Visit Tom's website at www.tommendicino.com.
Q&A with Author Tom Mendicino:
- Tell us about your cover design for KC, at Bat. Is there any symbolism from the story reflected in the cover?
The cover of KC, at Bat is my favorite of all my books. Glenn Gale, a promising young photographer only a few years older than KC and Charlie, perfectly captures the bond between two lonely boys facing an uncertain future.
- What did you like to read as a teenager?
I was a comics guy. DC, not Marvel. The Silver Age classics: Superman, Batman and The Legion of Superheroes. (I still have a crush on Timber Wolf.) As for fantasy, Tolkien, of course, and Stranger in a Strange Land. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn was my favorite classic and Red Sky at Morning and The Last Picture Show were contemporary books I loved. But, by far, the book that had the greatest impact on me was Lord of the Flies, which I re-read every few years.
- Which of your characters is most like you?
Charlie. Hands down.
- What does your main character(s) like to read (if anything)?
Charlie, on summer hiatus between a day prep school and the Ivy League, carries around a copy of David Foster Wallace’s Infinite Jest, but never gets beyond page 73. KC has never read a book in his life. But he studies “Baseball America” like the Bible and would probably love The Natural if he had the patience to sit down and read it.
- Is there anything from your own teen years that has been placed in your book?
Like KC and Charlie, I spent the summer before my first year of college “humping” for my Uncle Paul, to whom the book is dedicated. The music of the original teen idol Ricky Nelson is the soundtrack to the story. I was too young for his Fifties heyday, but he made a successful comeback in my teenage years. James Taylor’s “You Can Close Your Eyes,” which Charlie plays for KC on their last night together, was in heavy rotation on FM “alternative” (now called “Classic Vinyl” or “Classic Rock”) stations while I was in high school.
- What would you like young readers to take away from your novels?
Never assume anything about anybody. Appearances can be deceiving. And always consider what you might be losing before you throw away something (or someone) that was once very important to you.
Now Available from Tom Mendicino:
KC, at Bat Charlie Beresford would rather be doing anything this summer than hauling furniture for a moving company. Come September, he’ll be leaving for college, away from the awkwardness of Augustinian Academy, away from his father’s constant hints about prospective girlfriends. Then Kevin Conroy—the Mighty KC—joins the moving crew. A star baseball player bound for the big leagues, Charlie is shocked when cool, confident KC suggests hanging out, especially when KC asks him to stay over—and the happiness their connection brings Charlie. But the summer is changing Charlie—putting muscles on his skinny frame, compelling him to face hard truths, showing him how it feels not just to lose your heart but to break someone else’s. Funny, sweet, and moving, Tom Mendicino’s insightful coming-of-age story perfectly evokes that moment when you stop living life from the safety of the bleachers—and finally step up to home plate.
Recommended Age: 18+
Recommended Age: 18+