Name Craig McDonald
|Born Craig Mason McDonald
July 16, 1962
Columbus, Ohio, United States (1962-07-16) |
Occupation Novelist and Journalist
Genre Crime fiction, historical literary fiction
Nominations Edgar Award for Best First Novel by an American Author
Books Toros & Torsos, Head Games, One True Sentence, Print the Legend, Art in the Blood: Crime No
Sky News Technology Behind Business - Interview With Craig McDonald, CEO of MailGuard
Craig McDonald is a journalist and the author of the Hector Lassiter series, the Chris Lyon Series, the novel El Gavilan, and two collections of interviews with fiction writers, Art in the Blood (2006) and Rogue Males (2009). He also edited the anthology, Borderland Noir (2015).
- Sky News Technology Behind Business Interview With Craig McDonald, CEO of MailGuard
- Writing style/major themes
- The Hector Lassiter series
- Other Hector Lassiter books
- The Chris Lyon series
Born in Columbus, Ohio, he grew up in Grove City, Ohio, a fictionalized version of which serves as the setting for his 2011 work of fiction, El Gavilan.
McDonald’s debut novel, Head Games (2007), was nominated for the Edgar Award, the Anthony Award and the Gumshoe Award in the U.S. for best first novel, as well as the 2011 Sélection du prix polar Saint-Maur en Poche in France.
In 2006, Craig McDonald published a collection of interviews with crime and thriller writers, Art In the Blood, featuring Q&A-style conversations with genre novelists discussing the craft of writing. A sequel interview collection, Rogue Males, followed in 2009, from Bleak House Books. That collection was a finalist for a Macavity Award for nonfiction.
In 2007, McDonald published his debut novel, Head Games. The novel received American and European awards attention, including Edgar Award and Anthony Award nominations for Best First Novel by an American Author in 2008. Head Games features fictional novelist/screenwriter Hector Lassiter, a character McDonald introduced in a 2005 short story (The Last Interview) that was selected for an online Mississippi Review anthology of “High Pulp.” The novel launched a series of further books featuring the Lassiter character. The Lassiter novels have been translated into German, Italian, French, Spanish, Russian, Mongolian and Korean, among other languages. A graphic novel adaptation of Head Games scripted by McDonald was announced for release in fall, 2017 by First Second Books.
Writing style/major themes
McDonald's Lassiter series uses historical crimes and personages, including several appearances by Ernest Hemingway and Orson Welles.
The voice and style of the Lassiter novels have drawn comparisons to James Crumley and James Ellroy, both of whom McDonald interviewed as a journalist and whom he has confirmed in interviews and essays as significant influences. McDonald's works have also been compared to those of James Carlos Blake and Jack Kerouac, among others.
In 2010, crime fiction critic and scholar Woody Haut described McDonald as "one of the few writers who can move comfortably within a post-Ellroy framework of crime fiction."
In her study, The Noir Thriller (Palgrave Macmillan, 2009), in a chapter examining "Literary Noir in the Twenty-First Century," Lee Horsley identified McDonald as one of several "neo-noir" authors who embody "a recurrent motif of men in pursuit of a lost, treacherously illusive notion of masculinity …"
Picking up a similar theme, Woody Haut, critiquing McDonald's second-published novel, Toros & Torsos, commented, "(McDonald) critiques the effect of masculine values on the culture, and examines the relationship between reality and fiction." Hector Lassiter, known to readers and critics as the man who writes what he lives and lives what he writes, eventually comes to use himself as a character in his own novels as the series unfolds.
The Hector Lassiter series
- One True Sentence (Minotaur 2011; Betimes Books 2014)
- Forever's Just Pretend (Betimes Books 2014)
- Toros & Torsos (Bleak House 2008; Betimes Books 2014)
- The Great Pretender (Betimes Books 2014)
- Roll the Credits (Betimes Books 2014)
- The Running Kind (Betimes Books 2014)
- Head Games (Bleak House 2007; Betimes Books 2015)
- Print the Legend (Minotaur 2010; Betimes Books 2015)
- Death In the Face (Betimes Books 2015)
- Three Chords & The Truth (Betimes Books 2016)
Other Hector Lassiter books
The Chris Lyon series
- Parts Unknown (Night Town Books 2012)
- Carnival Noir (Night Town Books 2013)
- Cabal (Night Town Books 2013)
- Angels of Darkness (Night Town Books 2013)