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Queens Chronicle

Love, Italian style from MidVille author

He wrote a book; now he wants to reopen his grandfather’s pizzeria

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Posted: Wednesday, November 27, 2019 10:30 am | Updated: 12:46 pm, Thu Dec 5, 2019.

“Finding Forever: A 1970s Love Story” is a new book from the mind of Middle Village resident Anthony Sciarratta.

He describes his book, published by Post Hill Press, as “the Italian version of ‘When Harry Met Sally.’”

The main character, loosely based on himself, is a neurotic Italian American who falls in love with a quirky Broadway actress.

He’s uptight. She’s aloof.

“Planes could be crashing down around her and she wouldn’t care,” Sciarratta said. “That’s what makes the two characters work.”

A self-described “old soul,” the 24-year-old Sciarratta, who drives a 1978 Cadillac, set his book in the ’70s.

“It’s kind of tough when you go out on a date with a girl and you ask her if she’s seen ‘The Godfather’ and she looks at me like I have 50 heads,” he said.

“Finding Forever” was originally a screenplay before Sciarratta decided to make it into a book. It was self-published on Amazon before Post Hill Press came along and gave Sciarratta a three-book deal.

It turns out the publisher, like Sciarratta, attended Our Lady of Hope School in Middle Village, and the two even had the same fourth-grade teacher. The publisher even grew up down the block from Sciarratta.

He said one of his inspirations in the process was “Rocky” and how Sylvester Stallone was a broke, unknown actor with a script but still held out on a deal until he was assured that he could play the title role.

It took Sciarratta four months to write the novel.

If the name Anthony Sciarratta seems familiar, it’s because his grandfather of the same name owned Tony’s Pizza, located at 100-05 Metropolitan Ave. in Forest Hills, from 1969 through 2001.

Sciarratta said he practically grew up in Forest Hills because he was at the pizzeria almost every day. It closed when the owner chose to spend more time with his family.

“The pizzeria was consuming his life,” Sciarratta said.

He said during the promotion for his book, hundreds of people saw his name and thought his grandfather had written a book based on the neighborhood.

“It’s like I wrote the book and I wasn’t even the famous one,” Sciarratta said.

He said he didn’t know the pizzeria was such a staple of the neighborhood because he was so young when it closed.

His grandfather recently turned 80 and is “still greeted with cheers and pleas” to reopen the business, according to Sciarratta.

Sciarratta’s hope is that he can do just that one day, even if it’s at a different location.

His upcoming work includes a second novel, “The Letter,” and a book of poetry, “Faith in the Unknown.” Both are slated to be released in 2020.

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