- How did you come up with the titles? All of the Spy Goddess titles were my attempts at a humorous take on the titles of the James Bond films. And since my 'spy' was a teenage girl, Live And Let Die became Live and Let Shop, The Spy Who Loved Me became The Spy Who Totally Had A Crush On Me and so on.
- Is there a message in your series that you want readers to grasp? I go out of my way to never write a 'message' book. If there is a 'message' in any of my books, it's that I hope the reader really enjoys it and wants to read all of my other books, tell one hundred of their closest friends and start on online petition for me to be awarded the Pulitzer Prize. That said, at a school visit once a student asked me what the main 'theme' was in all of my books, and I answered 'I really don't know.' And the librarian scolded me and said "Oh don't be ridiculous, all of your books are about the true meaning of friendship.' And thinking about it she may be right. My characters usually start out alone with the world against them or abandoned by those they thought were friends, only to learn that a real friend stands besides you when things are at their worst.
- Can you share a little of your current or most recent work with us? My most recent novels were the Youngest Templar novels. They're historical fiction set during the Third Crusade. The protagonist is Tristan a young Orphan raised by monks in England. He becomes squire to a Templar night and starts a series of adventures culminating in a dangerous quest. Along the way he also discovers the true meaning of friendship. Maybe that librarian was right. I also have a new picture book coming in August called The Monster Alphabet. And in September I have my first book for adults coming called Blood Riders.
- Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing? There are a million ideas out there. Practically every story you can think of has been told before in some shape or form. Narrowing down the idea and executing it successfully is the trick.
- Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work? My favorite author is John Steinbeck. There are a variety of reasons. Mostly because Steinbeck had a tremendous range to his work. Most don't know this because all they've read is Of Mice And Men or The Red Pony. But if you read Cannery Row or Sweet Thursday you find he could be very funny. And he had a love of people, especially for the most downtrodden among us. His humanity shows through in his writing.
- Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers? All I want my readers to take from anything I write is enjoyment and entertainment. And to please read all my books! :)
- How did you come up with the idea for the Spy Goddess Series? I actually was watching television late one night and saw an ad for a "Private Investigator School." And I thought how we have schools for everything in this world, what if there was a school for spies. Next thing you know Rachel Buchanan is off to Blackthorn Academy.
- Who is your favorite or least favorite character to write? All of my characters become very real to me. Villains are of course a lot of fun. But I think my favorite is writing the hero or heroine. I don't think I have a least favorite. Every character has to serve a purpose.
- There were a couple scenes in your book that made me want to cry (particularly in the third Spy Goddess Novel). Were there any scenes you didn't want to write? Not really. I think as a writer your characters tell the story and they put themselves in positions only they can get out of.
- On the other hand, were there any scenes you liked that didn't make it to the final revision? I think there are always things you wish you could keep or maybe you want to keep. But you have to try and develop some objective distance so that a scene or chapter that really isn't driving the narrative forward has to go.
- In the point of view of any character you choose, answer these:
- What is your dirty little secret? I can't find my Jimmy Choo's
- You're walking along and a dragon appears in front of you. What do you do? Are you kidding me? A dragon, I'm so taking him on our next mission. Hey Simon Blankenship, eat a little dragon fire, why don't you?
- What is your heart's desire? Alex...I mean Brent...I mean Alex...no wait. Definitely Brent...or Alex. Doh! I can't decide..
Is there one last thing you want to tell your readers? Visit my website at www.michaelspradlin.com
And lastly: Where can we all follow you?
There's a lot of places...
Facebook Facebook Fan Page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Michael-Spradlin-Fans/108160165908422
Youngest Templar Facebook Fan Page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Youngest-Templar/28625351406
Spy Goddess Facebook Fan Club: http://www.facebook.com/groups/247907160117/
Author Page on Google +: https://plus.google.com/u/1/s/Michael%20Spradlin%20Author%20Page