STEVE NEIL JOHNSON
I was born and raised in rainy Seattle before it became a cool place to live, and ran off to New York in the early eighties with just a backpack (with a pair of cowboy boots tied to the back) to become the greatest writer who ever lived. Some dreams, it turns out, don't come true. While there, I lived in Chelsea across from the YMCA on 23rd, in Jersey City in a neighborhood later revealed to be a toxic waste dump, and finally in Brooklyn. While in New York struggling to become a writer, I worked with AIDS researchers in the early days of the crisis, including Mathilde Krim, who became the co-chair of the American Foundation for AIDS Research. I also worked for the first, and hopefully not the last, lesbian District Attorney of Brooklyn, where I began to formulate the ideas that became the Doug Orlando mysteries.
The blizzards of New York eventually sent me westward to the sunny skies and palm trees of Los Angeles, where I have lived for many years with my husband in the shadow of the O.J. Simpson murder scene, and just a block down the mean streets from where Raymond Chandler once lived. Along the way I received a bachelor's in English from UCLA, was Elton John's massage therapist for a while, wrote a couple dozen telenovela scripts, and was honored by ONE/National Gay & Lesbian Archives for my contributions to gay lit.
My first book, FINAL ATONEMENT, featuring gay Brooklyn Homicide cop Doug Orlando, was published in 1992 and received a Lambda Literary Award nomination for Best Mystery. The second book in the series, FALSE CONFESSIONS, was published in 1993. Both books hit the bestseller lists, and one critic called me "our queer Raymond Chandler," which has to be my favorite moniker.
My latest magnum opus, The L.A. After Midnight Quartet, is a four-book, four-decade spanning epic of gay life in the City of Angels, starting in the 1950s and ending in the 1980s, with each book representing a different decade. The first book, THE YELLOW CANARY, was a Lambda Literary Award Finalist for Best Mystery (always a best man, never a groom). THE BLACK CAT is the second in the series, THE BLUE PARROT the third, and THE RED RAVEN the final.