‘Hearts Without Sleeves’: La Jolla resident publishes his first collection of short stories

"Hearts Without Sleeves" is La Jollan Jonathan Ferrini's first book.
(Courtesy of Jonathan Ferrini)

After a lengthy detour from the storytelling he loves, La Jolla resident Jonathan Ferrini is back on track with his first published book, a collection of short stories.

“Hearts Without Sleeves” is a compilation of 23 stories Ferrini wrote in the past few years. Many of the stories have been published in literary magazines.

The stories fall into two categories: romantic relationships and lessons learned from dramatic predicaments, Ferrini said. The characters are contemporary, representing a wide array of ages and ethnicities.

“My stories are not profane; there is no excess of violence,” he said. “They’re very clean stories, usually with some type of message.”

Ferrini, who has lived in La Jolla on and off since 1977 but permanently since 2002, said the book is a culmination of a writing career he has pursued in fits and starts.

“My earliest memories were telling stories in kindergarten,” he said. Eventually, he earned a master of fine arts degree in motion picture and television production from UCLA.

Ferrini strayed from creative pursuits to become a commercial real estate developer and chief executive of Ferrini Corp., a research and development company involved in designing shipping containers, which he still runs.

However, on a Christmastime road trip with his sister about five years ago, Ferrini told her a story, his first such yarn in decades.

“My sister was captivated,” Ferrini said. “She said, ‘You’ve got to keep this up.’ Ever since then, I’ve never stopped writing.”

The lag between his university days and now was fortuitous, he added, because he is able to draw on his life experiences from the past few decades to direct his stories.

La Jolla resident Jonathan Ferrini hopes to pitch his story collection to television and film producers.
(Courtesy of Jonathan Ferrini)

Ferrini also credits La Jolla’s “beauty and its uniqueness with really cultivating and motivating my creative spirit.”

“It’s funny, your life’s course sometimes can be looking you in the face and you cannot realize it,” he said. “Sometimes you might start off on that road you’re supposed to be on, but you take a detour, but that detour is going to lead you back to the main highway you’re supposed to be on.”

“Hearts Without Sleeves” also is a foothold for Ferrini’s next goal — to have his stories serve as treatments for Hollywood productions.

“Rather than submit a novel or a screenplay, I chose to write short stories because … you can get a story in front of a producer or a director or an agent very, very quickly,” he said.

He plans to submit “Hearts Without Sleeves” to producers and other publishers as his calling card, he said.

Many of the stories contain cliffhangers, which Ferrini said can be developed into longer pieces.

Ferrini said the short story format also is more desirable to readers with shortened attention spans who are accustomed to doing most of their reading online.

To purchase “Hearts Without Sleeves,” visit