"Carrillo evokes the wonder and confusion of first love in his debut YA novel."   

        -Kirkus Reviews

"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) which has been required reading in sociology courses at San Diego State University.


Since the publication of The Improbable Rise of Paco Jones  (Winner of the SD Book Award for best YA, 2017) Dominic has focused on writing young adult novels with universal coming-of-age themes. He released The Unusual Suspects   (IAN Book Award Finalist) in 2018, and it's been recently translated into Bulgarian. The sequel, Nia & the Dealer, is due out in June 2019!


Dominic speaks at libraries,  schools, and conferences. He lives and works in Sofia, Bulgaria and is working on his next YA novel.

Bulgarian TV interview


Pick My YA interview

Born to Write podcast interview 

Imperial Valley Press article

Sopris Sun article