Scotia man pens
rock and roll
By DAMIAN PAGANO
Growing up, Scotia
resident Harry Pellegrin dreamed of being a
professional musician and/or a novel writer.
And while playing rock
and roll and blues gigs in bars gave way to
raising a family, Pellegrin recently realized his
dream of becoming an author. His first work of
fiction, a murder-mystery novel. titled Low
End, will hit shelves this fall.
a lifelong dream. he said cheerily over
coffee at his home on Filth Street in the
village, surrounded by an impressive collection
of music CDs.Were just
very excited this is all coming together.
It took some time.
Success for a fiction writer can he difficult in
the competitive business of book publishing. Most
major publishers do not accept unsolicited
manuscripts, let alone unsolicited manuscripts
from first-time author. Pellegrin, who recently
left his job as a print manager for a photo copy
company, was a first-time author with an
It was a story based
loosely around a friends death in Yonkers
in the late 1980s Pellegrins friend
was killed by police officers responding to a
loud domestic dispute. He said the officers
mistook the baseball bat in his friends
hands for a rifle and shot him,
None of us could
figure out why something like that would happen
to him, Mr. Pellegrin said. He wasnt
a violent person. He was actually quite gentle.
So his death was a real mystery to us.
It was this germ of a
plot. Pellegrin who, according to his wife
Elaine, writes constantly drafted and
wrote the nearly 326-page novel in about 4
He finished it in 2000
and, for two years, searched for a publisher. He
sent the manuscript to everyone he could think
of. There was a lot of rejection, he said, but
eventually success when American Book Publishing
agreed to give Low End a chance.
The company, based in
Utah, is one of a few publishers that
will accept unsolicited manuscripts, according to
their Web site. About this time last year,
Pellegrin signed a contract with the company. He
and his wile were ecstatic. We jumped up
and down quite a bit, he said.
The story centers around
a disillusioned, beer-loving and somewhat haggard
New York City musician named Gary Morrissey who
is trying to determine why his friend was shot
and killed, is set lustily in Yonkers, where
Pellegrin lived before marrying and moving to
Scotia with Elaine, originally a village native.
The story takes place in
the dive bars and back alleys of Yonkers and
includes a good deal about rock and roll from the
perspective of a musician. In the hook, Morrissey
speaks lovingly of guitars and fondly of former
bands and band mates Pellegrin said he drew on
his own experiences to create his
Its what I
know. the author said. In his search for
the truth about his friends death,
Morrissey uncovers the seeds of government
corruption and a plot to commit genocide on the
Baby Boomer generation.
It is a story Pellegrin
said is written in the tradition of great mystery
writers Dashiell Hammett, Agatha Christie
and Raymond Chandler a pointed,
entertaining that is vivid but not graphic. The
book also conveys Pellegrins view on
substance abuse. Abuse of drugs and alcohol,
Pellegrin says, is killing peoples
Pellegrin is not sure
how many copies of Low End will be printed. The
book is in the final stages of being edited.
He said he hopes to have
several local book signings, the first being at
Cornells hardware store On Saratoga Road In
Scotia And he is already 14 chapters into the
sequel, and has plans for a series.
Im not done
writing. He said. This is what I love