ALL ABOUT ME
For the past twenty years, I've made my living writing just about everything that involves words: novels, screenplays, plays, web content, even greeting cards. For the last ten years, I've written fiction full-time, in lots of genres in many different mediums.
I also love to travel. In fact, I no longer have a home. Instead, I travel the world indefinitely with my husband, writer Michael Jensen, living in a different city ever few months as we both work on our different projects. You can follow our "digital nomad" journey at Brent and Michael Are Going Places.
As a writer, I especially love mysteries and thrillers, and one of my latest projects is a dark and edgy gay teen book — part horror, part puzzle box thriller — called Three Truths and a Lie (Simon & Schuster). It was nominated for an Edgar Award, which is the mystery genre’s top honor.
I’m also the author of a number of books featuring a gay character named Russel Middlebrook, as well as his collection of quirky friends, as they try to make sense out of love and life. I tried to give these books a lot of heart and humor.
The first book about Russel, my 2003 young adult novel Geography Club, was adapted as a feature film in 2013, starring Scott Bakula, Ana Gasteyer, and Nikki Blonsky (and the book is now being developed as a TV series). One of the book’s sequels won the Lambda Award.
The latest of these books is The Otto Digmore Difference, the first book in a new stand-alone series for adults, The Otto Digmore Series, about one of Russel’s friends.
The next most recent books are Russel Middlebrook: the Futon Years, also a stand-alone series and also for adults:
Finally, I first wrote about Russel in a young adult series, for teens and adults, called The Russel Middlebrook Series.
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.”
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” or “voice” 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 had a bunch of scripts optioned, and I currently have four movie projects in various stages of development.
I also sometimes write plays. I adapted Geography Club into a stage play, which has now been produced all over the country. (If you’re involved with a theater and want a copy of the script, or my other gay teen script The Starfish Scream, contact me.)
Oh! Recently, I even wrote a song. Check out the song I wrote (and sang!) for a recent book. (But keep your expectations low. I'm not really a songwriter, and I'm definitely not a singer, especially without the help of AutoTune.)
My husband Michael Jensen is also a writer. 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, or if you’re interested in having me speak to your school or group, contact me here.
MY LATEST BOOKS
RUSSEL MIDDLEBROOK: THE FUTON YEARS
THE TRAILER FOR A MOVIE BASED ON MY BOOK
MY "OFFICIAL" BIOGRAPHY
BRENT HARTINGER is the author of many novels, including Geography Club (2003) and seven 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), The Road to Amazing (2016), and The Otto Digmore Difference (2017).
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 The book is now being developed as a television series.
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 gay teen drama; and Decked, the animated “true” story behind a deck of playing cards.
Brent currently has no permanent address, and instead continuously travels the world with his husband, writer Michael Jensen. Their "digital nomad" journey, which has been featured on CBS Sunday Morning and in Forbes, is documented on their website Brent and Michael Are Going Places.
Brent’s many writing honors include being named the winner of the Lambda Literary Award; a GLAAD Media Award; the Scandiuzzi Children’s Book Award; an Edgar Award nomination, 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.
Brent is also 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.
MY CURRENT LOCATION: MATERA, ITALY
My husband and I have no permanent home. Instead, we continuously travel the world, even as I keep writing my books and screenplays. Above is a map of our journey so far.
Learn more at Brent and Michael Are Going Places.