Novelist Bio




Isaac Touch - gilded I   The Isaac Touch is a 70,000 word, contemporary fantasy for Young Adults with two POVs, a biracial female MC, and clue-seeking, romantic adventure through five countries.

Sixteen-year-old Isaac wears gloves, even in the sticky summer heat of Baltimore. He hates and fears his Midas touch — it’s chemical, unpredictable, and potentially very dangerous. Desperate for a cure, he delves into biology, mineralogy, alchemy — anything that will help him control the gilding.

And then Isaac meets Lee, a brilliant slacker with secrets of her own. Lee guides Isaac toward realizing that reality, myth, and science are melded together, along with power and desire. They begin to suspect there is a chemical formula hidden in history, a formula that may cure him.

They decipher clues in ancient artifacts, medieval manuscripts, and even old fairy tales, clues that send them around the world. But Isaac and Lee are not alone in their quest. A shadowy sophisticate — twisted by greed and unlimited wealth — will stop at nothing to possess Isaac’s newly acquired knowledge.

Isaac is terrified. Can he trust Lee and keep her safe? Can he trust himself not to touch her?


564984_10150805318501125_1476994878_n.jpg  Sometimes I can’t believe I got my Ph.D.

But I did and I’m pretty damn proud of it. (That’s me, pictured above with my two daughters, being very proud at the University of Washington.)

I’m enthralled by museums, art, archives, and symbolic decoding.

My art criticism for The Seattle Times and my job teaching art history at Cornish College of the Arts have bolstered my skills in conjuring mental imagery and communicating with different audiences, particularly of the new adult variety.


IMG_1666.JPG I cut my teeth on fairytales.

All through childhood, I devoured stories and forged some of my own. (Pictured above, my much-loved copy of the Grey Fairy Book).

My own story fabrication dropped away for a while although I’ve been writing non-fiction for years. I returned to writing fiction unexpectedly and almost obsessively. One day, while struggling to finish my dissertation, an idea for a novel lodged itself in my brain and wouldn’t let go. I had to write it out of my system.

And then I got another idea for another novel. And then a short story. And so it goes.

I’m drawn to YA because of my two (smart and funny) teenage daughters and the myriad of wonderful (and not so wonderful) YA books we’ve read together. Some of my favorites:

  • Chime by Franny Billingsley
  • An Abundance of Katherines by John Green
  • I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson

In the realm of literary fiction for adults…

  •  The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood showed me how fantasy could feel so real.
  • A.S. Byatt and Umberto Eco helped me see how intellectual and creative pursuits could be interwoven.

As for my writing style? I flatter myself by thinking my book is close to what Maggie Stiefvater might have come up with if she’d taken a crack at The Da Vinci Code. With, you know, more fantasy and less conspiracy.


80db4f33a7960afcea175710ade1231d.jpg  Have I mentioned that I love medieval manuscripts?

Oh, and 19th century photographic equipment?

And then there’s all that TV to watch – mysteries, period dramas, and sci-fi/fantasy shows: Firefly, The Walking Dead, Jessica Jones, Ripper Street, Pretty Little Liars, Twin Peaks, Downton Abbey. I’ll take it all, thank you very much.

Last but absolutely not least: I’m all in for community-building!

See, for example, the lovely 14th century party pictured above. Doesn’t that look fun? No?(Manuscript illustration by Jehan de Grise via Oxford’s Bodleian Library)

I can be found in various on-line lands. Maybe I’ll see you there?

Twitter: @gayleclemans


8 thoughts on “Novelist Bio

  1. Hi,
    Totally awesome adventure into your world! I love the background knowledge of fairytale and history stuff! I’m excited for you! I loved taking art history when I went to university a billion years ago. Art and where it comes from is so fascinating, just like the greek myths.

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