Frank was born in Brooklyn, New York, the son of a German-immigrant mother and a first-generation Italian-American father, neither of whom could speak English until they entered public school. He, his parents, and his sister moved to Long Island where they lived a classic 1950’s – 60’s American suburban life. (For those of you who are scoffing at the notion of moving from Brooklyn to Long Island, it should be pointed out that although Brooklyn is on Long Island, culturally speaking, Brooklyn and Long Island are worlds apart.)
It wasn’t until early high school that Frank found his life-long passion─music. Classically trained at the piano in high school and throughout his undergraduate work, he also began playing rock’n’roll in local bands and supported himself through college playing weekends in a group called Paul Lee and the Walkers. (If you think that sounds corny, the name of one of his earlier groups was The Displaced Souls – Let’s hear it for psychedelic shirts and giant Glen Plaid bell-bottom pants!)
After a short stint teaching music in a middle school on Long Island, Frank moved to New England, where he earned a Doctorate in Education at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. What followed were alternating periods of working in public education and performing as a musician and entertainer throughout the southeastern United States. Throw in a telecommunications degree from Syracuse University and a year or two working at a local NBC affiliate, and you get a picture of a guy who simply couldn’t hold down a steady job─or was it that he simply didn’t want to!
By now you must be wondering when this guy began writing. Well, there were a few training texts along the way─choral reading skills, beginning guitar, a text on communication, coaching, and delegation─but it wasn’t until the summer of 2015 that the thought of writing fiction ever crossed his mind. Now . . . Frank had recorded an album of original music in 2014 (Oh yeah, he is a signed artist on the LIR label) and the executive producer had pointed out that he was a “helluva story-teller.” Maybe that created some sort of an impetus to write in a form longer than three verses, a chorus, and a bridge, but it wasn’t until Frank and his wife took a trip to Ashville, North Carolina that, together, they laid out the very, very beginnings of the story that turned out to be the first in Bluegrass Files series, Down the Rabbit Hole.
Besides having a beautiful wife, Denise, Frank has two great daughters, two wonderful step-daughters, and five fabulous granddaughters. (If you’re keeping score, that’s Males 1 – Females 10) As you might have guessed, Frank, along with Denise and at least part of the rest of the tribe, lives in Lexington, Kentucky, where he has made his home for almost forty years.
By the way, if you’re interested in getting a sense of some of the other incarnations of this restless writer, you might want to check out docmessina.com and DrFrankMessina.com.