Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Keir Graff  

Pen Name: Michael McCulloch

Genre: Fiction

Audience: Adult; Young Adult;

Born: 1969 in Missoula, Montana

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Illinois Connection

Graff resides in Chicago.

Biographical and Professional Information

Keir Graff has written books for adults and children. He is the senior editor of Booklist, a publication of the American Library Association that consists chiefly of book reviews.

Published Works Expand for more information

Titles At Your Library

Cold Lessons
ISBN: 1594145245

Five Star. 2007

Book by McCulloch, Michael

My Fellow Americans
ISBN: 1847510248

Severn House Publishers. 2008

The United States in crisis - In the face of increasing terrorist attacks on his own soil, the president of the United States declares martial law and sits for a third term. His country simmers in suspicion and fear. In Chicago, Jason Walker, half Lebanese but thoroughly American, is detained, interrogated and tortured. In exchange for his freedom, he must turn spy for Homeland Security, but it soon becomes impossible to tell who are the good guys . . .

One Nation, Under God
ISBN: 1847510639

Severn House Publishers. 2009

For God and country or simply for God? The United States is holding an election, and control of the country may be determined by a single seat in the Buckle of the Bible Belt: Tulsa, Oklahoma ... In Tulsa, recovering methamphetamine addict Seth Stevens is trying to hold his fragile life together. But his decision to campaign for the church-supported candidate forces him to answer an age-old question: what do you do when following your faith means breaking the law?

The Price of Liberty
ISBN: 1847512488

Severn House Publishers. 2011

Finalist for the Society of Midland Authors Fiction Prize

"With its wacky characters and deadpan humor, Graff's third novel (after My Fellow Americans and One Nation, Under God), another winner, will appeal to those who like their thrillers slightly off-kilter in the tradition of Donald Westlake and Lawrence Block."
--Library Journal

"Graff's cynical take on government waste and corporate greed plays well. McEnroe is as rugged as the desolate country he lives in, and his gritty do-what-ya-gotta-do actions keep the pages turning easily."
--Publishers Weekly

"Graff's writing keeps the reader anxious for the next scene. If a tale of murder and mystery, told with finely wrought characters, setting, and a delightful touch of humor, is of interest, this is the book to read."
--ForeWord Reviews

"By the time you reach the halfway point, you can't stop reading. . . . Other contemporary thriller writers resort to the exotic and outlandish to sustain their narrative, but Graff builds suspense around real people in the real world. He plugs his characters into the everyday and reveals how unnerving it can be."
--Chicago Sun-Times

"one of the best books of the year by any local author . . . a different America that is good, good reading."
--Rick Kogan, WGN

"a first-class thriller that sweeps the reader along on a bouncy, jarring ride . . . It will grip you, it will feel real, and it will make you think about American values."

"Graff's tautest yet. It's an almost seamless thriller, a page-turner. The best feature of the book is the villain, Shane Fetters. In a new move for Graff, the book is partly told from Fetters' point of view, which allows Graff to flex a talent also not yet seen in his previous novels: humor."
--Missoula Independent

"The ensuing events include murders and chases, with the tension building to a crescendo . . . it is a fast-reading, exciting novel, and is recommended."

It's a new day in America--but old contracts must still be paid.

Jack McEnroe is a construction worker with an unusual job: building a prison for terrorists. Like his neighbors in Red Rock, Wyoming, Jack isn't particularly concerned about politics. In a depressed rural economy, he's just grateful to have a job.

Jack's boss, Dave Fetters, is grateful, too: he has a no-bid, cost-plus contract issued by the previous administration. It's his last chance to get rich, and he's making the most of it.

But Dave is cooking the books, passing inflated costs along to defense contractor Halcyon Corporation--and Jack's ex-wife, Kyla, plans to blow the whistle. Suddenly, everyone Jack cares about, including his two young children, is in danger.

As the first winter snows fall in the rugged mountains, Jack must navigate a razor-wire labyrinth to rescue those he loves. And the true price of liberty, he discovers, is paid not in dollars, but human life.

The Other Felix
ISBN: 1596436557

Roaring Brook Press. 2011

Felix has nightmares. Every night when he falls asleep he goes to the land of monsters, and when he wakes up he's back in his bed with mud on his feet and torn pajamas. One night Felix meets a boy who knows how to fight the monsters, a boy who looks just like him and is also named Felix. The Other Felix is a fantastical, psychological story of growing up for kids who have graduated from Where the Wild Things Are but are still fascinated by the world of dreams.

The Matchstick Castle
ISBN: 1101996226

G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers. 2017

A wild and whimsical adventure story, perfect for fans of Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library

Brian can think of a few places he'd rather spend his summer than with his aunt and uncle in Boring, Illinois. Jail, for example. Or an earplug factory. Anything would be better than doing summer school on a computer while his scientist dad is stationed at the South Pole.

Boring lives up to its name until Brian and his cousin Nora have a fight, get lost, and discover a huge, wooden house in the forest. With balconies, turrets, and windows seemingly stuck on at random, it looks ready to fall over in the next stiff breeze. To the madcap, eccentric family that lives inside, it’s not just a home—it’s a castle.

Suddenly, summer gets a lot more exciting. With their new friends, Brian and Nora tangle with giant wasps, sharp-tusked wild boars, and a crazed bureaucrat intent on bringing the dangerously dilapidated old house down with a wrecking ball.

This funny, fantastical story will resonate with any reader who’s ever wished a little adventure would find them.

"For boys and girls alike, this story sings.”—Blue Balliett, award-winning author of Chasing Vermeer

The Phantom Tower
ISBN: 1524739529

G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers. 2018

Twin brothers discover their new home is also a portal--for an hour a day--to a parallel dimension in this rollicking middle-grade adventure, perfect for fans of The Mysterious Benedict Society

Colm and Mal are twins so identical their own mom can't tell them apart, but they're different in just about every other way. Mal's a pragmatist while Colm's a dreamer, and they bicker and battle constantly. Neither brother is excited to be moving to Chicago for a fresh start with their mom just after their dad's death. But nothing cures homesickness like intrigue--and their new home, Brunhild Tower, has plenty of it: mysterious elderly neighbors who warn against wandering the building at midday, strange sounds in the walls, and an elevator missing a button for the thirteenth floor.

One day, that button appears--and when the doors open on the missing floor, the boys are greeted by the strangest puzzle yet: a twin building that is stuck in time and bustling with activity. All of Brunhild Tower's former residents live on in this phantom tower, where the rules of the real world don't apply. But when the brothers and their newfound friends discover they're all trapped by an ancient curse, they must band together to set everyone free before it's too late.

Speaking Engagements

Speaking Engagement Availability (Yes)

For book deals and rights purchases, contact Keir's agent Kenneth Wright Writers House 21 West 26th Street New York, NY 10010 212-685-2400