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Authors & Illustrators

Annette Curtis Klause

c/o Margaret K. McElderry Books
Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing Division
1230 Avenue of the Americas
New York, NY 10020-1586


There is now an official MGM website for the movie of Blood and Chocolate. A link to the trailer is on the website! You will need the Adobe Flash Player plug in to view it. The movie seems different from my book in many ways, but it still looks exciting.

For versions of the trailer in other formats, as well as additional pictures and information, see the fan site of the director. Click Here.

Look the title up on the Internet Movie Database for full cast and crew.
For sets, see

A new cover has been posted on Amazon for the paperback edition of Freaks: Alive, on the Inside.
I like it better than the hardback cover.

—updated January, 2007


I was born in Bristol, in the South West of England on June 20, 1953. When I was little, we lived with my father's parents on a street that had cobblestones up our end.The house we lived in shows up in my story "The Bogey Man," but the granny in the story is nothing like my real granny, thank goodness.

The first book I remember owning was about birds' eggs. I especially liked the picture of a swan's egg. I'm sure I must have shared it with my best friend-an imaginary ghost called Gulliver.

When I was seven, we moved up north to Newcastle upon-Tyne. That's where I first decided that I'd save everything I wrote, including my first horror story, created when I was about ten-- The Blood Ridden Pool of Solen Goom. In each chapter, a ghostly hand lured an unsuspecting traveler over a cliff to his death. All the chapters ended, "And more blood flowed into the blood ridden pool of Solen Goom."

My father took my sister and me to the library every Saturday. I could hardly wait to get home and start on the giant pile of books. I discovered the Chronicles of Narnia there and read them over and over. Rosemary Sutcliff's historical novels were among my favorites, too, especially Dawn Wind. At the point where Dog dies, I would lock myself in the bathroom and cry my heart out under the mistaken assumption that no one would hear me, when actually my wails probably echoed through the entire house. "She's reading that stupid book again," I expect they said downstairs.

There were books at home as well as at the library. Boxes of old science fiction magazines and paperbacks beckoned to me from the spare room. The romance of the alien landscapes on the covers lured me inside again and again, where I grappled with the jargon until the day when it all fell into glorious place. The only problem with the science fiction back then was that there were no girls in the stories. That's the reason why, years later, I wrote Alien Secrets. It was for my twelve-year-old self who wanted to be part of the adventure without having to pretend she was a thirty-year-old American male.

When I was fourteen I discovered my first vampire book, The Shiny Narrow Grin by Jane Gaskell, and I became mesmerized. I responded with a pretentious, over-written, dreadful sequence of poems interspersed with prose called The Saga of the Vampire. It involved a human girl and two vampire brothers. Years later, when I decided to write a novel for teenagers, I remembered those old poems, and yes, I stole from myself.

When I was fifteen, my family moved to America. In high school, I continued to write, and in college, I took poetry workshops but I didn't seem to have much time for prose. In graduate school, I didn't even have much time for poetry. It wasn't until after I graduated with my Master's degree in Library Science that I became serious about writing again, but it took over ten years of writing and learning before I became a published novelist and I still can't quite believe it's true.

Nowadays I live with my husband and six cats in the Maryland suburbs. (Three are Siamese from I still work as a children's librarian but in the evenings and on weekends I write.

If you want to find out more about me, look here:

"Growing Up To Be A Writer."
Voice of Youth Advocates, Vol.14, No. 1 (April, 1991), pp. 19 - 20, 22.

Lives and Works: Young Adult Authors.
Volume 4. Danbury, CT: Grolier Educational, 1999.

Speaking For Ourselves, Too: More Autobiographical Sketches By Notable Authors of Books For Young Adults.

Something About the Author.
New York: Gale Research, Inc., 1994.

The Seventh Book of Junior Authors & Illustrators.
Sally Holmes Holtze, ed. New York: H.W. Wilson, 1996.

Authors Among Us.
Ignore the email address on that site, though. I don't use it anymore.

Interview. Cynthia Leitich Smith’s blog, Cynsations,
Lots of background on my newest book Freaks: Alive, on the Inside.

