Michael Adam Antonelli grew up in North Arlington, N.J., during a time when LGBTQ people did not have a true voice.
His new book, Memoirs of the Peppermint Mermaid, is about how the way young adults and their families speak and act toward one another affects the paths they choose throughout life.
“Our words are important and can lift others up or hold them back,” he said.
Antonelli moved to Sparta nine years ago. He has degrees in business administration and education, and is also a board-certified assistant behavior analyst. When he’s not writing, he works in education and also teaches yoga. He’s written a number of books, short stories, and plays meant to inspire.
“I found my true self by living authentically and being proud of who I am,” he said. “Memoirs of the Peppermint Mermaid allows young individuals to feel that they have a voice and that they should be proud of who they are, no matter who or what obstacles they face.”
The main character is Leo, a boy fascinated with mermaids.
“When he was young, he had a juvenile joint disorder that required him to use a medical peppermint lotion in which he finds comfort in as he grows,” Antonelli said. “Both the smell of peppermint and the feeling and love for mermaids give Leo confidence.”
The book is aimed toward young adults in middle and high school. “It also is for their families,” Antonelli said. “The book is written to help them navigate and be proud of who they are and who they love. The book is left up to interpretation for any age group, and I have found that young adults as well as adults find connection with the characters.”
Memoirs of the Peppermint Mermaid is available on Amazon (in both paperback and kindle) and will be sent to national book retailers within the next few months. An audiobook is also in the works. Visit thepeppermintmermaid.com for further information.
“The book is written to help them navigate and be proud of who they are and who they love. The book is left up to interpretation for any age group, and I have found that young adults as well as adults find connection with the characters.” Michael Adam Antonelli