"...an overall great, imaginative story with some real, unexpected twists and a wholehearted appreciation of '90s music." [4 stars] -- Romantic Times "Lost in the '90s offers a historical snapshot and sweeping theme that things often aren't as bad as they seem." -- Metro Times (Detroit)"LOST IN THE '90s is a humorous and touching coming-of-age novel filled with modern day and past pop culture that may appeal, not only to teens and young adults, but also their parents... Author Frank Anthony Polito's writing is smooth and accurately captures the jargon and social consciousness of the '90s in addition to modern day techno-speak, with its SMS language acronyms." [5 stars] -- IndieReader
"This novel was nothing like what I thought as I started reading it. I loved it! The 'back to the future' theme has been done before, but Frank Anthony Polito has written a wonderful novel that caught my attention and interest from the first page... The characters were fun, interesting and we cared about them. I loved all of the scene setting '90s references from music to television to other cultural things." -- 20th Annual Writer's Digest Self-Published Book Awards
From the Author
The writing of this book has been a journey for me, and it's taught me a lot -- about who I am, as a person, and how harsh the realities of the Publishing World can be. After publishing two "award-winning" novels featuring teen characters, but targeted toward adult readers, I decided I wanted to try my hand at writing a true Young Adult book.
For inspiration, I turned to an old favorite book of mine, Hanging Out With Cici,
aka My Mother Was Never a Kid
by Francine Pascal of Sweet Valley High
fame. Growing up, I always wondered what it would've been like to travel back in time and meet my parents, who aren't that much older than me, actually. If you've read Band Fags!
you'll know that my dad was 18 and my mom was 15 when I was born. At present, I have friends who are 15-18 years younger than me, and I can't imagine being their parents!
I started writing the book in the fall of 2009 and finished it in the late summer of 2010. The plan was to find an agent who would help me sell the book to a "major" publisher. For my first two novels, I didn't have an agent, and my then-current publisher wasn't publishing YA books, so I needed to find another option. Again, being an already-published, "award-winning" author, I figured I wouldn't have a problem a) finding an agent to represent me, and b) landing a contract with a "major" publisher.
Fast forward to April 2012... After almost two
years, I ended up self-publishing Lost in the '90s
via Amazon's CreateSpace platform, under my own imprint Woodward Avenue Books. While I did
find an agent to represent me -- after querying a good 50-60 in total -- after an entire year he was NOT able to find a publisher who was interested in LIT'90s.
90% of the editors at the "major" publishing houses agreed that it was a fun read, that all the '90s pop culture references were spot-on, and that I am a talented writer. BUT... 90% of the editors also agreed that there were way too many '90s pop culture references, and that "kids today won't want to read a story set in the 1990s." I can't remember, offhand, what the other 10% thought... Some said they didn't like the "narrator's voice" -- to which I said, "Which one? There are three." The bottom line is: you can't change an editor's mind once they've passed.
My hope is that some editor out there somewhere will eventually hear about LIT'90s and want to publish it... In the meantime, this entire process has been a major life lesson. And I have yet another book out there for readers to discover and enjoy -- and I made it all by myself :-)