Rupert Smith is an American-born English author. He has written novels and biographies under his birth name, and is also known for his genre novels that have a gay pornographic motif, and are aimed primarily at homosexual men. These novels are published under the pen name James Lear. A third name, Rupert James, is used for books aimed at a female audience. To date, these three pen names, which respectively cover mainstream, erotic, and women’s fiction, neatly categorise and encompass all of his literary output.
Under his birth name, Smith has written novels inspired by his more than twenty years experience in entertainment journalism. These comprise his first three novels, I Must Confess, Fly on the Wall, and Service Wash, the latter inspired by the author’s time working with a soap opera, EastEnders, on its 20th-anniversary book. His fourth novel, Man’s World, was about two gay men living fifty years apart in London, where each explores the “scene” of his time. In 2013 he wrote Grim, a horror novel, and the following year a female-led coming-of-age story, Interlude. The author’s first book, Physique, was a collaborative memoir of the homoerotic photojournalist John S. Barrington.