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Michael Craft papers
MS 415  
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Access
  • Publication Rights
  • Preferred Citation
  • Acquisition Information
  • Processing History
  • Biographical Note
  • Collection Scope and Contents
  • Collection Arrangement
  • Separated Materials
  • Indexing Terms

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Michael Craft papers
    Date (inclusive): 1985-2019, undated
    Collection Number: MS 415
    Creator: Craft, Michael, 1950-
    Extent: 5.88 linear feet (14 boxes, 2 flat file folders)
    Repository: Rivera Library. Special Collections Department.
    Riverside, CA 92517-5900
    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.

    Publication Rights

    Copyright has not been assigned to the University of California, Riverside Libraries, Special Collections & University Archives. Distribution or reproduction of materials protected by copyright beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owners. To the extent other restrictions apply, permission for distribution or reproduction from the applicable rights holder is also required. Responsibility for obtaining permissions, and for any use rests exclusively with the user.

    Preferred Citation

    [identification of item], [date if possible]. Michael Craft papers (MS 415). Special Collections & University Archives, University of California, Riverside.

    Acquisition Information

    Gift of Michael Craft Johnson, 2017.

    Processing History

    Processed by Julianna Gil, Student Processing Assistant, 2017.
    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.

    Biographical Note

    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 career.
    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 series, publishing 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 Pink Squirrels in 2011.

    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."

    Collection Arrangement

    The collection is arranged into three series as follows:
    • Series 1. Creative works, 1985-2017
    • Series 2. Publishing records, 1991-2013, undated
    • Series 3. Graduate education, 2005-2007

    Separated Materials

    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.

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.


    American literature
    Detective and mystery stories
    Lesbian and gay experience
    Literature publishing

    Genres and Forms of Materials

    Promotional materials