The author of a dozen novels and three stage plays, Michael Craft has been best known for many years as the author of the popular “Mark Manning” series, which is set in the Midwest, as well as the “Claire Gray” series, set in California. Three of Mr. Craft's novels have been honored as national finalists for Lambda Literary Awards. Michael Craft is currently busy promoting latest mystery novel, The MacGuffin, which features a new protagonist, architect Cooper Brant.
Please tell us a bit about your book and what you hope readers take away from reading it.
My new mystery, The MacGuffin, deals with the race to discover a promising new source of alternative energy that could profoundly upset the world’s dynamics of energy production. With such obviously high stakes, the race turns murderous, and because of his family connections, the story’s central character, a mild-mannered architect named Cooper Brant, finds himself caught in the crosshairs. As Coop attempts to save his own skin by unraveling the secrets of past crimes, I hope that readers will not only enjoy the pleasures of a classically plotted whodunit, but will also consider the story’s underlying premise that energy independence is both needed and feasible.
Who are your favorite characters in the story?
Cooper Brant, my protagonist, is not only the central character, but also the only viewpoint character; the reader is privy to no other character’s thoughts. So it’s fitting that Coop is my favorite character in the book — I’ve spent a lot of time in his head. He has a depth and complexity that I really like, a mixture of determination and insecurity to which many readers should readily relate. Plus, he’s smart and witty — gotta like that! Other characters that resonate for me most strongly are Cooper’s wife, Stasia; a police detective, Arcie Madera; and a small dog named Pyrite, who is introduced on page one. When I started writing the story, I didn’t think of the dog as a “character,” but he certainly became one.
Do you have a favorite line or excerpt from your book?
How about this one? It’s the closing line from Part One of the book: “Pyrite dashed forward, sniffed at the body, then took a lick, tasting blood.”