues to produce quality work, including Sophomore Campaign, the intriguing sequel to the much heralded original story and the just released thriller, Nobody Has to Know, which received an endorsement from #1 New York Times bestselling author Nelson DeMille. Frank is presently at work on a third installment of his Mickey Tussler series and his next thriller. He lives on Long Island with his wife Julia and their two sons, Nicholas and Anthony.
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About the Giveaway:
Leave a comment with your email address to win an ebook of Echoes from the Infantry. Ends 2/28/13.