Author of the forthcoming book Year Zero. I live in New Hampshire, a decision I usually regret about this time every year because it too cold. Also freezing here with me are my son, my wife, and one cute dog named Astrid. I've been an avid reader and scribbler all my life. I also enjoy films, music, and being a snarky idiot.
We are thrilled to announce Melissa Dorval, an enthralling and rising new author, has joined the Spinning Monkey family. Her first full length novel When You Lose Control, an upmarket women’s fiction title set during the pandemic, will be published in late spring/early summer of 2023.
Melissa Dorval has published in The Offering, The Lowell Connector, The Shirley Volunteer, The Creative Zine, and the inaugural issue of The Sixpence Society Literary Journal. She is also one of the founding members of The New Dawn Writers Group.
Melissa graduated magna cum laude from the University of Massachusetts – Lowell, where best-selling author, Andre Dubus III, served as her mentor.
She lives in central Massachusetts with her husband, Chris, and five cats, two dogs and a rabbit. She is a New England Patriots fan and likes to collect vintage clothing from the sixties and seventies. When she’s not writing, Dorval enjoys sewing, drawing, painting and being a nanny for two children.
Author’s thrilling YA dystopian novel has dark parallels to a conceivable future America.
It’s the near future, and a new fascist America is run by a CEO and The Corporation.
Keene, New Hampshire – April 20, 2022 — It’s been two years since the establishment of the brutal dictatorship The Incorporated Precincts of America and its governing Board, as well as the death of the old America. Sixteen-year-old Joey Cryer has two missions: to keep his six-year-old sister, Julia, safe, and to not die. Author David Dean Lugo brings an all-too-realistic charged YA dystopian novel with Year Zero, the debut title in The Revolution’s Children trilogy.
America first. America last. America always. This is the vow that the CEO leader of the IPA—The Incorporated Precincts of America—pledges to his suffering citizens. With violent protests breaking out in every city, attacks against immigrants, and the national crisis of the Capitol Event, young Joey must keep his vigilance in staying clear of the IPA’s ever-watching Sons of Liberty—its ruthless police force—to avoid becoming “disappeared” with his little sister. This means not maligning the governing body, The Corporation, with any thought, word, or action, or else suffer the consequence.
Two years earlier, before the Second Revolution ended and before the election, Joey’s biggest concern was sitting at the right cafeteria table at his high school or if the girl he liked liked him back. Avoiding the school bully, Harlan Grundy, was always a plus in not getting pummeled. So, it was no big surprise that Harlan became a Son, loyal to The Corporation and carrying out their dirty deeds to keep citizens in check and in fear. The other thing keeping them in line? Fear, starvation, and the threat of death, turning citizen against citizen. And they best not speak any word of dispute on that. The only correct response to a Son? Everything is goodly.
Having lost everything in the revolution’s aftermath, Joey takes an unfathomable risk by helping the near-dead leader of the rebellion, John Doe. Having anything to do with Doe will skip one right past penalties and sanctions all the way to the death penalty, not only for them, but for anyone they love. And yet Joey’s sole mission is keep Julia safe until they can secretly escape to freedom. To do so, he finds he has an unlikely partner in a recently betrayed Harlan. Trusting his former enemy may be the only way to ensure their future—but is it worth the risk for Joey, Julia, and the community?
Lugo masterfully creates a darkly realistic version of a future America, woven with intriguing characters and an engrossing storyline. Inspired by exploring what if?, he says, “I think people are drifting too far away from one another. Putting each other in little boxes based on political party, or gender identity, or whatever instead of just people who are just trying to live the best they know how. We only have this one planet to live on so…we make it together or not at all.”
Year Zero brings together themes of loss and longing, good and evil, and destiny and survival that young adults will relate to. This first title in The Revolution’s Children trilogy will enthrall young adult and adult readers alike who are looking for the next enduring dystopian thriller.