John Searles Headshot
Report a problem with this profile
[email protected]

John Searles        

Best-selling Novelist, Today Show Literary Commentator, Editor-at-Large at Cosmopolitan

John Searles is the author of two best-selling novels, Strange but True and Boy Still Missing (both published by William Morrow), and his essays have appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, and other national newspapers and magazines.

He frequently appears on NBC's Today Show to discuss his favorite book selections. His early, on-air championing of books such as The Help, Water for Elephants, A Reliable Wife, and The Lovely Bones has greatly contributed to the success of numerous New York Times best-sellers.

Searles has also appeared on CBS's The Early Show, NPR's "Fresh Air," Live! With Regis and Kelly, and on CNN. As an editor-at-large at Cosmopolitan, he is involved with all book excerpts and reviews, the magazine's best-selling book series, website, radio station, and i-pad apps.

Time magazine named him a "Person to Watch," and the New York Daily News dubbed him a "New Yorker to Watch" when his first novel, Boy Still Missing, was published. Searles's humor, affability and industry expertise make him an ideal speaker for a variety of audiences including colleges and universities, publishing programs, writers' festivals, libraries, and library conferences.

Searles was born and raised in Monroe, Connecticut, the son of a truck driver and stay-at-home mom. After his high school graduation, he worked at the nearby Dupont factory.

To save money for college tuition, he stayed on at the factory and worked a night-job as a telemarketer, keeping people on the phone for hours asking important questions like, "On a scale of one to ten, how do you rate Bubble Yum in terms of its chewability?"

When he finally saved enough money, Searles quit the factory and began commuting to Southern Connecticut State University.

He majored in business, because he thought it was practical, but minored in creative writing, because it was something he loved. He was fortunate to win a number of writing awards from the University.

Encouraged by this recognition, he moved to New York City to pursue a master's degree in creative writing at New York University.

Following his time at NYU, Searles waited tables and attempted to publish his novel.

His most memorable rejection came when an editor mistakenly left this note inserted in the manuscript: "I could barely make it to page 60 and I feel really sorry for anyone who has to read the whole thing."

Soon afterward, Searles attended a writer's conference in South Carolina, where he met the fiction editor of Redbook. She liked his writing and offered him a freelance job reading short story submissions for 50 cents a story.

He took that job for over a year until he was offered what was at first meant to be a part-time position in the books department at Cosmopolitan.

Searles lives in New York City and Sag Harbor, New York.

Speech Topics

How to Drive Your Reader Wild in Bed and Six Other Scintillating Secrets Every Writer Should Know

A Funny Thing Happened on My Way to Becoming a Writer

Turning Your Life into Fiction: Why Fiction is Better Than the Truth

The 7 Rules of Creative Inspiration


Subject of John Searles' new novel is his worst nightmare - Books ...

To John Searles, the creepiest thing in the world isn't a vindictive doll or a basement light that flashes on when nobody's home or even demonic possession  ...

Related Speakers View all

More like John