Friday, February 16, 2024

Join The Coffee Pot Book Club in conversation with author Charles Presti who's chatting about his fascinating book, Covered in Flour #HistoricalFiction #ComingOfAge #BlogTour @cathiedunn

Covered in Flour

by Charles Presti

It's 1968 in Whisper Haven, and 8-year-old Carl Pozzi’s world is about to change.

For eight-year-old Carl Pozzi, 1968 begins like any other year—playing kickball with friends and enjoying the comforting aroma of Mom's pasta dinners in their predominantly white suburban Whisper Haven home. But when Carl's teacher introduces lessons about racial prejudice and injustice, his worldview cracks wide open.

How far can innocence stretch before it snaps?

As Carl flips through the pages of his 3-ring binder, each lesson serves as a gateway to a journey of self-discovery and understanding. It's an expedition that not only changes him but reshapes his whole concept of family and justice—especially as he watches his father put on a police uniform during one of the most fraught periods in American history.

"Covered in Flour" is not just a heartfelt stroll down memory lane. It's a captivating coming-of-age saga that digs deep beneath the surface of suburban tranquility. It beckons you to reconsider long-held family values and confront the societal norms you've taken for granted.

Written with genuine love, humor, and a tinge of sorrow, this story blends the nostalgia of tradition with the inevitability of change, offering a stirring mix that leaves you pondering long after the last page is turned. This book isn't just a delightful read; it's a catalyst for introspection, freshly baked and served for your soul.

Welcome, Chuck! Please make yourself at home. Would you prefer tea or coffee or perhaps something more…fortifying?

Thank you for having me here. It's truly a pleasure to be part of this fun discussion. As for your kind offer, I'll take a coffee, please—black, no sugar. It mirrors the spirit and depth of the stories we're about to explore, both personal and reflective of a transformative era.

Before we begin, please introduce yourself.

I'm Chuck Presti, a storyteller at heart who found a second calling in writing after a fulfilling career in medicine. Living in Pensacola, Florida, I find joy in life's simpler moments—being with my family, enjoying the quiet companionship of our Wheaton Terrier, Zoey, or reflecting on the storied past that shapes our present. My journey from physician to author is a testament to the power of storytelling in capturing the human experience.

Could you tell us a little about your book, and what inspired you to write it?

"Covered in Flour" is a series of recollections and fiction and pays homage to the indelible mark of the 1960s on our collective consciousness. Inspired by the rich dynamics of family lore and the transformative power of the era, the book incorporates the personal anecdotes with historical milestones. It's a reflection on how the tumultuous times shaped me and my generation, told through the eyes of someone who lived and learned from it.

Over the years, my career and daily ways have been anchored in the analytical realms of numbers and science, where logic and knowledge reign. Nonetheless, creative endeavors have always held a certain allure. I've dabbled in painting, pottery, and drawing, finding joy in artistic expression's unpredictable and free-flowing nature. I am excited about finalizing my art studio, a get-away place that has been a part of my long-term plan for this time of my life—a place to continue exercising that part of my brain.

Encouraged by my spouse and dear friends, I ventured into the uncharted waters of writing, embracing the challenge of a blank page. It has been terrifying sometimes, but the good news is no one dies from mistakes, and I enjoy learning and new adventures. This journey has unfolded into an unexpected chapter in my life, enriching it with a new dimension of creativity and self-discovery.

When researching your book, did you come upon any unexpected surprises?

Indeed, the journey of writing "Covered in Flour" was as much about discovery as it was about reminiscence. Unearthing family secrets and tragedies, like learning about siblings my father lost in childhood, was a poignant reminder of the stories that shape us. These revelations added layers to the narrative, unexpectedly connecting the personal with the universal.  

On a more personal note, I felt emotionally purged and cleansed after reliving and writing the manuscript. I was not anticipating this when I started.  A form of restoration and care that I had yet to implement in my more recent years.  I highly recommend it.  It feels great!

What is it about the 1960s/1970s that you find so fascinating?

This era represents a culmination of change—a period when the country and I, in our respective rites of passage, grappled with new ideas against the backdrop of tradition. The exhilarating contrast between the era's political unrest, social upheaval, and the enduring values of home and family life provided a prolific canvas for storytelling. It was a time of awakening, not just for the nation but for many individuals navigating the currents of change.

Is there one particular event that you remember most vividly?

The moon landing in 1969 stands out as a beacon of human achievement and optimism. Watching it with neighborhood friends, I didn't fully grasp its significance then, but its symbolic value has grown with me. It was a moment of collective awe that transcended the turmoil of the times, reminding us of the potential for unity and discovery in the face of the unknown.

What are you currently working on?

As I sift through the memories, ideas, and emotions that have been simmering since "Covered in Flour," it's clear that Carl's story—and, by extension, our story—is far from over. There are more tales to tell, lessons to learn, and reflections to share. The narrative continues to evolve, guided by the insights gleaned from the past and the endless possibilities of the future.

Thank you for your time, Chuck. It was a pleasure chatting to you.

Charles Presti

Charles Presti, emerging from the sun-drenched shores of Pensacola, Florida, crafts narratives that echo with the richness of his varied life. His journey from a USF College of Medicine graduate to a storyteller is as unconventional as it is inspiring.

Drawing from his days as a physician and informatics specialist, Charles infuses his writing with a rare blend of scientific precision and heartfelt emotion. His debut novel, "Covered in Flour," is a vivid tapestry of his Italian-American heritage, his experiences in the whirlwind era of the 1960s, and his personal journey as a gay man. These elements converge to create stories that not only entertain but resonate deeply with themes of family, discovery, and the delicate dance of life's everyday moments.

Charles's passion for storytelling is paralleled only by his commitment to fostering diversity and inclusion. Alongside his husband, Mike Bruce, and their beloved Wheaton Terrier, Zoey, he is a vibrant force and founder of "Sunday's Child," a local charity dedicated to nurturing inclusion and empowering LGBTQ+ and  other marginalized communities through grants to local charities. A pillar in the Emerald Coast Writers group, he continually explores the nuances of identity, heritage, and a sense of belonging.

Discover more about Charles's captivating world and "Covered in Flour" at, where each story is a window into a life lived fully and authentically.

Connect with Charles:

Website • LinkedIn • Facebook • Instagram •
Amazon Author Page • BookBub • Goodreads

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