Michael at his home, Wolf House, surrounded by horses – and awards for championing them.

“Characters do not come out of the thin air. I think writers acquire characters by living a life
in which something is risked. It's only by being defeated, rejected, exalted, by going through
all the peaks and valleys, that you can acquire anything worth writing down.

Michael Blake: Fiction, Nonfiction and Screenplays


Dances with Wolves (1988)
Airman Mortensen
Marching to Valhalla
The Holy Road
Into the Stars (2011)


Like a Running Dog (2002) autobiography
Indian Yell (2006)
Twelve the King (2009)


Stacey's Knights (1983)
ances with Wolves (1990)
Winding Stair (1998) also directed
The One (in development)
The Holy Road (in development)
Winnetou (in development)


Writers Guild of America Award 1990
Academy Award, Dances with Wolves (Adapted Screenplay) 1991
Golden Globe, Dances with Wolves (Best Screenplay) 1991
Silver Spur
American Movie Award
Environmental Media Award
Golden Quill
Americanism Award, Air Force Sergeants Assn. (1992)
Cancervive Victory Award (1992)
American Library Association's Literary Hero Award
Amanda Blake Award
Eleanor Roosevelt Award for Work with Minorities & the Environment
Animal Protection Institute's Humanitarian of the Year

The desert is in his blood from forbearers who lived in what was then wild and woolly Tucson.
This triptych hangs in his dining area.

Michael's love of horses is evident everywhere.

Ella, failing the good good behavior test, quickly chased Michael's cat high up a tree.

A poster for the film "Dances with Wolves" in German

A painting by Michael's brother hangs in the great room.

One of Michael's many sweet rescue dogs.

Some of Michael's rescue horses.

From a painting of Michael

He is also passionate about protecting wild mustangs and has rescued a number of these beautiful animals.

Michael won the Cancervive Victory Award in 1992 for surviving Hodgkins Disease, but shared the fact that a more recent illness has affected his brain, especially the part that helps to recall names and words. The interview was at times difficult, but rewarding.

Michael is cheerful, undaunted and still writing, although he says that his writing has become more spare. He continues his humanitarian work as much as possible. We hope that Michael's story will inspire you.


Vail, AZ

Run Time:



Fiction, nonfiction, screenplays




Southern California


Indian Books, writing from his grandfather

Literary Habit:

Pen on paper

Interview Movie
(Embedded version below)

MP3 Audio File
(Note: To download the podcast,
right click on the link if you are on a PC,
control click if you are on a Mac. )

The book was published in paperback in 1988, but had a lackluster reception. He had just been fired from his job washing dishes in a Chinese restaurant in Bisbee, Arizona for asking for a pair of rubber gloves when Costner asked him to return to LA to work on the screenplay of the book.

Costner starred in the film and directed it, and it won just about every award it could when it came out in 1990. Michael's script was especially honored with awards that included the Academy Award, Golden Globe, and Writers Guild of America Award. More books and scripts followed.
Since then, Michael has won a number of humanitarian awards, including the Eleanor Roosevelt Award for Work with Minorities.

Michael Blake began his writing life on a newspaper in the Air Force. He went to several colleges after separating from the Air Force before finally studying screenwriting in Berkeley CA. He wrote a film called Stacey's Knights, which starred an upstart actor named Kevin Costner. They remained friends, and when Michael proposed writing a script about Indians, Kevin countered that it should be a book. Michael wrote the book, Dances with Wolves, while homeless, living out of his car, and staying a few days at a time with various friends.

Contact: info@authorsroad.com