Interview with Frank Nappi, Author of Nobody Has to Know
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 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.
Where did you grow up?
I grew up in a typical suburban neighborhood on Long Island.
When did you begin writing?
I have a vague recollection of when I began writing. I can remember writing a story when I was very young - maybe five or six years old. It was about a king who rescues a girl and makes her his queen. Not really sure where the idea came from, or even how good it was. I just remember my mom typing it for me when I was finished and that image always makes me smile. Professionally? I published my first novel with St. Martin’s Press in 2005 and have had the good fortune of publishing three more since then.
Do you write during the day, at night or whenever you can sneak a few moments?
Yes...it happens at all times....
What is this book about?
Nobody Has to Know is a dark and somewhat daring psychological thriller that, tells the story of Cameron Baldridge, a popular high school teacher whose relationship with one of his students leads him down an unfortunate and self-destructive path. Stalked through text-messages, Baldridge fights for his life against a terrifying extortion plot and the forces that threaten to expose him. Nobody Has to Know is a sobering look into a world of secrets, lies, and shocking revelations, and will leave the reader wondering many things, including whether or not you can ever really know the person you love. On a more profound level, Nobody Has To Know illustrates how the landscape of our past influences our present and how, sadly, some of these more indelible moments hold us prisoner for the duration of our lives.
What inspired you to write it?
The book was inspired by the same thing that always inspires me - Essentially, when I observe a facet of the human condition that I feel is worthy of exploration, I begin to create scenarios or vehicles through which I may examine this. The rest of the process sort of evolves from there.
Who is your favorite character from the book?
Despite his flaws, Cameron is my favorite character in the book. He is multifaceted and complex. He is also the embodiment of so many good people who have lost their way due to past experiences that have fractured their psyches.
Was the road to publication smooth sailing or a bumpy ride?
I’d say I hit a pot hole or two with this one. No doubt. But in the end, I could not be more pleased about the release of Nobody Has To Know.
What is the best investment you have made in promoting your book?
This is perhaps the area of the publishing process fraught with the most uncertainty. So much of what we do ourselves as authors promotionally is fruitless. It is tough out there. But I would have to say that offering the first two chapters of the book on-line for free, a suggestion made to me by my very talented publicist, has been nothing short of brilliant.
What is one piece of advice you would like to share with aspiring authors everywhere?
It is what I was told years ago. Just keep writing. As Ernest Hemingway would say, “Sit down at a typewriter and bleed.”
What is up next for you?
Well, after completing Nobody Has To Know, I began working on the final installment of my Mickey Tussler series. The book is called Welcome To The Show. I have also begun playing with an idea for a second thriller but that is still very much in its incipient stages.
Is there anything you would like to add? Just a most sincere thank you to readers for their interest. And a warm invitation for them to visit my website (www.franknappi.com) and drop me a quick note. I love reader emails! And, I answer all of them.