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April 8, 2021

For information on enrollment and registration at Notre Dame, please visit the admissions section of our website here.

Notre Dame grad and CPA publishes fifth crime novel, working on two more.

Edward Izzi, a 1977 graduate of Notre Dame High School, published his fifth novel, “El Camino Drive,” last summer and is currently working on two more. His writing has been compared to Dan Brown, author of “The Da Vinci Code” and “Angels and Demons,” but his day job in Chicago, where he currently lives, continues to be as a CPA.

These seemingly diametrically opposed professions coexist nicely, he says, despite logic, some discouragement early on from family and perhaps, most importantly, because of advice he received as an NDHS student.

“Donald May, who was a 1969 NDHS graduate and taught composition for a few years there, was always very interested in my writing,” Izzi said. “I remember him asking me what my long-range goals were after graduation. When I mentioned that I wanted to pursue a medical or a legal career, his exact words were ‘you’re wasting your time.’ Mr. Bob Kelly also saw my creative writing talents early on and tried in vain to convince me not to be ashamed of it. But coming from an old-school Italian family, neither of my parents saw a career in writing as a fruitful means of being successful, so I never pursued it until later in life.”

What he did pursue, career-wise, was accounting.

After graduating from Central Michigan University in 1981, Izzi began working for an accounting firm in Chicago until passing the CPA examination and starting a firm of his own in 1985. In those 35 years, he’s had many successful clients in the Chicagoland area, including those in construction, small business retail, wholesale, nonprofit, restaurant, grocery retail and many other variations of business commerce.

“I am the principal partner of my firm, Izzi and Associates, and we have several employees, which include my daughter and my son,” he said. “I am still very active in the company and enjoy working with my clients in assisting them with their financial goals.”

But he has certainly also enjoyed creative writing once again over the past several years.

“After a somewhat difficult divorce, I was advised by a therapist to ‘take up writing again or you’ll end up on the six o’clock news,’” he said. “But I guess every good writer has demons, and some have learned to deal with those demons in very different ways. I’ve come to realize that many novelists live their lives vicariously through the characters in their stories. Some writers have dealt with their demons successfully. Some have not and I’m sure you can think of several well-known writers who have led very tragic lives. But sometimes, dealing with those demons through writing is the only means of successfully defeating them.”

Izzi said writing crime fiction can replace all of the potential drama in a writer’s life, but he’s found satisfaction in hearing from readers of his books who tell him they were on the edge of their seats and couldn’t put the book down.

“My ideas usually come to me at about three o’clock in the morning,” he said. “For me, sleeping has always been very ‘over-rated’. I can usually get by with four hours of sleep. If I ever slept longer and got a good night’s sleep, I’m certain my writing would suffer.”

It seems a bit strange that a successful writer like Izzi was not able to benefit from one of Notre Dame High School’s most celebrated English teachers, Conrad Vachon, who has influenced generations of professional writers. But that’s because when Izzi was at NDHS, Vachon was not in the classroom.

“Unfortunately, I never had Mr. Vachon for English,” he said. “He was our school principal when I was there, but I tried to run cross country for him for a few weeks as a freshman. After one cross country meet, he kindly pulled me aside and told me to ‘find another sport.’ I’ve run several marathons since. Conrad was known for being pretty blunt back then and I always tried to avoid him after that.”

For information on enrollment and registration at Notre Dame, please visit the admissions section of our website here.

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About Notre Dame Preparatory School and Marist Academy
Notre Dame Preparatory School and Marist Academy is a private, Catholic, independent, coeducational day school located in Oakland County. Notre Dame Preparatory School enrolls students in grades nine through twelve and has been named one of the nation's best 50 Catholic high schools (Acton Institute) four times since 2005. Notre Dame's middle and lower schools enroll students in pre-kindergarten through grade eight. All three schools are International Baccalaureate "World Schools." NDPMA is conducted by the Marist Fathers and Brothers and is accredited by the Independent Schools Association of the Central States and the National Association of Independent Schools. For more on Notre Dame Preparatory School and Marist Academy, visit the school’s home page at www.ndpma.org.