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About The Year of the Bear

The Year of the Bear is a powerful coming-of-age adventure that engages and enthralls adults and youth alike from its very first page. The novel ushers us into a spectacular world of adventure alongside a black bear cub and Jason Wilson, a seemingly ordinary 13-year-old boy living in the rugged wilderness environs of Mount Katahdin and Moosehead Lake. Together, they encounter unforeseen dangers and obstacles that test their mettle, challenge Jason’s principles, and threaten their survival. We witness heroic struggle and triumph as the lives of a boy and a bear cub transform and transcend, both warming and rending our hearts along the way. The gripping account of their intertwined journey will forever be remembered as The Year of the Bear.

“Fans of classic, enthralling adventure (and I’m one) are in for a rare treat!” — Josh Lieb, New York Times Bestselling Author and Emmy-winning Executive Producer of The Daily Show

“Fast-paced and highly satisfying…seamlessly interwoven with moments of indigenous wisdom, personal discovery and universal truth. If the immediate experience is cinematic, its aftereffect is inspirational. A compelling and uplifting work.” — Scott Mason, Author of The Wonder Code: Discover the Way of Haiku and See the World with New Eyes and award-winning international poet

“A wonderful multi-layered adventure of a young teen growing up in rural northern Maine” — Mr. Robert Ford Senior, 2014 Footlocker Co-National Coach of the Year

“A Newberry Award contender, for sure!” — Katie Cruice Smith, Author of Why Did You Choose Me?


Douglas J. Lanzo is an award-winning and featured poet and novelist published in fifty-two literary publications in the U.S., Canada, England, Wales, Austria, Mauritius, India, Japan, Australia, and the Caribbean. These include over 250 poems published in forty-seven literary journals and five poetry anthologies, among them Vita Brevis Press’ best-selling Brought to Sight & Swept Away and Nothing Divine Dies anthologies, Vita Brevis Press’ upcoming anthology What is All This Sweet Work? and Vita Brevis Press Poetry Magazine. The Year of the Bear represents his debut novel, which has been endorsed by NYTimes bestselling author and Emmy-winning producer, Josh Lieb, and acclaimed poet and author, Scott Mason, and is available for immediate pre-order.

It will be followed by his romance suspense novella, I Have Lived, scheduled for national release by the same Irish and US publisher in 2023. Doug resides in Chevy Chase, Maryland, with his wife and thirteen-year-old identical twin sons and fellow internationally published poets, enjoying nature, tennis, traveling, biking, fishing, and chess. Doug’s author website, featuring hundreds of poems that he and his twin sons have published internationally, is available free of charge at, together with additional information regarding his novel and novella, links to his Instagram account and resources for active and aspiring writers.