Pitch Wars Mentor Book Spotlight with Karen Fortunati!
Karen Fortunati is a former attorney, whose experiences on the job with children and teens and personal experiences witnessing the impact of depression, bipolar disorder, and suicide inspired her to write this story of hope for those who struggle with mental illness. Karen lives in Connecticut with her family and rescue dogs and works part time as a museum educator.
The Weight of Zero
Releases October 11, 2016
Seventeen-year-old Catherine Pulaski knows Zero is coming for her. Zero, the devastating depression born of Catherine’s bipolar disorder, almost triumphed once resulting in Catherine’s first suicide attempt. With Zero only temporarily restrained by the latest med du jour, time is running out. In an old ballet shoebox, Catherine stockpiles medications, preparing to take her own life before Zero can inflict its own living death on her again.
But Catherine’s life is changing with unexpected and meaningful relationships that lessen her sense of isolation. These new relationships along with the care of a gifted psychiatrist alter Catherine’s perception of her diagnosis as a death sentence. This is a story of loss and grief and how the many shapes of love – maternal, romantic and platonic – lead to Catherine’s struggle to come to terms with her chronic mental illness.
- ABA Indie Introduce New Voices Summer/Fall 2016 Selection: “…Do what indies do best—find and showcase undiscovered authors and compelling books. Two panels of booksellers chose the Indies Introduce titles—10 adult and 10 children’s—as the best of the Summer/Fall 2016 debuts.”
- Selected to the YA Buzz Book List by Shelf Awareness Pro that “…features upcoming young adult and middle grade titles that booksellers around the United States are most looking forward to.”
- Chosen as a Barnes and Noble Our Most Anticipated Debut for the Second Half of 2016.
- Winner of 2014 SCBWI Work-in-Progress Grant in the Contemporary YA category
- Finalist in the 2015 Tassey-Walden Awards Contest
- “Everyone takes a unique path to their dark places but Karen Fortunati’s portrayal of the road back is inspiring.” — Stephanie Tromly, author, Trouble Is A Friend of Mine
- “…I spent the last half of the book in grateful tears, filled with a deep recognition that gave me hope for life and love for Catherine. I cannot express enough what this book meant to me. Read it. It’ll change you.” —Flannery Fitch, Bookshop Santa Cruz (Santa Cruz, CA)
- “You might think that a story about having bipolar disorder would be depressing. But this story will lift you up, open your eyes, and make even your darkest ‘Zero’ moments seem manageable. Everyone should read this book. It will help you face those bad times, and it will help you appreciate the good times…” — Clarissa Murphy, Brookline Booksmith (Brookline, MA)
- “…A real story that needs to be told about bipolar disorder and how it affects someone who is afflicted by this, The Weight of Zero also concentrates on the value of good doctoring, strong support from family and friends, and the will to continue living.” –Kathy Taber, Kids Ink Children’s Bookstore (Indianapolis, IN)