August 2001

Before John Searles was a best-selling novelist, he was a factory worker in Connecticut.  He put himself through college and graduate school by holding three jobs.  Currently, he is Senior Books Editor at Cosmopolitan and teaches writing at Marymount Manhattan College in New York.  Time magazine named him a "Person to Watch" and fellow writer Frank McCourt hails him as a "masterful storyteller."  John reveals to A&U that he has no need for a love glove, wears Brady Bunch-style PJ's, and tends to be a bit spacey.

What city did you travel to on your last trip?
I went to Washington D.C., on my book tour for Boy Still Missing.

If you won a million dollars, how would you spend it?
I'd pay off my student loans and give some to my parents and my sister.  I'd also give to diabetes research, since I lost a sister to that disease.  As a writer, I care a great deal about literacy, so I would also give some to a charity that supports that cause.

Having been a part of this era of AIDS, how has it impacted you?
I came of age just as AIDS awareness was spreading, so I feel very blessed that I always knew the importance of having safe sex.  AIDS was something I was afraid of, so I was extremely careful never to put myself at risk.  But I have friends who are older who tell stories about how awful it was to lose so many people to the disease.  That makes me incredibly sad.

Which living person do you most admire?
I am the world's biggest Madonna fan, and have been since I first heard her records back in high school.  I admire her perseverance, the way she lives her life, and how she gives a lot of money to AIDS research.

When you're out on a date, where do you stash your loveglove, in your pocket, purse, glove compartment, or backpack?
At the risk of sounding like a prude, I don't go on those kinds of dates.  I've always had lots of fun in and out of bed without the need for a love glove.

Would you rather have a new VW Toon car, or a Turbo Porsche 911?
I have never been a person who cares about my set of wheels but I guess I'd pick the Toon car and give it to my boyfriend since he loves them.

John Searles

Would you rather have a Big Mac or an array of Chinese vegetables?
Definitely the vegetables.

What brand of water do you drink?
Tap water that's gone through the good old Brita filter.

Name one of your bad habits.
I have so many but I guess my top bad habit is that I'm spacey.  I waste a lot of time looking for stuff.  It drives me and the people in my life crazy.

If you had a choice to have a dinner date with anyone from history, who would it be?
Can I pick Madonna again?  If not, I'd choose Truman Capote or Tennessee Williams, two gay writers who knew how to have a good time!

Who is your favorite star?
I love Jamie Bell, who starred in Billy Elliot.  He brought so much depth and tenderness and humor to that part.  I want him to star in the film version of my book.

What can we do to help during this ongoing HIV/AIDS crisis?
Raise more money.  Do more research,  Spread awareness.  Show compassion.

When you get into bed at night, do you wear pajamas, nightshirt, undies, or nothing at all?
Every Christmas, my mom or my boyfriend gives me a new pair of Mr. Brady-style pajamas.  I wear the pants but not hte shirt.


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