Melissa Pettignano of Secaucus is waiting for the word, and it will come soon.
The 25-year-old author, singer, and entrepreneur is busy with a number of media and entertainment projects, but it is her first love, writing, and specifically her first book – “Suzanne Lantana, A Collection of Short Stories, Fiction and Non-fiction” – that is most dear to her.
In her book, Pettignano included fictional pieces based upon real events in her life, including the loss of her beloved aunt, Arlene T. Babakitis of Secaucus, on 9/11 in the World Trade Center attacks.
And now that heartfelt project may lead to an award for the Clarendon School graduate and former Secaucus High School student.
Pettignano has been nominated for the honor of "50 Great Writers You Should Be Reading," a contest run by an Arizona radio show.
“I was contacted by Danielle Hampson, executive producer of The Authors Show,” Pettignano said.
If she’s picked as one of the 50 winners, it will mean a breakthrough for the fledgling writer.
“The grand prize winner, the author receiving the most votes, receives a marketing and publicity package worth thousands of dollars,” Pettignano said.
“My book is to let every young girl and boy know that they can make it through anything and that the light is always at the end of the tunnel.” – Melissa Pettignano
Anyone wishing to vote for Pettignano can do so until Nov. 1 at: http://www.wnbnetworkwest.com/WnbAuthorsShow50Writers2013-Contest-submissions.html.
Her category is “Fiction and Non-Fiction,” and she can be selected there.
“My book is to let every young girl and boy know that they can make it through anything and that the light is always at the end of the tunnel,” Pettignano said.
Since she wrote her tome, it has received glowing reviews.
Power Woman Magazine/Radio Show said, “Fell in love with this book … wish this book was around when my daughter was younger.” And Lisa Dillon, a Cleveland radio talk show host said, “[It’s] definitely a book to be a part of Oprah’s Book Club.”
“So beautiful, so young, and truly talented,” said legendary TV and radio broadcaster Joe Franklin. “This book is very appealing, and it’s very intriguing …”
Pettignano is also working on related projects. Her CD single, “Gave You One More Chance,” references her experiences with young love.
Pettignano is not one to rest on her laurels, as she is almost finished with her book’s sequel, “Suzanne Lantana: High School Days,” which picks up at age 14.
Also on her agenda is her continued work on her company, MPettignano Enterprises, LLC, founded in May, which deals with the literary and entertainment fields. The literary portion consists of signing authors for all types of writing categories, including poetry, fiction, non-fiction, short stories, self-help, and religious/inspirational. The entertainment side tackles signing independent music artists and musicians.
Princess of all Media?
You might say Pettignano has taken a page out of Howard Stern’s “King of All Media” book.
Besides writing, singing, and working on MPettignano Enterprises, she’s also been featured in Entrepreneur Magazine, was interviewed for the documentary “Forever Changed: 9/11 in Remembrance,” and was an extra in “Spiderman III.”
She also modeled for two years, after signing with Industry Modeling and Talent Studios in Edgewater.
Joseph Passantino may be reached at JoePass@hudsonreporter.com.