Frank Morelli credits teaching with helping to launch his writing career. “Before that,” he says, “I’d been writing in secret for almost a decade without ever building up a shred of courage to stand before others and share my work. Getting in the classroom with middle school- and high school-aged students helped me to find a comfort zone where my ideas and guidance were valued, especially as they related to writing.”
His debut novel, No Sad Songs, is about a young man forced into a caregiving role for a grandfather with Alzheimer’s. As a teenager, Morelli watched his own father in a caretaking role. “It was heartbreaking to watch my father attempt to juggle the responsibilities of his work life and his home life in addition to raising the man who had once raised him.”
With millions of Americans reportedly caring for family members with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia, the topic is timely. Even though it’s a young adult novel, Morelli believes his book will touch readers of all ages. “I firmly believe No Sad Songs will reach people living in these difficult situations,” he says, “and provide solace, solidarity and an opportunity to laugh again.”
No Sad Songs, February, 2018, young adult fiction, paperback, $12.99, by Frank Morelli, and published by Fish Out of Water Books, Ann Arbor, MI. A reading and book signing will be held at Malaprop’s Bookstore and Café on Wednesday, March 21, at 6 p.m. To learn more, visit frankmorelliwrites.com.