"Okay. There's a lot of people who grow up and wish they'd done one thing and don't; they bite the bullet and move on."
-- Craig Clevenger, on his motivation to leave his job and write his first novel

Biographically, Craig Clevenger was born in Dallas, Texas and raised in Southern California. He studied English at California State University, Long Beach. He currently lives in San Francisco. He washes his whites and colors separately, and rumor has it he will sniff his milk before drinking it from the carton.

That, coincidentally, is where Craig stops being your average, everyday, John Q. Writer.

With a repertoire including thick, sit-down-meal type paragraphs and startling vivid metaphors Craig Clevenger is part of a new breed of authors. A new breed of authors who host book signings at private owned bookshops at the requests of their fans. Clevenger is also teamed up on an online discussion board with no other than Will Christopher Baer (Kiss Me Judas, Hell's Half Acre, Penny Dreadful) and Stephen Graham Jones, (Fast Red Road, The Bird is Gone, All the Beautiful Sinners). Craig often will post blogs, either on the Velvet or his own site, from the road when he's travelling -- the constant storyteller. There was a street ad campaign where fans simply asked Clevenger for stuff, through publisher MacAdam/Cage, and got posters, postcards, bookmarks and more goodies to spread around their neighborhood.

The requests for these "prizes" suprised MacAdam/Cage such that they ran out after just a few days.

Writing in an era following a disaffected generation Clevenger's tales do nothing if not capture your attention. Sporting fashionably ecentric main characters CC has captured the antihero as easily as if it were done by polaroid. Craig has created The Main Character you, as a reader, are supposed to hate. But instead the tables are turned and you begin to empathize with these characters, with these stories. Sure, most of the characters in CC's two novels are twisted, slightly shady individuals. That's not under debate. The way they're introduced however, so decisively; one can't help but appreciate the masterpiece being weaved on the page in your very hands.

Clevenger matches this gift of fresh characters with a librarian's abandon for research. Craig went so far in an interview to admit that, in preparation for his latest offering, he had collected some materials that could probably land him in prison. He didn't go on to declare what, precisely, these materials were, but assured the interviewer they were simply for personal edification. By living out small parts of the story Craig sees in his head, and mercilessly researching the rest, CC puts together a solid novel. Like an architect bringing together walls and pipes and wires to build a house, CC brings his skills and imagination together to build his stories.

Clevenger is the successful author of The Contortionist's Handbook and Dermaphoria. Both novels are excellent reads relying heavily on methaphor and imagery from a surprisingly eloquent first person narrative. Clevenger's third novel is in the works. The author was leaning towards naming the piece "The Fade" but rejected it once learning it has been the title of a novel previously.


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