Michael P. Spradlin is the author of more than a dozen books for children, some of which have actually been published. He grew up in a small town in Michigan not far from the Indiana border, which may explain his irrational fear of Hoosiers. (Both the inhabitants of the state of Indiana and the movie starring Gene Hackman).
Surrounded by books in his formative years, he grew up loving to read, imagining himself the hero of numerous epic battles and indulging in his favorite pastime, which was smuggling fireworks across the Ohio border so that he could blow up his collection of Plastic Green Army Men and Matchbox Cars.
School Library Journal called his first book for children, The Legend of Blue Jacket, "a well-researched labor of love." His first novel, Spy Goddess: Live and Let Shop, was a 2006 Edgar Award nominee by the Mystery Writers of America for Best Young Adult Mystery. The second book in the series, Spy Goddess: To Hawaii, With Love, was given a starred review by VOYA. His newest project is The Youngest Templar Trilogy. The first book The Youngest Templar: Keeper of the Grail was published by G.P. Putnam Sons in September 2008. An international sensation, rights to The Youngest Templar series have sold in more than a dozen countries including Germany, France Russia, Spain, Italy, Brazil and most recently Denmark. It is also available as an audio edition from Listening Library. The second book in the trilogy The Youngest Templar: Trail of Fate was released in October 2009 and called by School Library Journal 'brilliant' and 'riveting'. The third book The Youngest Templar: Orphan of Destiny was released in fall 2010.
Michael's first book for grownups It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Zombies, was a five week New York Times Bestseller. Published in fall 2009, the book received raves from The New York Daily News, The Baltimore Sun and many other review outlets. Since then Spradlin has collaborated with illustrator Jeff Weigel on Every Zombie Eats Somebody Sometime: A Book of Zombie Love Songs and the upcoming Jack & Jill Went Up The Hill: A Book of Zombie Nursery Rhymes.
Spradlin also ventured further afield in the adult humor vein with his hilarious book Pirate Haiku: Bilge Sucking Poems of Booty, Grog & Wenches For Scurvy Sea Dogs. Visit PirateHaiku.com for details on this hilarious story told completely in haiku.
In the Summer of 2012 Boy's Life Magazine will publish Michael's very first short story Running With Geronimo. It tells the story of the Geronimo campaign of 1886 through the eyes of a young boy and is based on a true story. This is Michael's first ever published short story and there is special significance in the fact it is being published in Boy's Life Magazine. Growing up Michael was an Eagle Scout and read the magazine religiously. What many people don't realize is that Boy's Life has a storied history of publishing some of the greatest writers in the world in it's 100 year existence, Jack London, Ray Bradbury, Robert Heinlein and Arthur C. Clarke among others. While he doesn't count himself as within a dozen counties of these giants, the thrill of being published in a magazine he grew up reading, one that influenced him as a writer is... well... thrilling.
Michael is also the author of several picture books for children including the award-winning Daniel Boone's Great Escape, which was a finalist for the Spur Award from the Western Writers of America. Off Like the Wind: The First Ride Of The Pony Express published in the spring of 2010 was the winner of the Wrangler Award from the National Cowboy Hall of Fame and Museum for best Juvenile book. He is also the author of Texas Rangers: Legendary Lawmen and Baseball From A to Z.
Spradlin released his first adult novel Blood Riders in September 2012. Called ‘Outstanding!’ by the San Jose Mercury News, Blood Riders tells the story of Jonas Hollister, a disgraced cavalry officer who must defeat a group of supernatural creatures to restore his reputation and regain his freedom from prison.
In 2012 he also teamed with his frequent collaborator illustrator Jeff Weigel for The Monster ABC Book a delightfully colorful and entertaining book for children. Each letter of the alphabet features a different monster from around the world with amusing and fun illustrations that add an extra element of learning to each page.
New projects in 2013 include the middle-grade series, Killer Species coming from Scholastic. The first book Killer Species: Menace From The Deep will roll out in Scholastic School Book Fairs in January 2013 and be available in bookstores in July 2013. The series centers on the story of 12-year-old Emmet Doyle and his friend Calvin Geaux who must stop a deranged environmentalist, known as Dr. Catalyst, from releasing genetically altered animals into the wild.
In March 2013, Michael teams with fellow New York Times Bestselling author Roland Smith to continue Roland’s best-selling I,Q series. Their first co-written novel is I,Q: The Alamo. I,Q tells the story of Quest Munoz and his stepsister Angela Munoz who travel the country as their famous musician parents perform concerts at cities across the United States. When the mysterious roadie Tyrone Boone joins their entourage, Q and Angela are drawn into a mystery involving Angela’s mother Malak Turner, a former Secret Service Agent who died in the line of duty. Or did she? Malak was on the trail of the most dangerous terrorist cell ever known, the Ghost Cell. From Independence Hall to the Oval Office to the gates of the Alamo, Q and Angela with Boone’s help, follow a dangerous trail. A trail where the Ghost Cell always seems to be one step ahead of them.
As always check the Coming Soon page for details!
When not writing, he enjoys reading, traveling, spending time with his family and worrying over the fact that he really should be writing instead of doing other stuff. He lives in Michigan with his wife Kelly, and two dogs Willow and Apollo.
Book Bites for Kids interviews Michael. Listen to the full interview.
Do you have a question for Michael? Ask him.