Friday, February 15, 2013
Frank Nappi - Echoes from the Infantry - Author Interview & Giveaway
Congratulations to our winner!
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. Why did you choose this setting?
The setting of Echoes From The Infantry vacillates between war-torn Europe and the tiny town of Rockaway Beach, New York. James McCleary's time as a soldier during WWII is obviously set in several towns in Europe, while the scenes depicting his life post war are all limited to his hometown, which is Rockaway Beach. I chose Rockaway Beach for several reasons, the most compelling being that this is where one of the veterans on which the novel is based grew up. It is the sort of quaint, folksy, post WWII town that embodies so much of what America was about during this time period.
2. How is it a fundamental part of your overall theme?
Well, the story is told in a series of flashbacks and runs simultaneously on three tracks. Naturally, the war scenes are essential as they allow the reader entrance into the private world of James McCleary. The other two tracks chronicle James' life in Rockaway immediately following the war and in the subsequent years, and the present situation he is in with his family. The theme of war having a lasting effect of a soldier's life is conveyed easily and powerfully through this structure.
3. How challenging was it to write about?
Not as challenging as one would think. I was not a part of WWII in any way, nor was anyone on my family. However, the relationship that I forged with two very special WWII veterans and their willingness to share with me their experiences both during the war and of course afterward made the whole topic come to life for me with startling clarity. I really felt, after all was said and done, that I had walked next to them while they were engaged in combat.
4. How did you develop your setting as you wrote your book?
As I said previously, the setting of Echoes From The Infantry vacillates between war-torn Europe and the tiny town of Rockaway Beach, New York. James McCleary's time as a soldier during WWII is obviously set in several towns in Europe, while the scenes depicting his life post war are all limited to his hometown, which is Rockaway Beach. As noted earlier, I chose Rockaway Beach because of the connection to one of the men who inspired the novel and because of what the area represents. The book unfolds in a series of these alternating flashbacks.
5. How do you transport them there through your writing?
Like any author, I use description, particularly of the sensory variety, as the vehicle through which I transport readers into another time and place. It is essential that a reader feel connected to the surroundings in order to feel what is happening as they read. This makes the setting come alive for the reader.
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.