Within months, the 24-year-old author was published three times.
“A big reason why I became a writer is to be able to preserve what means the most, which includes my Italian heritage and the traditions that come along with it,” said Sciarratta, whose books feature old-school New York neighborhoods.
His first novel, “Finding Forever: A 1970s Love Story,” was published on November 5. The setting is 1970s New York, where a neurotic Italian-American man feels inspired to write a novel about his love affair with a quirky Broadway actress. This novel is largely set in Queens, spotlighting Forest Hills and Astoria and cornerstones such as London Lennie’s in Rego Park and the shuttered La Cue Pool Bar in Maspeth.
Sciarratta’s second novel, “The Letter,” was published on April 28. Famous writer Victor Esposito mysteriously dedicates every novel he’s ever written to one woman, Eva Abram, a bright-eyed and blonde Long Island housewife. After a courageous act, he falls into a coma, and the memories of a love affair from a decade prior come back to Eva’s mind, uprooting her quiet life.
“It came on a whim and wasn’t planned,” Sciarratta said of his second book. “One day I sat down and wrote the first paragraph. I had more fun with this story and stressed less over what people would want or expect.”
His latest work is a poetry collection called “Faith in the Unknown.” It was published on May 12 and features 30 poems.
“One of my strengths in poetry is telling a story in a few verses,” Sciarratta said. “It forces me to think more and use my words more carefully. The poetry wasn’t really planned, but I wrote it as I felt it. Sometimes I tried writing a song and a poem would come out.”
His poetic stories are inspired by “the gleeful chatter that comes from best friends, the burning desire that sparks a fire between lovers, the hateful temper tantrums that could be heard in heaven, the anxiety that appears when facing a future you can’t plan for, and the anguish that arises from fear in losing someone you love.”
During his journey as a writer, he has discovered that life is unpredictable.
“The only thing I can control are my actions and my thoughts, but fate is in the hands of God,” Sciarratta said. “I learned to trust the process and to be happy with what I have. Blind faith is a beautiful thing, if you can find it. By the end of the 30th poem, I realized that I am at the mercy of the world.”
The book was inspired by his struggle with anxiety and OCD.
“I didn’t really know what was going on because I was never made aware of mental health issues,” he said. “There was always a stigma around it in my culture, so it took a while to notice the signs. My OCD is rooted in severe overthinking and unrealistic fears, which can be destructive to anyone’s life.”
His poetry was also inspired by how the healing of a loving relationship can help improve mental health.
“Surround yourself with people who are willing to listen, understand, and work with you through the hardship,” Sciarratta said. “There will always be good days and bad days, so finding people to be able to support you through it is key. As a society, we’re always told not to talk about these things. There came a point in time where I stopped caring. I have nothing to hide anymore.”
Sciarratta’s influences, include Sylvester Stallone, “The Alchemist” author Paulo Coelho, and Mario Puzo, author of “The Godfather.” He also admires Nelson DeMille’s writing and sense of humor.
“’The Gold Coast’ is one of my favorite books, which helped me with dialogue, which I believe is my strength as a writer,” he said.
“Finding Forever” and “The Letter” will be released as audio books this month. Sciarratta is planning a virtual Q&A via zoom.
“Think of it as a mini-book club open to anyone willing to discuss my books, life as a writer, mental health, and anything else,” he said.