Mcclelland, Michael 1958-
McCLELLAND, Michael 1958-
Born 1958. Education: Florida State University, B.A., M.A., Ph.D. Hobbies and other interests: Playing acoustic guitar.
Office—Wittenberg University, P.O. Box 720, Springfield, OH 45501. E-mail—[email protected].
United Press International, correspondent; Wittenberg University, Springfield, OH, professor of English, 2000—.
Oyster Blues, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 2002.
Tattoo Blues, I Books, 2004.
WORK IN PROGRESS:
A coming-of-age novel set in the waning days of the hippie movement, with working title Cedar Crazy.
Michael McClelland spent ten years as a United Press International correspondent, covering Florida's political news, before he decided to go back to school and earn a doctorate in creative writing. Upon graduating, he took a job at Wittenberg University, in Ohio, as an English professor and decided to devote his free time to writing fiction. His first attempt has brought much positive response, such as the Library Journal's Thomas L. Kilpatrick, who described it as a "wonderfully quirky, rib-splittingly funny, slightly preposterous crime novel."
McClelland used read constantly as a child. He preferred books to playing in the schoolyard and would have to smuggle novels in his backpack so he would have something to read during recess. It was this love of reading that pushed him into his writing career. His first book, Oyster Blues combines the fictitious elements that he accumulated during those years of reading about Tarzan and creatures from out of space as well as his investigations of Florida politics.
The protagonists of this story are Jane Ellen Ashley, a beautifully sexy Floridian oyster shucker, who is dirt-poor and, like the author, has an unquenchable desire to read; and "Happy" Harry Harper, an unemployed English professor who thinks he can take on the role of private eye because he has read so many detective stories. Both characters, coincidentally, think they have killed someone. Jane accidentally pushed a prominent senator's son into a lake and thinks he drowned. Harry is not so sure what he did; all he knows is that he fired a gun and someone may have been shot. So Jane and Harry are both on the run from the law, and while running, they get involved with gangsters and eventually meet one another and fall in love. Other characters include crooked politicians, fishermen, and tourists, Jane's drunken brother, and a man with a plastic throat.
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Library Journal, October 1, 2002, Thomas L. Kilpatrick, review of Oyster Blues, p. 128.*