My Books

New York: Margaret K. McElderry Books, 2006. ISBN: 0-689-87037-X. $16.95.
Also available from Recorded Books Inc. (800-638-1304, Unabridged book on tape. ISBN: 1-419-3713-8X, $65.75. Unabridged book on CD. ISBN: 1-419-3714-36, $94.75.
"When a boy's first romantic interlude is with Phoebe the dog faced girl, he feels a need to get out into the world and find a new life," thinks Abel. However, the increasingly possessive Phoebe is only one of seventeen-year-old Abel's reasons for wanting to leave the Faeryland Revue of 1899. Abel is born into the world of sideshow performers. His parents, and most of the inhabitants of the entertainment resort they live and perform in, are human oddities-freaks many call them-people with physical differences that set them off from most of the population. But Abel has no interesting physical difference, and he feels that he will never have a chance to excel until he goes out into the world among people more like him. "Why would someone want to come see an ordinary boy like me throw knives when there are such wonders around me?" He is just dependable, kindly Abel, the lad who runs errands into town and who helps back stage, the one who is stuck minding twelve-year-old Apollo, an irrepressible puppy boy who can't stay out of trouble. Abel doesn't want to be good, however. He yearns for adventure--the sort of adventure a young man can only have when not surrounded by people who know his parents. When the Siamese twins depart the show, one of them gives Abel an Egyptian ring as a gift to remember her by, and Abel starts to have disturbing, delicious dreams of a beautiful dancing girl. She seems the physical embodiment of the adventure he craves, and where would he ever find a woman such as that? Not at home. That's when Abel decides to creep out at night and walk across the Maryland countryside to join a traveling circus as the first step on his way to find his fortune. But fortune, in the shape of the voluptuous dancing girl who haunts him in twilight and in sleep, has her own plans for Abel, and through misadventure and mishap (complicated by a little problem he thought he'd left behind) she leads him back to the freaks-a raggle-taggle band of traveling performers very different from the proud, independent souls he grew up with, held in thrall to a manipulative showman and his thugs. They break his heart. Faced with kidnapping, abuse, and even murder, it is only by using the qualities he thought were unimportant and mundane, that Abel can help them and, through that, finds his place in the world and the love of his life. For ages 14 and up.

"Teens will be easily drawn in by the cliff-hanger chapter endings; the vibrant, affectionately drawn cast of characters (including a seductive mummy), and the exuberant, often bawdy language, in which even emotions are visceral creatures: 'A worm of anger squiggled in my gut,' Abel says. Klause's suspenseful twist on the outsider's story, the grim horror of human exploitation, and the questions about belonging will fascinate readers."
Booklist. (starred review)

"It has been far too long since readers have been treated to Klause's enticing literary style, which combines humor, empathy, and a delicious sensuality. It is obvious that she loves these "freaks."…Many teen readers will love this book, with its openhearted portrayal of people with differences, while others will find the realism disturbing. At any rate, it is a must-have for all young adult collections."
VOYA (Voice of Youth Advocates).

"The unusual setting of his adventure is treated with respect and affection."
Kirkus Reviews.

"Set in 1899, this gripping and sensual, but never explicitly sexual tale is a fascinating mixture of fantasy and reality. Abel's growth from an immature, irresponsible teen into a more mature, dependable young man ready to take charge is well done. The author never loses sight of the fact that despite their unusual appearances, all of the characters are human."
Sharon Rawlins, NJ Library for the Blind and Handicapped, Trenton, for School Library Journal.

"Everything about the main character of Klause's fin de siècle novel set in Middle America is appealing, including his name…Abel [Dandy] makes an amiable hero and the narrative has a satisfying warm-heartedness to it. Teens, especially those who feel a bit freakish themselves, will gobble this up." Publisher's Weekly.

New York: Delacorte Press, September 1997. hardcover out of print; Dell Laurel Leaf, 1999. ISBN: 0-440-22668-6. $6.50 U.S./$8.99 Can.
Also available as an AudioFile Earphones Award winning recording from Recorded Books, Inc. (800-638-1304, ) Unabridged on tape ISBN: 0-788-7110-24, $59.75. Unabridged on CD. ISBN: 1-419-3679-78, $74.75.

