The Mérida English Library community is fortunate to have many accomplished writers in our midst. This edition of Author Spotlight turns its attention to international travel writer and former New Hampshire resident Dave O. Dodge, who has been living in Centro Mérida for nearly eight years. Last year about this same time, he announced the release of his book, “The Seasons of Grace”, which tells the unauthorized story of author Grace Metalious.

This is Dodge’s first novel and follows the life of Metalious, a New Hampshire native who wrote four books during her successful career and short life. She is best known for her first book, “Peyton Place”, which became an unprecedented blockbuster when it was first published in 1956. Metalious’ book was dubbed “the first dirty book” and sold 12.5 million copies, with only The Bible selling more copies during the 1950’s. The book was on the New York Times best seller list for over a year while at the same time being banned in numerous libraries and countries for its controversial content.

“The Seasons of Grace” thoroughly peels back the curtain with this biographical fictional story based on the life of Metalious and her desire to tell stories that no one dared to tell before that time. Her life, like her writings, was a whirlwind that created havoc and controversy with every strike of the typewriter key, with “Peyton Place” hitting on thought-inducing and previously unspeakable subjects like rape, murder, incest, abortion, homosexuality, promiscuity, and adultery, all which Dodge weaves into a gripping story which delves deeply throughout his book.

“Grace Metalious was a female writer who grew up in Manchester, New Hampshire and her novels were unprecedented for someone with her background during that period in American literature history,” said Dodge. “I wrote ‘The Seasons of Grace’ to bring deserved recognition to this legendary writer who changed the game for all female writers during her era.”

His forthcoming book is about another New Hampshire icon of sorts. “Betty: A Life Interrupted” is the untold story of Betty Hill’s extraterrestrial life.  The novel will humanize one of the top alien abduction stories from 1961, which gained worldwide interest.

Living in Mérida has given Dave the time to pursue his creative talents, but he confirms retirement is not in the current equation. Besides being a great storyteller, Dave and his husband Patrick have been excellent hosts at their boutique hotel Ochenta y Dos.  For more information about Dave, visit www.davododge.com. You can also follow “The Seasons of Grace” on Facebook and Instagram: @the_seasons_of_grace

“The Seasons of Grace: The Unauthorized Backstory of Peyton Place” is available for purchase for $525 at the Merida English Library and Between the Lines bookstore.  The is also a  copy in the library’s permanent lending collection.