This is Carl's Brain
A Tribute to Michael Louis Calvillo – part 1

Velvet Horror

A Michael Louis Calvillo story, novella, or novel always had his unique stamp on it.

Mike never flinched with his material. It was usually horrorific and often terrifying and sometimes

explicitly  erotic. Rarely something I may have ever read. I suppose now days

they might call what he wrote bizarro fiction. But I don’t think that would be quite accurate. I think

no matter how bizarre his material that there was often a kind of humorous undercurrent. Not tongue

in cheek. Never. But a lighter touch that softened the over the top nature of the material, which made

it memorable. No flinching with a Mike Calvillo piece of velvet horror.

–Gene O’Neill – author of Taste of Tenderloin


“We Are Alive”
That chorus plays through my head often. It’s a Springsteen song, and is from the point of view of those who’ve made the great journey to the other side. It’s a hymn from them to the living, crying out, telling us they’re closeby. A noted nod to ‘Ring of Fire’ sends this home…as the music we make while on this Earthly plane lives on.
Michael made a lot of invigorating music. His main medium was words, although he also played a mean guitar, too. Not only did his unforgettable stories burn themselves inside the heads of his faithful readers, but so did the words and inspiration he blessed nearly everyone around him with. Just ask any of his swarms of students. Or his close family and friends. Or writers, of who he somehow always found time to help nurture.
Meeting Michael and Michelle and Ben Ethridge in Salt Lake City changed my outlook. Here we’re people like me, who were doing it. We’d reconvene many times. Gentle laughter at another convention, where I sat next to Michael at a signing, him selling several books an hour, my stack untouched, his encouragement and faith making that moment fun. Then, during the darkness of my life, the breakup of my family and terrifying medical journey of my Leo, his taking time from networking and even going out to dinner, to sit on a hotel hallway floor and council and lift me.
His gifts to myself and others, so selfless. His gift of his words, everlasting.
When Gene O’Neill, Ben, Brad C. Hodson and I paid tribute to Michael at KillerCon last year, his touch, his soul, his very being, manifested. Through us. Briefly. In flashes. A room packed with his DNA, a little bit living in each of our memories of him, surges within our brains, enough that when put together, one can see an outline, a form, organic colors…
And he is alive. In every one of us he’s touched. He is alive. The music he made lives on.
–John Palisano – author of Nerves




When I read I WILL RISE, I knew Michael was a very special writer, but it was AS FATE WILL HAVE IT that totally blew me away.  It is one of the best books I’ve ever read.  While he was with us, Michael provided us a glimpse of a superior mind, but he was so much more.  He was a wonderful husband and father, he was a great teacher, and he was a friend to many, many other writers.  I think of him almost every day, wondering what could have been if he’d had 30 years to give us new books.  Michael was a very special man, and I feel very privileged to have been a part of his life.

–John Little – author of Scavenger Hunt

Visit John at


Please support Michael’s favorite charity Lancers for Life at