Illustrator Cliff Nielsen

Vivian's werewolf clan has fled from discovery in West Virginia to the tenuous safety of the Maryland suburbs, but their leader, Vivian's father, is dead and the pack is in turmoil. Angry at her male age-mates who she feels caused her father's death, Vivian feels estranged from her own kind, yet unable to fit in with the humans at school. When a poem about shape-changing appears beside her expressionistic print in the school literary magazine, Vivian sets out to meet this young man who knows too much, and is shocked to discover that she is attracted to a meat-boy. Ignoring her werewolf suitor, and defying the laws of her clan she romances a human-it couldn't hurt, could it? But then the bodies start to turn up. For ages 14 and up. Cover by Cliff Nielsen

"This violent, sexy novel is a seamless, totally convincing blend of fantasy and reality that can be read as feminist fiction, as smoldering romance, as a rite of passage novel, or as a piercing reflection on human nature…Klause's imagery is magnetic and her language fierce, rich, and beautiful…Passion and philosophy dovetail superbly in this powerful, unforgettable novel for mature teens."
Booklist. (starred review)

"The description of changing into a wolf form is conveyed so vividly that one wants to howl. This sexy tale has everything-romance, mystery, and truth, making it a truly outstanding read and one of the best horror novels of the decade."
Genreflecting web page.

"With the darkly sexy prose and suspenseful storytelling that gave such luster to The Silver Kiss, Klause lures readers into the politics of the pack, their forbidden desire for human flesh and the coming of age of their future queen…most will find this sometimes bloody tale as addictive as chocolate."
Publisher's Weekly.

"Extrapolating brilliantly from wolf and werewolf lore, Klause creates a complex plot fueled by politics, insanity, intrigue, sex, blood lust, and adolescent longings, and driven by a set of vividly scary creatures to a blood-curdling climax. The werewolves' taste for risky pranks and the author's knack for double-and even triple-entendres add sly undercurrents to this fierce, suspenseful chiller."
Kirkus Reviews.

"Succeeds as a supernatural gothic romance that's sweaty (and bloody) enough for a sultry summer night."
Horn Book.

2001 American Library Association Top Ten Challenged Books of the Year. My most dubious honor. (It means people tried to censor me.)
2000 Garden State Teen Book Award
2000 South Carolina Young Adult Book Award
1998 American Library Association Best Books for Young Adults.
Voted one of the top 10 on this list, too!
1998 American Library Association Quick Picks.
Voted one of the top 10 on this list, too!
1998 Nominated for the Heartland Award for Excellence Young Adult Literature.
1997 School Library Journal Best Books of the Year.
1997 Booklist Editor's Choice.

New York: Delacorte Press, 1990. Hardcover out of print. Dell Laurel Leaf, 1992. ISBN: 0-440-21346-0. $5.50 U.S./$7.99 Canada

Zoë feels alone-her mother is dying, her father is always at the hospital, and her best friend is moving away-then she meets a beautiful young man in the park late at night. He seems to understand all that she is going through. What she doesn't know is he is really a three hundred year-old vampire on a quest for revenge. For ages 14 and up.

The Silver Kiss
Illustrator Cliff Nielsen

"This first novel is sexy, scary and moving…The gruesome bits are viscerally effective, all the more so for their well-spaced restraint and for the controlled discretion which surrounds them. Neither is the love story between Simon and Zoë for the faint of heart…Joining the mysteries of sex and death, the vampire myth is darkly erotic, a passion this novel evokes without over-the-top exploitation. It's just a kiss."
The Bulletin for the Center of Children's Books.

