Crane operator becomes children's author

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Before authors become famous, they are authors waiting to be famous. (WLS)

Before authors become famous, they are authors waiting to be famous.

Before authors become famous, they are authors waiting to be famous.

And that's the way it is for Dominic Lodato of Melrose Park. But that could be changing.

A tower construction crane on the Near North Side and a 38-year-old father of two whose full-time job is in a control cab 200 feet in the air. The construction worker and the budding author all wrapped up in one.

"I'm writing a children's book," Lodato said. "It's called 'I'm Trying to Sleep.' It's about my oldest son trying to sleep, and my youngest son not letting him."

That's what Lodato writes about - his family - his wife and two boys, Frankie and Giovanni. He's got two books published so far - a messy little kid book called "Mustard Mayhem," and one called "I Think My Little Brother Is an Alien."

"When my second son was born... my son was curious about where he came from. We were teasing and saying maybe he's an alien. Maybe he came from outer space," Lodato said.

There's nothing scary about the books. The illustrations, which Dominic does himself, are designed for fun, and the stories help teach kids to read. They are family tales of love and mischief, and they're true.

"When I'm playing with my kids, my imagination is running wild just as theirs is. So when I see something a little silly that makes me laugh, I think, 'I can make a story out of this,'" Lodato said.

They're nice-looking books with neat stories. One starts out, "I think my little brother is an alien. I know that sounds insane, but just give me a moment and allow me to explain."

Books inspired by children and a tower crane.

"Inspiration definitely comes from the scenery and the quiet of my lunch breaks, and I definitely have a lot to write about," Lodato said.

The books have been on Amazon.com for just three weeks but already hundreds have been sold.

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familybooksfrank mathie
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