My name is Brent Hartinger, and I live to write.
For the last twenty years, I have made my living writing just about everything that involves words: novels, screenplays, plays, web content, even greeting cards. These days, I write in lots of genres in many different mediums.
My latest project is a dark and edgy teen book — part horror, part puzzle box thriller — called THREE TRUTHS AND A LIE. Simon & Schuster is even publishing it as a “lead title,” with big expectations and a huge publicity push — a big deal for any book, but especially for one with gay teen characters.
I’ve written puzzle box thrillers before, including GRAND & HUMBLE (HarperCollins 2006, now out in a new, completely revised 2016 edition).
My next latest project is a trilogy of "new adult" novels called Russel Middlebrook: The Futon Years. They're about a gay guy in his twenties, Russel Middlebrook, trying to make sense out of love and life.
The books in Russel Middlebrook: The Futon Years are:
* THE THING I DIDN'T KNOW I DIDN'T KNOW (book #1)
* BAREFOOT IN THE CITY OF BROKEN DREAMS (book #2)
* THE ROAD TO AMAZING (book #3)
I wrote previously about this character (as a teenager) in a young adult series called the Russel Middlebrook Series. The first book in that series, my 2003 gay teen novel GEOGRAPHY CLUB, was adapted as a feature film in 2013, co-starring Scott Bakula.
In order, the books in The Russel Middlebrook 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)
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.” (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.
Along with writing novels, my second great love is screenwriting. I’ve won lots of screenwriting awards and currently have four movie projects in various stages of development.
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, at the MFA program in Writing for Children and Young Adults at Vermont College and elsewhere, and I’m occasionally available as an editor-for-hire.
And I also do a fair bit of charity work, including The Real Story Safe Sex Project, an effort that organizes authors to help gay teens and twentysomethings fight HIV/AIDS.
I live in Seattle, Washington, with my husband since 1997, 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, so feel free to contact me through my website: www.brenthartinger.com
My "Official" Biography:
BRENT HARTINGER is the author of many novels, including Geography Club (2003) and six 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); Barefoot in the City of Broken Dreams (2015), and The Road to Amazing (2016)
His other books include The Last Chance Texaco (2004); Grand & Humble (2006); Project Sweet Life (2008); and Three Truths and a Lie (Simon & Schuster, 2016).
A feature film version of his first novel, Geography Club, was released in November 2013, co-starring Scott Bakula, Ana Gasteyer, and Nikki Blonsky.
Also a screenwriter, eight of Brent’s screenplays have been optioned for film, and four are currently in various stages of development, including The Starfish Scream, a teen drama; and Decked, the animated “true” story behind a deck of playing cards.
In addition, Hartinger is the author of many award-winning plays, including a stage adaptation of Geography Club, which has received regional productions in Salt Lake City, Edmonton, and many other places.
Mr. Hartinger’s many writing honors include being named the winner of the Lambda Literary Award; a GLAAD Media Award; the Scandiuzzi Children’s Book Award; and a Book Sense Pick (four times). Screenwriting awards include the Screenwriting in the Sun Award, a Writers Network Fellowship, and first place in the StoryPros, Fresh Voices, Acclaim, and L.A. Comedy Festival screenwriting contests.
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 husband, writer Michael Jensen.