Tuckahoe High School students are getting a special treat over the next few weeks. They are getting writing tips from accomplished novelist and Tuckahoe native David Carraturo. Carraturo, who has written two historical fiction novels, is holding workshops for Tuckahoe High School's English classes.
While attending Carraturo's workshops, the students will be getting an education that will enhance their writing skills, and maybe even spur them to pursue their own creative writing project. The seminars, which will focus on developing characters and writing dialog, are for Tuckahoe High's ninth graders.
Carraturo has lived in Tuckahoe his whole live, and has worked on Wall Street for more than two decades. His three daughters are students here in the Tuckahoe School District.
The Tuckahoe native's first novel, titled "Cameron Nation," is about a retired billionaire who has the opportunity to run for national office. His latest book, "Columbus Avenue Boys," weaves separate threads of a family's history through important historical events.
Patch asked Carraturo about his novels and passing his writing knowledge onto Tuckahoe High School students.
Patch: Who got the idea to bring you into the school for the seminar?
Carraturo: I am always looking for educational and fun ways to market my novel. I had conducted the same type of program for the Eastchester Middle School 7th grade last May. It went so well that I had reached out to a few schools in the area in September. My daughters attend the Tuckahoe schools and I thought it would be best received at Tuckahoe.
Patch: What are students most surprised about when learning from you?
Carraturo: So far, I think the students were unaware that they could actually transform themselves to a period of time that is not 2012-2013, and that they are actually interested in historical events. After a few reluctant sighs, most of the students have embraced the writing exercise and are researching the time period, expanding their horizons to also include other historical events that are near and dear to their hearts, and what they are passionate about.
Patch: What do your daughters think about having their dad in the school doing this for other students?
Carraturo: Well, last year they were dead set against me doing this type of program for their school, as they believed they would be embarrassed. But my discussions with them so far have been extremely positive and they definitely see the passion in my voice about this type of program.
Patch: How does doing this enrich your life?
Carraturo: My 25-year career on Wall Street had left me very little room and time to breath outside making a living and traveling and providing for my family. This writing hobby of mine has morphed into my passion and made me believe that if I can write not one, but two books, then anyone can. By seeing kids of all types use their creative juices based on a few minutes of me speaking about the process I used to write my stories is so rewarding.
Patch: What was the process for getting your previous two books published?
Carraturo: As a self-published author, the publishing process is humbling. Literary agents see millions of book ideas come across their desk on a day-to-day basis and they pass on 99.9% of them. This started as my expensive hobby and with my first novel "Cameron Nation" it probably was.
However, the incredible reviews I have received across the board on "Columbus Avenue Boys" by respected professional critique firms like Kirkus, Midwest Book Reviews, Writers Digest and the Hollywood Book Festival have confirmed by belief that this is not just an okay story but really a special one. I am employed as the writer, agent and public relations firm and while it is so far on a small scale, I love the direction I have taken to not just introduce the story to the Eastchester and Tuckahoe communities, but to educate the students as well.