SPRINGFIELD, Ohio — With his first novel Oyster Blues hailed as “one of the wittiest romps through territory previously claimed by plenty of other writers from Carl Hiaasen to Dave Barry,” Michael McClelland, assistant professor of English at Wittenberg University, continues to catch the attention of the publishing industry.
Already set to see his second novel, Tattoo Blues, hit bookshelves in April 2004 following the paperback release of Oyster Blues, McClelland just learned that Publishers Weekly has named him an "Up-and-Coming Mystery Writer" thanks to the success of Oyster Blues.
The international news source for book publishing and bookselling, Publishers Weekly recognized McClelland in an article titled “Has the Jury Reached a Verdict,” which appeared in the magazine’s Nov. 3 edition. McClelland joined eight other promising mystery writers in the article, all of whom discussed their respective career paths, the writers who influenced them and where they currently work.
"I’m absolutely stunned and delighted to have been included," said McClelland, who joined the Wittenberg faculty in 2000. "Writing is a lonely profession and to have such supportive colleagues and students has also been phenomenal," he added.
Originally published as an online book or e-book by PocketPCPress in 2001, Oyster Blues, which features the endearing characters of Jane Ellen Ashley and Harry Harper, claimed the No. 7 spot on the Amazon.com best-seller list in 2001. A hardback edition quickly followed, distributed by Simon & Schuster, and by October 2002, the novel was named the featured selection of the Literary Guild and the Mystery Guild. Book Sense, a trade organization for more than 1,100 independent bookstores in the United States, then listed it as one of its best books for November and December 2002.
A former journalist with UPI and the Florida Freedom chain of newspapers, McClelland received his B.A., M.A. and Ph.D. from Florida State University. He now teaches courses in creative writing, journalism and literature at Wittenberg. He is also currently working on his yet-to-be-named third novel, which he hopes to complete in late 2004.
Professor's First Novel Receives Rave Reviews
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