A Novel Career
“I’ve always been an old soul and often feel more comfortable in an era where I wasn’t even alive,” says Anthony Sciarratta. “The music, culture, and style of the 1970s just speak to me; they always have.”
This deep connection to a bygone era was part of the inspiration for Sciarratta’s first novel, which released on November 5, 2019. Set in 1970s Queens, N.Y., Finding Forever: A 1970s love story, tells the story of a neurotic Italian-American man who is inspired to write a novel about a love affair with a quirky Broadway actress.
“My grandparents are immigrants from Italy, and I often work my Italian culture into my work,” the Queens native says. He is very attached to his culture and background, but it hasn’t always made his chosen profession easy. “At first, it was very hard for my family to understand what studying communications entails. It took a while for them to understand something that isn’t so concrete, like being a lawyer or doctor.”
Sciarratta chose to study communications arts at New York Institute of Technology with a dream to work in film. “New York Tech gives hands-on experience plus, the faculty work in the industry,” he says. “I’ve always loved the idea of creating something I could call my own and showcasing it to the world.” In fact, Finding Forever began as an idea for a screenplay. “When I realized I didn’t have a million dollars to finance a film, I decided to self-publish the story as a novel,” he says. “Starting with a screenplay helped because it served as an outline for my story. From there, I just built on what I had, and then my self-published novel eventually got picked up for publication.”
Learning how to tell a compelling story was not the only thing he gained from his time at New York Tech. An administrative assistant in the Department of Communication Arts was one of his first readers. “When I saw how much she loved my book, I knew that I had something special. Just the fact that she offered to read it was heartwarming.”
The process of writing was both rewarding and surprising for Sciarratta. “It might sound cliché, but I didn’t realize how vital the editing process was,” he says. “When you write things down, and the story is flowing through you, you’re not thinking of spell-checking or rewording sentences. There’s also a lot of research that goes into editing, and it surprised me.”
Sciarratta is taking those lessons and forging ahead with his career as a writer. He has already finished a second novel titled The Letter, and a book of poetry titled Faith in the Unknown, which are both set to be released in early spring and May 2020, respectively. “I almost pursued a career in sports management instead of going to New York Tech and writing a novel,” he admits. “On a whim, I decided to follow my dream. Since then, I never looked back.”