Michael Clayton was born in Carrollton, Georgia on the last day of the 1960’s. He spent his first few years in Houston, Texas where he once climbed into a dumpster and lost a skirmish against several thousand black ants, but for the most part, he grew up in a small, Georgia town called Tallapoosa, situated right on the state line, halfway between Atlanta and Birmingham, Alabama. There, he rode bicycles to town and played baseball and football, and he went to poker games with his dad and to church with his mom and visited his grandparents and cousins. He watched wrestling and movies with his brother and sister. He went to school and learned about standing in line and fighting, and in the fourth grade, he was lucky enough to have a teacher who spent the last hour of every day reading books to her students (thank you, Mrs. Downey.) He got older and started reading books on his own. He learned to name the states and their capitals, to do algebra and read poems and later, to drink alcohol and coffee. Later still, he worked as a deputy sheriff at the local county jail while going to college. He met friends who would be with him forever, and he finally obtained bachelor’s degrees in English and Film from Georgia State University in 1998. He has been a high school literature teacher since 1999 and married to an amazing artist named Susan since 2000. In 2009, he joined the Low Residency MFA program at the University of New Orleans and began working towards his degree in Creative Writing. He graduated in 2012. A couple of years after that, he wrote and directed a movie called The Dunning Man (Look it up. He’s very proud of it.) And then in 2016, he and Susan had Wallace, the greatest kid in the history of kids.
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Dead Roosters and Other Stories
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“…a crime novelist’s ear for dialogue and a marksman’s eye for the shortcomings that make us human.”—Kevin Moffett