Michael Thomas Ford
Are you a fan of Michael Thomas Ford?
If not, you should be. Michael Thomas Ford has written many novels in a surprising number of genres. But it is not the quantity which makes him remarkable. It is the quality. Michael's characters come alive. I'd like to point out a typical example, but with MTF there IS no typical example. There is Jeff, the 15-year old protaganist in Suicide Notes who wakes up groggy in a suicide ward. The only thing Jeff seems to know for certain is that he doesn't belong in this place with all these weird people. Or James the youngest brother in What We Remember, a troubled young gay man who finds himself in the middle of an 8-year-old-murder mystery. Or Burke Crenshaw, a forty-year old man who is in need of temporary full-time care because of injuries from a car accident and finds himself back in the one place no forty-year-old chooses to be--his childhood bedroom.
Those characters are there to serve the storytelling...and MTF is a master storyteller.
Suicide Notes should be on everyone's reading list. There is a lot of attention to teen suicide lately, in large part due to the success and/or notoriety of "13 Reason Why". Suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death for young people between the ages of 10 and 24, and LGB kids rate of suicide is 4 times that of straight kids. Suicide Notes is one of those brilliantly written books that gets a message across simply by telling a story. There is no stopping to tell the moral of the story. The moral is there for the reader. That is great storytelling.
When I saw that When We Remember was nominated for a Lambda Literary Award for Best Mystery I was a bit surprised. "What is it doing in that category?". I asked myself. And just as quickly I realized that, though I related to it as literary fiction, it was indeed a mystery. He crosses genre, not as a gimmick, but always to serve the story.
MTF has written Zombie young adult novels, books about Jane Austen as a vampire owner of a bookshop in upstate New York, a book on gay spirituality and Wicca, literary novels, as well as gay erotica.
His early claim to fame were a series of autobiographical essays collectively known as My Queer Life. These include such great titles as It's Not Mean If It's True: More Trials from My Queer Life, That's Mr. Faggot to You: Further Trials from My Queer Life, and Alec Baldwin Doesn't Love Me, and Other Trials from My Queer Life. And there's one more. The Little Book of Neuroses: Ongoing Trials From My Queer Life which has not been reprinted. But I've got a used copy for sale (see below). (There are a few other used books at the bottom of the list, as well).
Want to know more about MTF? Here is a quick bio from his website:
Michael Thomas Ford is the author of numerous books, including LILY, SUICIDE NOTES, JANE BITES BACK, WHAT WE REMEMBER, and THE ROAD HOME. Some of them have even won awards.
Born in Africa, he has travelled all over the world, and currently lives in rural Maryland with a bunch of dogs, horses, and cats. Things he likes include rescue dogs, Tarot cards, scuba diving, coffee, making a mess in the kitchen, Eurovision, creepy clown films, Christmas ornaments, 80's pop music, Doctor Who, and tattoos.
He does not like to shave.
If you've not experienced Michael Thomas Ford, pick a title and get started.