I am Brent Hartinger, and I live to write.
For the last twenty years, I have made my living writing just about everything that involves words.
My most famous book is probably my 2003 gay teen novel, GEOGRAPHY CLUB, which was adapted into a feature film starring Scott Bakula, Marin Hinkle, Ana Gasteyer, Justin Deeley, and Nikki Blonsky. It was released in selected theaters and on VOD on November 15, 2013.
Geography Club is now the first book in The Russel Middlebrook Series. In order, the stories in the series are:
* GEOGRAPHY CLUB (book #1)
* THE ORDER OF THE POISON OAK (book #2)
* DOUBLE FEATURE: ATTACK OF THE SOUL-SUCKING BRAIN ZOMBIES/BRIDE OF THE SOUL-SUCKING BRAIN ZOMBIES (book #3)
* THE ELEPHANT OF SURPRISE(book #4)
* TWO THOUSAND POUNDS PER SQUARE INCH (a free short story)
I'm currently launching an entirely *new* series featuring Russel Middlebrook and his friends, called Russel Middlebrook: The Futon Years. These books are set six years later (in the present), with the characters in their early twenties. They're also "adult" books, not YA, so they're longer and a bit edgier (but hopefully just as fun and funny). They're also "stand-alone," meaning you don't need to read the earlier books.
These books are:
* THE THING I DIDN'T KNOW I DIDN'T KNOW (book #1, December 15, 2014)
* BAREFOOT IN THE CITY OF BROKEN DREAMS (book #2, August 2015)
For the record, I try hard to write books that people *like* to read. The most frequent comment I get from readers is that my books are "page-turners," which makes me very happy, because that is exactly what I want them to be. If I had to describe my own books, I would say, "Strong central concept, strong plot, strong character and voice, and usually lots of humor." (I may not always *succeed* in creating these things, but they're what I always strive for.)
My biggest complaint with books I hate is that they don't get to the point (or, worse, they don't have a point!). I get frustrated that so many books have a cliche or overdone central concept, or that they're all atmosphere and world-building (or "beautiful language," in the case of some literary novels) with no real story.
Basically, I see myself as a storyteller. I think the important thing for a writer is to get out of the way and just tell the damn story.
Sure enough, my second great love is screenwriting and playwriting. I've won lots of screenwriting awards and have several movie projects in very active development.
Meanwhile, my plays have been performed at dozens of theaters. And I adapted GEOGRAPHY CLUB into a stage play, which has now been produced all over the country.
In addition, I'm the co-host of a bi-weekly podcast, Media Carnivores, which covers media-related news and opinion (and also honest writing advice and updates on my career).
I sometimes teach writing, in the MFA program in Writing for Children and Young Adults at Vermont College and elsewhere.
And I also do a fair bit of charity work, including a brand new enterprise, The Real Story Safe Sex Project, using entertainment and pop culture to help gay teens and twentysomethings fight HIV/AIDS.
I live in Seattle, Washington, with my partner since 1992, Michael Jensen. Together with our friend Sarah Warn, we co-founded a very successful entertainment website called AfterElton.com that was eventually acquired by MTV/Logo (but we don't work there anymore).
I answer all emails (eventually), so if you have a question or a comment, if you want to buy a signed edition of one of my books (free shipping in the US!), or if you're interested in having me speak to your school or group, contact me through my website: www.brenthartinger.com. (There's information about my fees, etc., here.)
My "Official" Biography
BRENT HARTINGER is the author of a number of novels, mostly for and about teens, including GEOGRAPHY CLUB (2003) and five companion books: THE ORDER OF THE POISON OAK (2005); DOUBLE FEATURE: ATTACK OF THE SOUL-SUCKING BRAIN ZOMBIES/BRIDE OF THE SOUL-SUCKING BRAIN ZOMBIES (2007); THE ELEPHANT OF SURPRISE (2013); THE THING I DIDN'T KNOW I DIDN'T KNOW (2014); and BAREFOOT IN THE CITY OF BROKEN DREAMS (2015).
His other books include THE LAST CHANCE TEXACO (2004); GRAND & HUMBLE (2006); PROJECT SWEET LIFE (2008); and SHADOW WALKERS (2011).
A feature film version of his first novel, GEOGRAPHY CLUB, was released in November 2013, co-starring Scott Bakula, Ana Gasteyer, and Nikki Blonsky.
Hartinger is also the author of many award-winning screenplays and plays, including a stage adaptation of GEOGRAPHY CLUB, which has received regional productions in Salt Lake City, Edmonton, and many other places. Three more of his screen projects have been optioned for film and are in various stages of development, including his screenplay of his award-winning play THE STARFISH SCREAM.
Mr. Hartinger's many writing honors include being named the winner of the Lambda Literary Award; a GLAAD Media Award; the Screenwriting in the Sun Award; the L.A. Comedy Festival Screenwriting Award; the Scandiuzzi Children's Book Award; and a Book Sense Pick (four times).
Hartinger is the co-host of the Media Carnivores podcast, a sometime-member of the faculty at Vermont College in the MFA program in Writing for Children and Young Adults, and the co-founder of the entertainment website AfterElton.com, which was sold to MTV/Viacom in 2006. In 1990, he co-founded one of the country's first gay youth support groups, in his hometown of Tacoma, Washington. He also founded and currently runs the Real Story Safe Sex Project.
He lives in Seattle with his partner, writer Michael Jensen.