By: Nicole Pelletiere
Journey is the true story of author Stephen Mateo’s father,. Tomas Castellano, a 78-year-old husband and father. He recounts his life as a teenager in Spain when the country was under Franco’s fascist dictatorship.
The year is 1945 and Hitler’s trained soldiers wander the streets, killing anyone suspected of disloyalty to the Franco regime. Castellano, torn between his family and the desire for freedom, plans his escape in the middle of the night. He packed a small suitcase and joined his friend Antonio in stealing a sailboat to travel across the Atlantic Ocean in pursuit of America.
It’s a decision that changes his life and the lives of his loved ones forever.
Growing up, Castellano’s son, Stephen Mateo, was unaware of his father’s past. He saw his Dad as a simple man of very few words; a hard worker that loved his wife and took care of his family. Stephen did not learn of his secret until later in life.
Captivated by his father’s bravery and real-life adventure, Mateo knew he had to share his story with the world.
“It just blew my mind—the whole mystery and drama of what my father did, knowing it was the last meal with his family then waking in the middle of the night to steal a sailboat. He was in search of his freedom—something I was born with. I saw it play as a movie and instantly started writing.”
Mateo describes Journey as “a lovely book about family”, appealing to readers of all ages.
“We can all relate to going for the ‘American Dream’, Mateo says. Readers, young and old, are drawn to the human emotion and what the characters in the story go through, where they begin, and where they end up.”
About the Author
Originally from Toronto, Canada, Stephen Mateo began his career as an actor in television and theatre, booking parts on varios sitcoms and landing a co-starring role on the CBS sitcom High Society. He also appeard Off-Broadway in the hit The Crumple zone in both New York and Los Angeles. After a few other acting jobs, Mateo decided to follow his passion for writing. The result was his first full-length feature, Dear John, which he plans to produce shortly.