elisa_rolle (elisa_rolle) wrote,

Lee Bantle

"I live in Park Slope, Brooklyn in a sunny apartment where I do my writing. I set David Inside Out in Minneapolis, Minnesota where I grew up and went to college.

David Inside Out is based in part on my experiences growing up gay in Minnesota before the age of Gay/Straight Alliances, television shows like Will & Grace, and books like the this one. My goal in writing the book was to capture the evolving dynamics in play today while giving voice to the complicated feelings that still accompany coming to terms with one's sexual identity. I wrote the book for gay teens who are struggling with their sexual identity, but also for the girls who may date and fall in love with these guys. I also hoped to promote greater understanding of LGBT people among straight readers and to tell a good coming of age story.

One of my early memories of writing was in high school. I wrote an essay about an accountant who was buttoned down and hardworking by day, but a party-time guy and playboy by night. My teacher loved the duality. And of course, it spoke of my own dilemma, an expression of self.

What inspired me to write my first book, Diving for the Moon, was the AIDS crisis. My friends were dying. Paul lasted only eight days after diagnosis. So, I wrote Diving for the Moon, about a hemophiliac boy who gets infected with HIV.

I write to understand the world around me and to be a witness to history.

Besides being a writer, I am a practicing lawyer. (It pays the bills.) I represent employees in discrimination lawsuits. You can find out more at my website civilrightsfirm.com. My favorite part of being a lawyer is making the closing argument to the jury. If you want to win, you have to tell a compelling story and capture the jurors' imaginations. This is where my writing career helps out at the office. So I compose the facts in a good narrative and pitch it to each of the men and women of the jury. Then they go out. It's win or lose. I love the drama!"

Further Readings:

David Inside Out by Lee Bantle
Hardcover: 192 pages
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR); First Edition edition (May 12, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0805081224
ISBN-13: 978-0805081220
Amazon: David Inside Out

David Dahlgren, a high-school senior, finds solace in running with the track team; he’s a fast runner, and he enjoys the camaraderie. But team events become a source of tension when he develops a crush on one of his teammates, Sean. Scared to admit his feelings, David does everything he can to suppress them: he dates a girl, keeps his distance from his best friend who has become openly gay, and snaps a rubber band on his wrist every time he has “inappropriate” urges. Before long, Sean expresses the thoughts David has been trying to hide, and everything changes for the better. Or so it seems.

In this thoughtful yet searing coming-of-age novel, Lee Bantle offers a raw, honest, and incredibly compelling account of a teenager who learns to accept himself for who he is.

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

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Tags: author: lee bantle, in the spotlight

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