Steven A. Falco and “Mickey Mantle’s Last Home Run”

Steven A. Falco tells us about his second release with iUniverse, Mickey Mantle’s Last Home Run.


Please briefly describe your book . . .

My book, Mickey Mantle’s Last Home Run, is a novel narrated by a 15-year-old boy. The action takes place in New Jersey in 1968. The narrator, T.J., is a die-hard Mickey Mantle fan who is trying to make the JV baseball team during a year when our country seems to be falling apart. His best friend Jonathan, who is black, also tries to make sense of a world in disarray. The book is full of teenage fun and baseball action but within the backdrop of war, assassinations and racial strife.



And can you tell us a little about yourself?

I have always been a writer, but not necessarily a published writer. I spent most of my life working in social services for the county government but always writing on the side. My first book was for middle-grade readers and is entitled Grandpa Gordy’s Greatest World Series Games.


Do you have any particular literary influences? What inspired you to write your book?

My main literary influence is John Steinbeck. I love how he wrote about ordinary people dealing with the difficult circumstances of everyday life.

I enjoy the first person narrative format from the perspective of a young person who is not tainted by life’s prejudices. To Kill a Mockingbird and the Catcher in the Rye I consider masterpieces of this format.


What is the one message you would like to convey to your readers?

My message is one of hope and friendship which overcomes divisiveness, bigotry and hatred.


Are you working on a sequel to your book?

I don’t envision a sequel. However I do have another book in the making which is also about our national pastime.


Are there any events, marketing ideas, or promotions planned for your book?

I plan to market my book to schools. I think Junior High and High School boys will enjoy my book. This seems to be an overlooked audience. I believe teachers would find my book beneficial to these students, especially because they are harder to encourage to read. My book has a strong African-American character and will appeal to that group as well.

And of course my book will have appeal to baby-boomers who grew-up in the sixties and will be able to relate to the main characters, T.J. and Jonathan.


What was your favorite part of your publishing experience, overall and with iUniverse?

This is my second book with iUniverse and the experience has again been very positive. I was at first reluctant to turn my manuscript over to an editor, after all I had re-written the book several times and carefully followed styling guidelines. Boy was I wrong. The iUniverse rep encouraged me to have the book edited and arranged for a pro to do the work and I was extremely pleased. The editing was so good I actually thought “wow, this book is really good!”


Finally, what advice would you give to aspiring authors?

Keep the faith. Accept constructive criticism. But above all believe in yourself and your vision.


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