Article: Hope among scraps

LAKE VILLA – A garbage bag full of scraps of paper has gone a long way for Mick Santullano of Fox Lake.

Those scraps – filled with words that were compiled during Santullano’s time at college – were the foundation of his book, “Humanitaria and the Future of the Human Being,” which recently got accepted into the Lake Villa Public Library.

Santullano, who is in his 40s, is hoping this entry into an area library is just the beginning of the book’s dissemination throughout Lake County, the state, the country, and maybe even the world.

“I want to get that good feeling of lots of people liking it,” Santullano said.

And it starts with one.

“If [Lake Villa Public Library] took it, maybe it’s something to look at,” Santullano said of the thought process he hopes other libraries take.

The book was printed by an independent publisher in 2004 at a cost of $500 for Santullano. He said he has since sold almost 1,000 copies of the book “without trying hard.”

“I know I have this audience,” said Santullano, who is looking for a nationwide publisher.

He said he buys boxes of 25 of them at $13 a book and sells them at $15-$20. Not much in the way of profit there. And it’s even less than that when you consider that some of them have been taken without payment. Not that Santullano thinks that’s necessarily a bad thing.

“You know your art is good when people steal it,” he said.

Santullano, who used to live in Wauconda, holds his book with pride. It is not your typical library fare. While it’s not poetry, it’s written in verse form and Santullano uses only capital letters. He’s the anti-e.e. cummings.

“I’ve cut out all of the deadwood,” he said.

A songwriter as well as an author, Santullano said writing in all caps presents a bold approach to a message.

The book has no vulgarity and doesn’t tackle politics or religion. Essentially, it’s a dinner party in book form.

“I tried to write it so that anybody could understand it, not just intellectuals,” Santullano said.

You can purchase the book online at, or

“I told myself I was done with this about 12 times.”

But he wasn’t about to quit. He had kept that garbage bag around for far too long.

“I wrote it down and got it off my chest,” he said.

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