Michael Blake is the best-selling author and Academy Award-winning screenwriter of Dances With Wolves. He was born on July 5, 1945, at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. His family traveled to Texas before settling in Southern California.
Michael's writing career began while stationed at Walker Air Force Base when he was assigned to the Public Information Office as assistant editor of the base newspaper, The Strategian. Following separation, he enrolled at the University of New Mexico as a student journalist.
In 1970, during his senior year, he left the University of New Mexico and relocated to Los Angeles where he continued to write for periodicals, including the underground newspaper, The Free Press.
He went on to film school in Berkeley, California where he met fellow student, Jim Wilson (future producer of Dances With Wolves). Soon they started a collaboration which culminated with the film; Stacy's Knights. Written by Blake and directed by Wilson, the movie starred a relative unknown actor, Kevin Costner.
At the end of the seventies, Michael moved back to Los Angeles to be closer to the film industry but although he wrote several screenplays, only Stacy's Knights (1983) made it to the silver screen.
In early 1986, he approached Kevin Costner with an idea for a movie about Native Americans. Costner showed him a stack of unread screenplays and urged him to turn the idea into a novel instead. Considering his previous lack of success in the movie business, Blake decided to take Costner's advice, and for the next couple of years dedicated his time exclusively to write what would become the novel Dances With Wolves.
Penniless and without a job, Dances With Wolves was written while crashing at various friends' places and while living in his car. After much rejection,the novel was published in paperback in 1988 but had a lackluster reception.
Disappointed and at a loss when it came to his writing career, Blake headed to Bisbee Arizona where he got employment as a dishwasher in the town's only Chinese restaurant. He had just gotten fired from the job, asking for a pair of rubber gloves, when he received a call from Kevin Costner, asking him to return to Los Angeles to work on the screenplay adaptation of the book.
In late 1989 the movie was released to worldwide acclaim and in 1990 Blake won every major award for his effort, including the Oscar.
While continuing to write in the following years, Blake embarked a long period of public service which was acknowledged with many more awards, among them The Eleanor Roosevelt Award for work with minorities, The Animal Protection Institute's Humanitarian of The Year Award, The U.S. Air Force's Americanism Award and The American Library Association's Library Hero Award.
His second novel, Airman Mortensen, a semi-autobiographical tale of his military adventures, was published in 1991. Marching To Valhalla,
a fictional recounting of General George Armstrong Custer's last days, followed in 1996. The Holy Road, sequel to Dances With Wolves, was published in late 2001. Like A Running Dog Vol. 1, an autobiography, was published in 2002. Indian Yell, a non-fictional account of twelve significant conflicts between Native Americans and Whites during the 'Indian Wars' was published in 2006. In 2009, Twelve, The King, a memoir about Blake's role as the custodian of a wild stallion was published. Into The Stars, a fictional First World War tale about the relationship between an American soldier and his horse was published in 2011.
Dances With Wolves (1988)
Airman Mortensen (1991)
Marching To Valhalla (1996)
The Holy Road (2001)
Into The Stars (2011)
Into The Stars, Limited, Illustrated
Collector's Edition (Dec. 2012)
Like A Running Dog (2002)
Indian Yell (2006)
Twelve, The King (2009)
SPOKEN WORDS WITH MUSIC
(collaboration Blake/Tony Gilkyson)
End of The Century (1996)
I'm Alive (2003)
Stacy's Knights (1983)
Dances With Wolves (1990)
Dances With Wolves
The One (in development)
The Holy Road
Winnetou (in development)
King Solomon's Mine
The Light At The Pole
State of Wrath
Ripley At The Bridge
Golden Globe Award
Writers Guild of America Award
Environmental Media Award
Cancervive Victory Award
Eleanor Roosevelt Award
Animal Protection Institues's Humanitarian of the Year Award
Amanda Blake Award
American Library Association's Library Hero Award
The Alpha Award
Air Force Sergeants Association's Americanism Award