Collection Scope and Contents
Title: Michael Craft papers
Date (inclusive): 1985-2019, undated
Collection Number: MS 415
5.86 linear feet
(14 boxes, 2 flat file folders)
Rivera Library. Special Collections Department.
Abstract: The collection consists of the papers
of author, playwright, and screenwriter Michael Craft. Materials in the collection include
manuscripts, notes, research materials, correspondence, promotional materials, reviews and
other items related to Craft's career and creative works, most notably the Mark Manning and
Claire Gray series.
Languages: The collection is in English.
The collection is open for research.
Copyright has not been assigned to the University of California, Riverside Libraries,
Special Collections & University Archives. All requests for permission to publish or
quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Director of Distinctive
Collections. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the Regents of the University
of California as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply
permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the researcher.
[identification of item], [date if possible]. Michael Craft papers (MS 415). Special
Collections & University Archives, University of California, Riverside.
Gift of Michael Craft Johnson, 2017, 2019.
Processed by Julianna Gil in 2017, with additional donations processed by Special Collections & University Archives staff
Processing of the Michael Craft papers was completed by undergraduate students from the
University of California, Riverside as part of the Special Collections & University
Archives Backlog Processing Project started in 2015. This project was funded by the UCR
Library and administered by Jessica Geiser, Collections Management Librarian.
Michael Craft, whose full name is Michael Craft Johnson, was born in Elgin, Illinois in
1950. He attended the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, earning his bachelor's in
graphic design. After graduating he attended several years of graduate school at the
University of Illinois Institute for Communications Research, but left in 1976 to pursue a
He soon received a position at the
Chicago Tribune, where he worked for ten
years as an art director for the editorial-design department. During his time at the
Tribune, Craft moved to Kenosha, Wisconsin, where he began using his long
train commute to start writing his first novel. He also met his future husband Leon in 1982,
and left the
Tribune in 1987 to work for Leon's family-owned business while
writing on the side.
After a long period of revising and shopping around his first novel, in 1991 Craft secured
his first literary contract with Los Hombres Press for
Rehearsing, which was
released in 1993. In 1995 he met literary agent Mitchell Waters, who agreed to take Craft on
as his first client.
In 1996, Craft signed with Kensington Books for the first three books of the Mark Manning
Flight Dreams in 1997. In 2000, the Mark Manning series then
moved St. Martin's Press, who published the next four Manning books as well as all four book
in the Claire Gray series.
In 2005, Craft moved from Kenosha to Rancho Mirage, California, and also began pursuing his
MFA in Creative Writing from Antioch University, which he received in 2007.
In addition to the fourteen published novels written by Craft, he has also written two
plays, and was involved in the production of the independent film
Collection Scope and Contents
The collection consists of the papers of author, playwright, and screenwriter Michael
Craft. Materials in the collection include manuscripts, notes, research, correspondence,
promotional materials, reviews and other items related to Craft's novels, screenplays, and
stage plays, most notably the Mark Manning and Claire Gray series of mystery novels.
The collection also includes materials created as part of the publishing process for
Craft's novels, including contracts, promotional efforts and expenses, and significant
correspondence with Craft's literary agent Mitchell S. Waters and editors John Scognamiglio
and Keith Kahla.
Also included are materials related to Craft's graduate studies at Antioch University,
including coursework and graduation materials.
In the process of donating the collection, Craft also wrote various notes offering
contextual information on certain works, most of which can be found throughout the
collection in folders titled "Author's Note."
Published works written by Craft that were donated with the collection, including his
master's thesis, translations, and advance review copies of his novels, have been separated
for cataloging in Special Collections & University Archives.
The collection is arranged into three series as follows:
- Series 1: Creative Works, 1985-2019
- Series 2: Publishing Records, 1991-2013, undated
- Series 3: Graduate Education, 2005-2007
The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the
library's online public access catalog.
Detective and mystery stories
Lesbian and gay experience
Genres and Forms of Materials