Last week I finished reading Nobody Has To Know by Frank Nappi. At first I thought the novel was a story about romantic relationships and moral boundaries – and it was. But then it went beyond this theme and slipped into the darker realm of blackmail and murder. The novel is a gripping read and, although I had my suspicions, I didn’t manage to figure everything out before the end of the book. But by the time I got to the last page the pieces fell into place.
I’ve invited Frank Nappi here today to tell us a bit more about his novel. Welcome Frank. Let’s get started, shall we?
Tell us about your novel.
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 prompted you to write about the topic of sexual relationships between minors and adults?
The book is not about sexual encounters between minors and adults. While this is one of the darker aspects of the story, the indiscretions that occur in the story are simply vehicles through which the issues of pain and loss and damaged psyches may be explored. It is my hope that readers will not become mired in this one facet of the story and that they will take more than just a cursory look at the story and allow themselves to delve deeper into the real issues that are examined.
What research did you do for this book?
For this novel, there was no research necessary. The plot is fiction. My experience as a teacher also assisted me in replicating some of the school scenes and other areas germane to the world of education.
How did you bring the characters you are writing about to life?
My approach to this is most likely no different than the approach of other authors. In any great work, one that resonates with the reader, there needs to be authenticity with regard to the characters. If a reader does not invest in the characters, the author’s message is lost. It is my experience that “real characters” think and act just as real folks would. There is nothing contrived about their existence – their words and emotional responses to situations are emblematic of those of real people. This can be accomplished in part through the use of flashbacks, which become windows into the psyches of these individuals. If a reader knows where a character has been, where he is presently becomes far more plausible.
It can be difficult to get inside the mind of someone of the opposite sex. Do you prefer to write male or female characters. And why?
Naturally, it easier to write from the perspective of your own gender. However, I believe that all characters that authors create are composites – amalgamations of a variety of people whom we have met and with whom we have interacted during our lives. That being said, it is very possible for an author to create an authentic, heartfelt character of the opposite gender. It may be more challenging, but I feel as though really good authors are also exceptional students of human nature as well. This “study” of human behaviour helps to bridge the gender gaps. I have no preference as to what type of character I write. It is more important to me to craft a persona that resonates with my readers.
Thanks for stopping by and telling us a bit about Nobody Has to Know, Frank. I started reading the novel, expecting to explore the subject of the boundaries of student-teacher relationships, and found that there was much more to this book. I had to keep turning the pages to find out who was tormenting Baldridge and how he would escape the quagmire he had dropped himself into.
Nobody Has To Know: Amazon page.
About Frank Nappi:
Frank 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. He lives on Long Island, New York with his wife Julia and their two sons, Nicholas and Anthony.