Official Website of Novelist & Playwright
Flower of Iowa
Foreword INDIES Book of the Year Gold Award Winner (War & Military Fiction)
IBPA Benjamin Franklin Award Gold Winner (Fiction: Romance)
IBPA Benjamin Franklin Award Silver Winner (LGBTQ+)
Independent Publisher Book Awards Bronze Winner (Military/Wartime Fiction)
Lambda Literary Award Finalist (Gay Romance)
New York New Works Theatre Festival Finalist (Play Adaptation)
Two soldiers fall in love on the Western Front in a sprawling tale of courage and the resilience of the human spirit.
Photo by Keith Ferris
Lance Ringel is a two-time Lammy nominee whose novels and plays bring gay history to life through vividly realized characters and meticulously researched detail. His debut novel Flower of Iowa, an epic romance between two soldiers in the First World War, won multiple awards across literary genres while drawing accolades from sources as varied as Kirkus Reviews, Stephen Fry, and a fiercely dedicated reader following. His second novel, Floridian Nights, is an intense, multifaceted love story that unfolds against the backdrop of the AIDS epidemic of the late 1980s. Each novel was named a Finalist in the Gay Romance category of the Lambda Literary Awards, and Flower of Iowa was named the Gold Winner of the Foreword Indies Book of the Year Award in the War and Military Fiction category, while Floridian Nights was a Finalist for the same award in the Romance category. Indeed, both of Ringel’s novels have received groundbreaking recognition in the genre of general Romance.
Ringel is also an acclaimed playwright. His play In Love with the Arrow Collar Man, based on the true story of famed illustrator J.C. Leyendecker and his muse-lover Charles Beach, premiered at New York’s Theatre 80 St. Marks and was subsequently performed in conjunction with a Leyendecker exhibition at the Reynolda House Museum of American Art in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, with the latest production now scheduled for the Epiphany Theatre in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, early in 2023. Flash/Frozen, also based on true events, focuses on how the destinies of two young male skaters intersect around the tragic 1961 airplane crash that killed the entire U.S. figure skating team; it enjoyed a successful debut run in March 2022 at Theatre Row in New York, playing to enthusiastic audiences. Both Arrow Collar Man and the musical Animal Story, for which Ringel wrote book and lyrics to Chuck Muckle’s score, made the semifinals of the New York New Works Theatre Festival, and a stage adaptation of Flower of Iowa achieved the finals of the same festival.
Prior to his emergence as a writer of fiction and drama, Ringel pursued a career as a writer and journalist that spanned more than four decades. At Vassar College, where he worked for 22 years, he was a principal writer for Vassar Voices, a staged reading honoring the college’s sesquicentennial, which premiered at Jazz at Lincoln Center with Meryl Streep, Frances Sternhagen, and Lisa Kudrow. He also wrote the narrative for At Home in the World, a joint production of Vassar and Japan’s Ashinaga Foundation, which played in Tokyo, New York, Washington, D.C., and Kampala, Uganda, under the direction of John Caird.
Ringel also had a lengthy career in public service. He served as Assistant Commissioner of Human Rights under New York Governor Mario Cuomo, at the National Gay Task Force under veteran LGBTQ+ advocate Virginia Apuzzo, and for two terms as a member of the Dutchess County (NY) Human Rights Commission. He is also, improbably, a medal-winning bowler, having scored a bronze in team competition at the 2006 Gay Games in Chicago and then a gold at the World Outgames a few weeks later in Montreal.
A native of central Illinois, Ringel resides in both Poughkeepsie, New York, and New York City, with his spouse of 46 years, actor-composer-director Chuck Muckle.