Michael Kimball is a novelist, playwright, screenwriter, sound designer, and painter. He is the recipient of the 2014 John Gassner Memorial Playwriting Award (New England Theatre Conference) for his play Duck and Cover, which was also named BEST PLAY in the Northern Writes Festival and the 2014 Dezart Performs Festival in Palm Springs, CA. His plays The Secret of Comedy and Best Enemies have been performed multiple times in New England, New Jersey, and New York. Ghosts of Ocean House, a psychological horror play, was nominated for the 2007 Edgar Award by the Mystery Writers of America, and his novels have been translated into 12 languages, including the London Times top-ten bestseller Undone, the first American novel to win the U.K.’s Fresh Talent Award. A Recorded Books edition of his novel Mouth to Mouth still sells briskly. Michael has sold original screenplays and adaptations to movie companies and written episodes for the TV series Monsters. He has created sound designs for more than 50 plays.
Originally from Massachusetts, Mr. Kimball played in a rock band through high school and after many jobs (milkman, stevedore, hole-digger) and marriage took his college degree and family to Maine where he taught elementary music for 11 years and continued playing in bands (visit the SOUND BOOTH).
A stab at writing led unexpectedly to a new career and many publications (Yankee Magazine, CoEvolution Quarterly, The Utne Reader) and eventually to his first novel, a critically acclaimed comedy called Firewater Pond, which Stephen King praised in The Maine Times as his favorite new novel of 1984.
Sidetracked by his love of movies, Michael turned to screenwriting and got lucky. His first script, Violet World, about his haunted house, was optioned by Republic Pictures. He soon landed contracts to write episodes for the TV show Monsters as well as movie scripts and adaptations for an assortment of producers. A commission to update a screenplay by the late noir master, Alec Coppel (Vertigo), and a subsequent call for original horror shorts from the producers of Tales from the Darkside: The Movie set an unexpected course for Michael’s return to the novel, with the publication of three critically and commercially successful noir thrillers over the next few years: Undone, Mouth to Mouth, and Green Girls.
Then a request came from a local theatre director to write a stage play commemorating the 350th birthday of York, Maine, and a new door opened to the world of creative collaboration. The move to theatre also began a rewarding phase of working more for love than for money—his nine full-length plays and 25 shorts have been produced across the country—as well as a rekindling of his love of teaching, when Michael joined the faculty at the Stonecoast MFA in Creative Writing Program and mentored writers for years, before retiring in 2017.
A recent return to an early passion for painting finds him in and around his coastal Maine home, mixing colors and making shapes when he’s not writing, creating soundscapes, playing onstage in Marc Clopton’s (Newburyport, MA) acting class, or enjoying his favorite pastime, hanging out with his family and friends.
“Kimball is humane enough to capture our hearts and wicked enough to make us laugh our asses off.” — Stephen King
"The best suspense stories are the ones that creep up on you, breathe on your neck and jump back into the shadows when you turn around. Michael Kimball plays that game with unnerving skill." — New York Times
"Michael Kimball has a rare talent for capturing the erotic undercurrents flowing beneath his deeply flawed characters and is not afraid to explore the more extreme forms of behavior. A compelling thriller that delivers some strong jolts." — Chicago Tribune
"Some of Michael Kimball's humor is black and some of it is blue, and he shoots it at us at a whizbang slapstick pace that leaves us alternately laughing, squirming and gasping for breath." — Boston Globe
“Someone once described life as a tragedy to the person who feels, and a comedy to the man who thinks. Michael Kimball does a lot of both. And so do his readers." — Kennebec Journal
Kimball can make a character jump up live and kicking on the page." — Downeast
“An extremely talented humorist." — Kirkus Reviews