Collection Scope and Contents
Title: Michael Craft papers
Date (inclusive): 1985-2019, undated
Collection Number: MS 415
Craft, Michael, 1950-
5.88 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.
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.
[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.
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.
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
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."
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
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 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