"Carrillo evokes the wonder and confusion of first love in his debut YA novel."
"Carrillo is an honest storyteller. He is able to illuminate his characters so that a greater truth about humanity comes shining through."
-Underground Book Reviews
"Nia and the Dealer is a beautiful story. Bravo, Dominic Carrillo. Keep stories like this coming, not just for young adults but for all of us.”
"As a librarian, I strongly recommend Carrillo's book (and his visit!). Paco Jones is an ambassador for teens making sense of their place in a new school and with new friends."
-Dr. John Kurtenbach, librarian
"Dominic is an engaging presenter for students of all ages. He captured students attention with funny, relevant anecdotes from his own life and challenged students to be creative, imaginative and brave."
-Pam York, librarian
"Dominic Carrillo talks about peer pressure and the fleetingness of fame and popularity, and how in the end, you must be yourself. It is a nice, fast read for anyone, and a great story for kids trying to find out where they fit in."
Dominic Carrillo is a teacher and award-winning writer from San Diego, California. Dominic earned both his bachelor and master's degrees from UCLA, where he began creative writing. His stories in San Diego Reader magazine led him to publish his first novel To Be Frank Diego (2012).
Since the publication of The Improbable Rise of Paco Jones (winner of the SDBA for best YA, 2017) Dominic has focused on writing young adult novels with universal coming-of-age themes. The Unusual Suspects (IAN Book Award finalist & SDBA winner) was released in 2018 and was translated into Bulgarian soon after. The sequel, Nia & the Dealer, was published in 2019. His short story "Ghetto is Not an Adjective" is featured in the short story collection Living Beyond Borders (2021, Penguin).
Dominic speaks at library events, schools, and conferences. He lives and works in Sofia, Bulgaria and is working on his next YA novel.