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The View Inside My Writing SpaceI suppose my writing space is not that unlike those of other authors. Well...maybe that’s not entirely true. I do most of my writing in my office at home, a modest room with burnt orange walls adorned with my most treasured baseball memorabilia, highlighted by a beautiful 16X20 black and white Cooperstown signed photo of Ted Williams which hangs right over my desk. I have other unique items in the room as well, including game used spikes signed by Tony Gwynn, an autographed Sports Illustrated cover celebrating Hank Aaron’s 715th home run and two Shea Stadium seats that I acquired after the Mets shut down the old place. There’s lots more as well - other baseball items from seasons past that are imbued with memories that always make me smile. The true story of Frank Nappi the author, however, probably lies in a careful analysis of my actual work area. My desk is essential to my existence as a writer, as it houses my Mac, keyboard and printer. This oversized walnut flat top is also littered with a cornucopia of items, some of which you would expec any author to possess - practical articles germane to the writing process, like pens and pencils, a clock, an old fashioned dictionary, and other office supply “stuff” like paper clips, tape, staples, etc. Although in this technological age most of the actual work that goes into writing a novel occurs on computer, there are times when those traditional items come in handy. Those items, however, share the space with others that hover, I suspect, in the realm of the idiosyncratic. These more colorful articles cluttering my desktop, the ones which really provide a glimpse into the world that is my writing space, include a tiny wooden Hemingway House replica I bought while in Key West, a 12 inch Batman figure, a New York Met Bobblehead, San Diego Sno Globe, lots of loose family photos and a F.Scott Fitzgerald magnetic fingerpuppet I received as a gift. An I-Pod loaded with every song every produced by the likes of Kenny Chesney, Zac Brown Band, Jason Aldean and a few others is also just a hand’s reach away, when the moment calls for a little diversion or inspiration as it were. It is quite an odd amalgamation of “things” but it’s my space and it works for me! 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, includingSophomore 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.
In the late 1940s, the minor league Milwaukee Brewers are foundering yet again and manager Arthur Murphy is desperate. When he sees seventeen-year old Mickey Tussler throwing apples into a barrel, he knows he has found the next pitching phenom. But not everyone is so hopeful. Mickey’s autism—a disorder still not truly understood even today—has alienated the boy from the world, and he is berated by other players and fans. Mickey faces immense trials in the harsh and competitive world of baseball while coping with the challenges inherent to his disorder. An honest and knowledgeable book about overcoming adversity, and the basis for the television movie A Mile in His Shoes, Mickey’s powerful story shows that with support and determination anyone can be triumphant, even when the odds are stacked against him.
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 has seen, the boy’s performance on the field suffers. Mickey now must deal with a side of human nature he scarcely comprehends.