“Clifford Henderson writes with depth and ease. Her writing gives you the sense that her muse was not only visiting, but had moved in.”

– Sam Martino, Out in Jersey

Novels by Clifford Mae Henderson

Bait and Witch

Bait and Witch book cover

Perfect Little Worlds

Rest Home Runaways

Maye’s Request


The Middle of Somewhere


Spanking New


About Clifford Mae

Baffled by reality, Clifford Mae Henderson has fashioned a life where she can spend most of her time in make believe. Her novels have garnered numerous awards including a Foreword Magazine Gold Medal Book of the Year, an Independent Publisher’s Book Award, a Golden Crown Literary Award, a Rainbow Award, and several Lesbian Fiction Reader’s Choice Awards. When not writing, Clifford Mae and her partner of twenty five years run the Fun Institute, a school of improv and solo performance where they teach the art of collective pretending. They are the 2014 recipients of the prestigious Gail Rich Award for their cultural contributions to Santa Cruz County. Clifford Mae’s forthcoming novel, Perfect Little Worlds, is due out in June of 2018.


Recent Thoughts

What News?

What News?

Not sure why it took me so long to become a member of Lookout Santa Cruz. Wallace Baine would have been reason enough to do it. He’s been covering entertainment in Santa Cruz as long as I’ve been providing it: in the Sentinel, the Good Times, and now Lookout Santa...

Bearing Witness

Bearing Witness

Wow. Dixie and I just finished watching the Netflix Life on Our Planet. If you haven’t seen it, I encourage you to check out this eight-part series that took six years to make and spans the globe with some amazing footage. It also takes viewers through the five mass...

At it Again

At it Again

Believe it or not, I’ve got another novel coming out. I say, believe it or not because I can barely believe it. Seriously.

“Literature is a luxury; fiction is a necessity.” G.K. Chesterton


“All in all, (Maye’s Request) is an uneasy reunion of an unorthodox family, further complicated by a shocking adolescent secret that Jake has been keeping from Jen for decades.”

– Richard LaBonte, Book Marks

“(In Maye’s Request) Clifford Henderson takes the reader on a frightening journey of physical, emotional and spiritual illness to a place of love, enlightenment, healing and forgiveness.”

– Sam Martino, Out in Jersey

“(Henderson’s) writing gives you the sense that her muse was not only visiting, but had moved in.

– Sam Martino, Out in Jersey

“Henderson grabs her readers in a firm grip and never lets go. The Middle of Somewhere is a wonderful laugh-out-loud read filled with pathos, hope, and new beginnings.”

– RLynne, Just About Write

“Spanky, the narrator of this delicious novel, [Spanking New], is an unborn baby who can flit from one character’s thoughts and emotions to another’s – a storytelling perspective that, from a less able author, might have come off as a diaper-load of a gimmick. …Already a “best” of 2010.”

– Richard LaBonte, Book Marks

“While the author addresses serious issues, [Spanking New] is fun, fun, fun!  The playfulness, curiosity and fresh naivety as portrayed through the eyes of the storyteller is refreshing and often humorous.   It is pure genius on Henderson’s part to write from this perspective.”

– Anita Kelly, LGBT Coordinator, Muhlenberg College

“Funny and touching, this story held my interest and kept me turning the pages.  Ms Henderson’s novel is brilliantly written and full of delightful observation. It would make a wonderful movie in the style of ‘Best Exotic Marigold Hotel’.”


“A literary gem…. Humour mixed with pathos is a powerful and memorable combination. The icebergs and eskimos conversation is one I will take away and hold close to my heart.”




Clifford Mae & Dixie as Earl & Bubba
A short clip from “The Grapes of Laugh,” a completely improvised play by Loose Cannon Theater, the improv troupe which Clifford Mae and Dixie artistic direct.
vid2 “Crystal”
An improvised story by Clifford Mae—part of “Nightfall,” another show by Loose Cannon Theater.


“Power in the Blood”
Actor/playwright Clifford Mae Henderson, in a 1999 performance of “Power in the Blood,” a monologue she wrote.