elisa_rolle (elisa_rolle) wrote,

James Klise

"I was born in Peoria, Illinois, the youngest in a big family. When it comes to family, I got really lucky. My family has been a constant source of pride and support for my entire life. I know that's not the case for a lot of people, so I'm grateful. (And if you're having a hard time at home, remember: Things can improve significantly, family-wise, just as soon as you move out of the house. In fact, it's one of the best things about living in a college dorm. Seriously!)

Speaking of college, I went to college in Washington, DC, and then to graduate school in Columbia, Missouri. I also have a master’s degree in Creative Writing from Bennington College in Vermont. Can you tell I really liked being a student? Even now, I just got back from a class where I'm learning Polish. Well, "learning" is stretching it. It's really hard! For example, the Polish word for "man" is "mezczyzna." That's three z's! The Polish sure do love their z's.

My partner Mike and I live in a 100-year old house on the North Side of Chicago. On our first date, in January of 2000, we showed up at the restaurant wearing the exact same outfit: jeans and a brown sweater over a blue-and-white checked shirt.


We got over it. But even now, before leaving the house, we always check to make sure we’re not wearing the same thing.

Love Drugged is my first novel, but I’ve been writing fiction for a long time.

I first got a degree in creative writing in 1993. In case you don’t remember 1993 (or weren’t born yet), it was President Bill Clinton’s first year in office, the premieres of TV shows like Frasier and Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman, the Gin Blossoms climbing the radio charts—and me, ready and eager to share my fiction with the world.


Little did I know that my first book wouldn’t be published until 2010.

FYI: When it comes to a career in the arts,it turns out that patience and luck are just as important as talent and hard work.

I wrote a lot of short stories back then, and still do. I love short stories. They’re like magic tricks. They may seem easy to write, but the opposite is true. In the best short stories, every single word matters.

Many great stories can be found in “literary journals” published by colleges and universities. I sold my first story in 1996 to Ascent, which at that time was published by the University of Illinois. Over the years, I have published more stories in great journals like StoryQuarterly, New Orleans Review, Sou’wester, Southern Humanities Review and elsewhere. Each time I’ve published a story, it’s felt like another step forward in becoming a “real writer.”

In 2005, I decided to write a novel. That novel became Love Drugged.

The truth is, I’ve always thought of myself as a “real writer”— but I pay my bills doing another job that I love: running a high school library in Chicago. I also supervise the school literary journal, the book club, and the Gay-Straight Alliance. (For info about finding a GSA where you live, please check out my links page.)

The best part of my job is filling the shelves with GREAT books that I know my students will read for fun. I also enjoy helping students to revise and edit their own writing—making sure it’s the best work possible."


Further Readings:

Love Drugged by James Klise
Reading level: Ages 12 and up
Paperback: 312 pages
Publisher: Flux; Original edition (September 8, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0738721751
ISBN-13: 978-0738721750
Amazon: Love Drugged
Amazon Kindle: Love Drugged

If you could change who you are, would you? Should you?

Fifteen-year-old Jamie Bates has a simple strategy for surviving high school: fit in, keep a low profile, and above all, protect his biggest secret-he's gay. But when a classmate discovers the truth, a terrified Jamie does all he can to change who he is. At first, it's easy. Everyone notices when he starts hanging out with Celia Gamez, the richest and most beautiful girl in school. And when he steals an experimental new drug that's supposed to "cure" his attraction to guys, Jamie thinks he's finally going to have a "normal" life.

But as the drug's side effects worsen and his relationship with Celia heats up, Jamie begins to realize that lying and using could shatter the fragile world of deception that he's created-and hurt the people closest to him.

Told with equal doses of humor and suspense, Love Drugged explores the consequences of a life constructed almost entirely of lies . . . especially the lies we tell ourselves.

An American Library Association Stonewall Honor Book in Children's & Young Adult Literature

More Spotlights at my website: http://www.elisarolle.com/, My Lists/Gay Novels

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Tags: author: james klise, in the spotlight

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