"A roller-coaster ride in reality, the macabre, death and love."
School Library Journal. (starred review)

"Klause weaves all the gory details into a poignant love story that becomes both sensuous and suspenseful."
~Booklist. (starred review)

1994 Selected by the American Library Association as one of the 100 "Best of the Best" from the 1300 in the history of the annual "Best Books For Young Adults" list.
1994 Selected by the American Library Association as one of the 100Best of the Best from the 1300 in the history of the annual "Best Books for Young Adults" list.
1993 The Sequoyah Young Adult Award, Oklahoma.
1993 The Maryland Black-eyed Susan Award.
1993 The California Young Reader Medal.
1993 The South Carolina Young Adult Book Award.
1991 American Library Association Best Books for Young Adults.
1991 American Library Association Best Books For Reluctant Readers
1990 School Library Journal Best Books.
1990 Booklist Best Books, and Editor's Choice.
1990 Best Book of the Year Honor Book, Michigan Library Association.

New York: Delacorte Press, 1993. Hardcover out of print. Dell Yearling, 1995. Out of print. Available as a Dell Laurel Leaf paperback, 1999. ISBN: 0-440-22851-4. $5.50 U.S./$7.99 Can.

Also available unabridged on tape from Recorded Books, Inc. (800-638-1304) ISBN: 0-7887-0686-1; $42.00

Twelve-year-old Puck has been thrown out of school and must join her parents on the planet they are studying a year earlier than they intended. She knows she's in trouble. On the spaceship she meets her first alien, Hush. He's in trouble, too. The precious object he's been entrusted to bring back to his people's home world has been stolen. He's tracked it down to the ship they're on. Puck decides to help him whether he wants her to or not-they needn't both go home in shame. But all of the passengers and crew seem to have secrets to hide, and on top of everything else, the ship is haunted. When a dead body is found and Puck receives a threatening message, she begins to wonder if she'll make it to her destination alive. For ages 10 and up.
Alien Secrets
Cover by Cliff Nielsen

"It's Murder on the Orient Express, space style…"
Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

"Klause offers middle-grade readers a dynamic 1990s variation on the best of the 1950s-early 1960s juvenile science fiction by Heinlein, Norton, Bova, et al."
Booklist. (starred review)

"Combining science fiction with a tightly plotted mystery, Klause assembles a sympathetic and well rounded cast of characters, from Puck and Hush down to the ship's cats. She maintains the suspense throughout and keeps the reader guessing until the very end."

"This is a fast-moving space mystery that's filled with twists and turns and many surprises."
School Library Journal. (starred review)

"Klause juggles all this with admirable aplomb while devising a poetically literal manner of speech for Hush, deftly creating memorable characters…writing wonderfully suspenseful scenes…and slipping in some thoughtful, quite beautifully written passages…this is great fun."
Kirkus Reviews. (pointered review)

1994 American Library Association Notable Books For Children.
1994 Golden Duck Honor Book.
1993 The New York Public Library's One Hundred Titles for Reading and Sharing.
1993 School Library Journal Best Books.
1993 Booklist Best Books.

Short Stories

"The Hoppins." In Short Circuits
Donald Gallo, ed. New York: Delacorte Press, 1992. Dell, 1993. Out of print. Ages 12 and up.

"The Bogey Man." In Night Terrors: Stories of Shadows and Substance
Lois Duncan, ed. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1996. Hardcover out of print. Paperback from Simon Pulse, 1997. ISBN: 0-689-80724-4. $5.99. Ages 12 and up.

"Summer of Love." In The Color of Absence,
James Howe, ed. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2001. Hardcover out of print. Simon Pulse, January 2003. Ages 12 and up; Pulse, January 2003. Ages 12 and up. Paperback from Simon Pulse, January 2003. ISBN: 0-689-85667-9. $6.99 U.S./$10.99 Canada. Ages 12 and up

My Links

An interview with me on a web site well worth exploring, because of tons of good information on books and authors for children and teens.

The freaky art of James G. Mundie, plus a gallery of human oddities, recommended reading, and some great links.

Here’s a quiz for you.

Locus Magazine Web Site. Find up to the minute information about science fiction publishing, and links to all the best SF sites on the web.

James Taylor's Shocked & Amazed On and Off the Midway. "Step right up! Step right up! Freaks! Alive, on the inside!”

Summer of Love. This is the San Francisco my vampire, Simon, walked in my short story called "Summer of Love".

To work with Annette Klause, see our Speakers Bureau.