Why should Manhattan be the setting for all the popular love stories? Classics such as “Moonstruck,” “When Harry Met Sally,” “West Side Story” and “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” all lay claim to the island. But for author Charlie Carillo, who professes that he’s “seven-one-eight to the core,” the oft-forgotten borough of Queens was the perfect setting to stage a romance — albeit a slightly twisted one — in his new book, “One Hit Wonder.”

After his last three novels, Carillo decided to take a “first crack at a love story.” The result is “One Hit Wonder,” which follows the trials and tribulations of Mickey DeFalco, a man who hit pay dirt at the age of 18 with a song he penned about an ex-girlfriend. But the following decades haven’t been kind to DeFalco, to the point where he has to move in with his parents in Queens.

Or, as Carillo puts it: “It’s a tale of lust, rage, success, failure and redemption. Sort of like the Bible, without all the preachy stuff.”


When asked if he had a song in mind that his protagonist makes into a hit, Carillo says, “I have absolutely no musical abilities. … If ‘One Hit Wonder’ sells to the movies, somebody’ll have to put music to the words. I’m thinking Paul Simon. He’s from Queens, too. Call me, Paul!”

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