William J. Mann alternates his creative energies between fiction and nonfiction. “The two forms require different strategies and techniques,” he says, “but ultimately I’m faced with the same challenge. I need to find the story and I need to tell it well.”
Just as his nonfiction brings the past vividly to life, Mann’s novels have been praised for their keen insight on the present, especially the lives of gay American men. His first novel, The Men From the Boys, was the best-selling gay novel of 1997, and its long-awaited sequel, Where the Boys Are, published in 2003, continues to enjoy a devoted following from readers. Other novels have received considerable acclaim as well, particularly the offbeat All American Boy.
Mann won the Lambda Literary Award in 1999 for Wisecracker: The Life and Times of William Haines, which tells the story of the early Hollywood icon and interior decorator to the stars. The book continues to be popular, and has been optioned as a feature film.
Born in Connecticut, Mann worked briefly in Washington, DC, as a Capitol Hill aide before receiving his Masters degree at Wesleyan University. He has worked as a freelance journalist and editor. Currently Mann divides his time between Provincetown, Massachusetts and Palm Springs, California (“two of the most beautiful places on Earth,” he says) with his partner, Dr. Timothy Huber.
As of early 2008, he is finishing another novel as well as working on “the quintessential story of fame,” he says—a book called How to Be a Movie Star: Elizabeth Taylor in Hollywood
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