about the author
A Biography of artist and author
Michael Vain
Michael Vain at Poe's tomb
The Author at Poe's Tomb, 2004


The move to Elkridge was a turning point for Michael in several ways. The area was steeped in Colonial American history, Shortly after moving into the house, Michael and his family discovered their home fit the classic definition of a 'haunted house'. Family members and guests frequently experienced a number of unexplained and bizarre phenomena, and these events would go on to influence his creative projects in his adult life. More information on these experiences can be found on the Strange Events page.


MICHAEL VAIN was born on April 2, 1963 in Baltimore, Maryland, and was raised primarily by his grandparents, Michael and Gladys Kradz. Showing an active imagination and artistic drive at an early age, Michael found solace in drawing, painting, and other creative mediums. In creating works of art, he found both enjoyment and purpose.


When he was six years old, his grandparents relocated to an 18th century colonial home located in Elkridge, Maryland, where they would live until he was fifteen. Michael and his brother helped to renovate the house in their spare time, which helped instill Michael with a strong work ethic, as well as an appreciation for history and craftsmanship. His grandfather, a leiutenant in law enforcement and a pioneer in the field of forensic criminalistics, would often involve Michael in his work, including having him prepare materials related to his work in criminalistics and voice stress analysis. His grandfather's sense of justice and intent over the letter of the law became cemented in Michael's consiousness, and is the founding structure for his moral framework.


the author's childhood home
The Author's childhood home - 2004

Growing up in such an environment provided a perfect atmosphere in which to explore the darker avenues of imagination, and would become a major influence behind his writing and his art. He began to take an interest in studying unusual and unexplained phenomena, and began to read classic works by Jules Verne, H.G. Wells, Arthur Conan Doyle, and Edgar Rice Burroughs. From there, he moved on to horror, fantasy, and science fiction works such as Dracula, The Lord of the Rings, and 2001 A Space Odyssey. It was during this period that he first began to contemplate writing as a hobby and possible career.


Michael's grandfather later retired from the police department, and began working for Dektor Counterintelligence, Inc., as their senior instructor and voice-stress analyst, where he would later co-author the book Investigative Proof of the Reliability and Value of the Psychological Stress Evaluator in Science, Medicine, and Law, as well as other articles relating to the science of voice stress detection and analysis.

first art studio
Michael in his first art studio
1985
author with his grandfather
The Author with his grandfather
Michael Kradz
June 2005


It appeared that Michael would also pursue a career in law enforcement, and indeed, his close involvement in his grandfather's work made it seem as if he was destined to work in criminal forensics. Michael's creative drive proved too strong, however, and he began to specialize in English and Art in High School, with the goal of pursuing a career in graphic arts. He began drawing his own comics, and writing his first short stories. It was also during this time that he first developed an interest in martial arts, an interest that led to a lifetime devotion to traditional martial disciplines. More information about these arts can be found on the Martial Arts page.

By his early twenties, Michael found himself a single parent with two children, and found he would need to wear many hats in his role as father and provider. This meant taking whatever jobs he could find, and the struggle to provide for his chidren put his goals for writing on hold. It was not until his children had grown that he began writing in earnest, drawing upon his childhood in Elkridge as a frame of reference. This creative turn would eventually lead to the desire to become an author, a goal he continues to pursue with passion.


In 1986, he formed his own art company, Reincarnations, producing unique painted furniture and other artistic creations. He created the website for their work, Reincarnations.com, in 1997.

Painted furniture
The Author working on a painted divider screen, 2002
author working on mural
The Author working on a mural with his children, 1992

Today, Michael continues to create works of functional art in many mediums. His painted furniture has been shown in NICHE Award-winning galleries across the country, and been featured in some of the nations's most prestigious juried contemporary craft shows. Photos of his various artworks, covers, and more can be found on the Galleries page.