My Writing and Reading Life: Michael P. Spradlin
Michael P. Spradlin is the New York Times bestselling author of the Youngest Templar trilogy, the Wrangler Award Winner OFF LIKE THE WIND! THE FIRST RIDE OF THE PONY EXPRESS, and several other novels and picture books. He holds a black belt in television remote control and is fluent in British, Canadian, Australian, and several other English-based languages. He lives in Lapeer, Michigan. Visit him online at www.michaelspradlin.com.
Latest published book … The first book in a new series called KILLER SPECIES: Menace From The Deep. Published by Scholastic
You wrote it because … They asked very nicely. Actually it was a perfect storm of circumstances. They had an idea for a series about genetically altered creatures who are originally created to help save the environment, but then things go horribly awry. I came in at the ‘things go horribly awry part.’ Things always go horribly awry in my books. I’m probably something of an expert in awryness. Anyway, it was middle grade, action adventure, a main character with an attitude, and big scary monsters project. It was perfect. Even though I was working on two other projects at the time I couldn’t say no.
Favorite place to write … My favorite place to write is my home. My home is my sanctuary. My wife is there, my dogs are there. It’s peaceful. My children visit on occasion. It’s the one place in the world where I feel the most comfortable and at peace. It’s where the majority of my writing gets done. I also enjoy writing at the gym because it prevents me from exercising.
Necessary writing/creativity tool … Hmm. I guess the only thing I can think of to answer this question is to say I need ‘the character’ to be able to creatively write a story. I have a zillion ideas and ‘plots’. But until the character shows up and is willing to tell me how the plot unfolds, I can’t really write anything.
Favorite bookshop … Okay, not fair. There are so many. If you’re going to force me to pick one I’m probably going to say it’s a tie between Anderson’s Bookshop in Naperville, Illinois and Mysterious Galaxy in San Diego. They both have supported me like crazy since my first novel Spy Goddess: Live and Let Shop. Not that other booksellers haven’t embraced my books and done a tremendous job as well, but these two stores were there from the beginning. I wouldn’t have a writing career if it weren’t for them.
Currently reading … The Powers graphic novels by Brian Michael Bendis. Red, White and Blood by Christopher Farnsworth (part of the President’s Vampire series and cursing myself for not thinking of this idea). And Thomas Jefferson And The Art of Power by Jon Meacham.
All-time favorite children’s book you didn’t write … My Side Of The Mountain by Jean Craighead George. I was a bit of an outdoorsman as a kid, loved to fish and camp and I thought running away to live in a tree with a weasel and a falcon sounded like the best idea ever. Probably read it twenty times.
An author you idolize … Just one? Why do you hate me? Steinbeck is my favorite. Most people don’t know that In Dubious Battle is a better book than The Grapes of Wrath and that Cannery Row and Sweet Thursday are hilarious books. Because in school they just make you read all of his books where everything dies.
Favorite illustrator … Wow. You just won’t let up will you. I’ve been fortunate to work with some incredibly talented individuals. It’s a six-way tie between Ronald Himler, Layne Johnson, Ard Hoyt, Roxie Monroe, Macky Pamintuan and Jeff Weigel.
A literary character to vacation with … Hmm. I’m going to go with Batman. He’s rich so we’d stay at really nice places and no one would mess with us.