Home—New Orleans, LA.
Has worked variously as editor of the Lambda Book Report, reviewer for the Southern Voice, and a freelancer for numerous periodicals.
Queer Horror Awards for best short-story collection, and tied for best overall book, both 2004, for Midnight Thirsts.
(Editor) Full Body Contact: Sexy, Sweaty Men of Sport (erotic stories), Alyson Books (Los Angeles, CA), 2002.
Murder in the Rue Dauphine (mystery), Alyson Books (Los Angeles, CA), 2002.
Bourbon Street Blues (mystery), Kensington Books (New York, NY), 2003.
(Editor) Fratsex: Stories of Sex in College Fraternities, Alyson Books (Los Angeles, CA), 2004.
(With others) Midnight Thirsts (horror stories), Kensington Books (New York, NY), 2004.
(Editor) Shadows of the Night: Queer Tales of the Uncanny and Unusual, Southern Tier Editions (New York, NY), 2004.
(Editor) Upon a Midnight Clear: Queer Christmas Tales, Southern Tier Editions (New York, NY), 2004.
Jackson Square Jazz (mystery), Kensington Books (New York, NY), 2004.
Murder in the Rue St. Ann: A Chanse MacLeod Mystery, Alyson Books (Los Angeles, CA), 2004.
Mardi Gras Mambo (mystery), Kensington Books (New York, NY), 2006.
Contributor to anthologies, including Men for All Seasons, Friction 4, Friction 5, and Rebel Yell 2. Contributor to periodicals, including Genre, Gay and Lesbian Review, Gulf Coast Arts Review, Where New Orleans, Fitness Plus, and LA Frontiers.
New Orleans-based writer and journalist Greg Herren has written extensively about the homosexual lifestyle, both in fiction and nonfiction. His work has appeared in a variety of periodicals and anthologies, and his fiction includes an array of horror stories and mysteries, all featuring homosexual characters. His choices have proven controversial on occasion. In 2005, he was invited to speak to the Gay-Straight Alliance at Manchester High School in Chesterfield County, Virginia. However, the superintendent and the school board later canceled his appearance under pressure from the Virginia Family Policy Network, which had organized an e-mail campaign claiming that Herren wrote gay pornography and would not be an appropriate speaker. In an interview with the Washington Blade, Herren commented that only a small portion of his writing has erotic overtones, and that, regardless, he hadn't planned to discuss his sexual orientation during his presentation. He said: "I was planning on talking about being a professional writer.… I was not planning on talking about sex." Ultimately, Herren was able to speak at another local venue away from the school campus. Herren told the Lambda Book Review: "The lesson I learned from all of this: We need to do more for queer youth."
While not erotic, Herren's mystery novels feature homosexual characters and cater to that audience. In Bourbon Street Blues, one of a series set in New Orleans, he tells the story of Scotty Bradley, a former go-go boy and stripper who now earns his living working as a personal trainer. However, Scotty also has a knack for finding trouble, and he gets involved with trying to stop a plot to blow up the city. Harriet Klausner remarked in a review for AllReaders.com that the book "is campy, funny and never takes itself seriously." She also noted that "Herren gives the audience a tantalizing glimpse of New Orleans from a different perspective, but the city remains as appealing as ever." Whitney Scott, reviewing the novel for Booklist, found it to be "thoroughly engaging in every way." In a review for the Lambda Book Report, Robert Dunbar had this to say of Herren's effort: "Elegant prose it ain't, but the language stays breezy and funny, descriptions brief, characterizations vivid and quick. Some books are born to travel. This one is bound to turn up on beaches everywhere."
Jackson Square Jazz is a follow up to Bourbon Street Blues, and marks the return of Scotty Bradley. Scotty is trying to adjust to his long-distance relationship with his new boyfriend when he finds himself in the midst of a another mystery. "After a somewhat slow opening, the thrills stack up Hollywood-style," observed a reviewer for Publishers Weekly. Scotty continues his adventures in a third book, Mardi Gras Mambo, by which time he has two lovers and the threesome is forced to put aside their plans for Carnival in order to solve a murder. In another review in Publishers Weekly, a contributor remarked that "implausible coincidences don't detract from the fast-moving plot."
Herren also writes short fiction, and his contribution to the anthology Midnight Thirsts, a collection of erotic vampire novellas, helped garner the book a best short-story collection award in the 2004 Queer Horror Awards, as well as a tie for the best overall work. Michael G. Cornelius attested in the Lambda Book Report that the collection "relies on standard formulas and seemingly tired clichés about hot vampire/human sex and the consequences of those relationships." He added, however, that "when done well, it's still a lot of fun. And this collection is, for the most part, done very well." Cornelius concluded: "It may not ultimately offer us much that is new about homosexuality and vampires, but it does offer a pleasurable reading experience."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, March 15, 2003, Whitney Scott, review of Bourbon Street Blues, p. 1279; April 15, 2004, Whitney Scott, review of Jackson Square Jazz, p. 1428.
Gay and Lesbian Review, fall, 2000, Greg Herren, "Twice-Told Tales," p. 54; January, 2001, Greg Herren, "Cultures Not Colliding," p. 41; May, 2001, Greg Herren, "Michael Nava," p. 42, and "If We Could See Ourselves," p. 45; September, 2001, Greg Herren, "Coming Out Made Easy," p. 42; January-February, 2003, Greg Herren, "Two Ways to Lose a Lover," p. 44.
Kirkus Reviews, January 15, 2006, review of Mardi Gras Mambo, p. 64.
Lambda Book Report, October-November, 2003, Robert Dunbar, review of Bourbon Street Blues, p. 20; January-March, 2005, Michael G. Cornelius, "Queer Vamps Times Four," p. 23; April-May, 2005, Jameson Currier, "Author and Former LBR Editor Greg Herren Received an E-mail," p. 64.
Library Journal, March 1, 2003, Rex Klett, review of Bourbon Street Blues, p. 122; April 1, 2004, Rex Klett, review of Jackson Square Jazz, p. 126.
Publishers Weekly, March 22, 2004, review of Jackson Square Jazz, p. 66; January 16, 2006, review of Mardi Gras Mambo, p. 40.
AllReaders.com, http://www.allreaders.com/ (September 25, 2006), Harriet Klausner, review of Bourbon Street Blues.
Murder Express,http://www.murderexpress.net/ (September 25, 2006), biography of Greg Herren.
Washington Blade Online,http://www.washblade.com/ (March 11, 2005), Eartha Melzer, "High School Cancels Appearance by Gay Author: School Officials Rescind Offer after E-mail Protest."*