Sloan, Brian 1966–
Sloan, Brian 1966–
Born 1966. Education: Boston College, undergraduate degree; New York University, M.A. (film).
Director, producer, playwright, and fiction writer.
A Really Nice Prom Mess, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 2005.
A Tale of Two Summers, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 2006.
Pool Days, Strand Releasing, 1993.
Boys Life, Strand Releasing, 1995.
I Think I Do, Strand Releasing, 1997.
Bumping Heads, Strand Releasing, 2002.
Boys Life 4: Four Plays, Strand Releasing, 2003.
WTC View, TLA Video (Philadelphia, PA), 2005.
A native of the Washington, DC, area, Brian Sloan originally worked in film and wore several hats, including screen writer, director, and producer. Among the screenplays Sloan has written are I Think I Do, Bumping Heads, Boys Life 4: Four Plays, and WTC View. The majority of Sloan's screenplays incorporate homosexual themes, bringing to viewers the realistic plights of many in the gay world. With the young-adult novel A Really Nice Prom Mess, Sloan continues his characteristic focus and brings to readers an honest viewpoint regarding gay teenagers and their straight (though slightly twisted) friends.
A Really Nice Prom Mess features Cameron, a gay high-school senior who is secretly dating Shane Wilson, the school football star. Cameron and Shane, in an attempt to hide their relationship, decide to double-date and take two local high-school girls to their senior prom. When Cameron picks up his date, Virginia McKinley, Virginia immediately suspects Cameron's homosexuality and is angered by the "double-date" fabrication. Virginia then gets uncontrollably drunk and a series of wayward events ensues, resulting in a comedic adventure that causes Cameron to realize what he really wants in a partner. Linda L. Plevak, writing in School Library Journal, noted that the characters in A Really Nice Prom Mess are "developed and the writing is solid," while Kliatt reviewer Myrna Marler dubbed the novel fast-paced and "laugh-out-loud funny."
Sloan's talent as a writer was reinforced by his second young-adult novel, A Tale of Two Summers. Critics often comment on the author's natural ability to move his stories in a fast-paced manner replicating the effects of a film. In the biographical section of his home page, Sloan differentiated between writing screen plays and writing novels: "The biggest difference is my favorite thing about writing novels; that you're actually writing something that people will read…. A movie is this huge collaboration with tons of artists and craftsmen working together on the set, whereas a novel is just me writing all the funny stuff that pops into my head. I love that it's a more direct connection between my head and the audience."
Regarded by a Kirkus Reviews contributor as a "freshly believable reality," A Tale of Two Summers incorporates two main characters: Hal, a fifteen-year-old homosexual, and Hal's straight friend Chuck. Hal has just come to terms with his homosexuality but has only come out to his best-friend Chuck, whom Hal has known for ten years. The friendship of Hal and Chuck is tested when they spend their first summer apart. Chuck goes away to summer arts/theatre camp while Hal stays at home and anticipates a boring summer where the only excitement is his upcoming driver's license. In order to keep in touch, Hal and Chuck create a blog that journals each teen's daily experiences. The two friends receive a serendipitous surprise when each develops a relationship: Chuck with a camp actress and Hal with a newly arrived French boy who moves into his neighborhood. "It's hilarious," noted Kliatt reviewer Marler of A Tale of Two Summers, the critic adding that the novel includes "plenty of LOLs [to] guide you on your way."
Biographical and Critical Sources
Kirkus Reviews, May 15, 2006, review of A Tale of Two Summers, p. 524.
Kliatt, July, 2005, Myrna Marler, review of A Really Nice Prom Mess, p. 16; May, 2006, Myrna Marler, review of A Tale of Two Summers, p. 15.
School Library Journal, August, 2005, Linda L. Plevak, review of A Really Nice Prom Mess, p. 136.
Brian Sloan Home Page, http://www.briansloan.com (March 15, 2006).
WTC View Web site, http://www.wtcview.com/ (July 1, 2006), "Brian Sloan."