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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
I'm Chad Spradley, a writer, and teacher living in the state of Alabama. I began teaching at Jefferson State Community College in 2004, switching to high school teaching in 2014. I started writing much of my classroom material in my second year of teaching. In 2018 I began a program called Haunted History Week during the week of Halloween, featuring a collection of short stories I wrote. Shortly afterward, I wrote my first book, A Long Road to Redemption.
Tell us a little bit about yourself, your hobbies and interests.
I'm Chad Spradley, a writer, and teacher in Alabama. I'm a big fan of sci-fi, horror, westerns, history, mysteries, true crime, and sports. I enjoy traveling around the country, spending time with my wife and kids, and trying new things.
When and why did you start writing books?
I've always loved the power of storytelling. I started writing short stories when I was a teen and won a couple of awards for them. Unfortunately, I could not continue writing stories in college and grad school since I was always writing papers for classes, which I did not enjoy. I started writing material for my students when I began teaching, but I've only recently gotten back into writing fiction. I began writing short stories for my students during what I called Haunted History Week during Halloween, and many are available on my Inkitt page. Several of them told me I should try writing a book, so I did. A Long Road to Redemption is a result of that encouragement.
What made you decide to tackle writing as a career?
It's always been something I wanted to do. I thought after grad school that maybe I'd missed my shot at writing, but I kept finding ways to integrate writing here and there into my daily life. I've always enjoyed telling stories, so writing them is exciting. The idea that you can craft a whole different world or set of characters and describe what makes them unique is a great feeling.
Which one of your books or characters is your favourite?
I have an upcoming release titled A Southern Noir, and it's a throwback of sorts to the film noir style of the 40s and 50s, but it's set in modern Birmingham, Alabama. Hunter Landon, the lead character in the book, is a down-on-his-luck private investigator dealing with his recent divorce from his wife when he gets the opportunity of a lifetime. I love all the characters I write, but Hunter is my favorite.
Which one of your books was the hardest to write and stretched you the most as a writer?
A Southern Noir took the longest to write. It started as a horror story about a witches' coven. I couldn't make the story come together, so I set it aside for over a year. Then I had the idea to change its location and rework the story into a mystery. The witches are gone, but some of the themes are still there from the original idea. It was an almost complete rewrite because I was about thirty or forty pages into the book when I decided to restart it.
Who is your favourite author and book?
I'm a big fan of Tim O'Brien's book The Things They Carried. One of my students had an autographed copy of it and gave it to me after she finished it for my class reading. I'm also a Tolkien fan.
What book are you reading right now?
I'm currently re-reading Timothy Zahn's amazing book Heir to the Empire, one of the three in the Thrawn series. This book started the Star Wars Expanded Universe in the 90s and is a classic. I like it better than the sequel trilogy of a few years ago.
Where do you get your inspiration for your books?
Everywhere. I get inspired in many places, so I carry a notebook to write down my thoughts when I see something that interests me. Some of the events in my books are real-life events, while some are inspired by stories I've heard. I've based a lot of my characters on people I've known. Still, usually, I take several people and make a composite character. I also use the places I've traveled to for inspiration.
What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
I enjoy watching sports. I love baseball, football, and hockey. I also enjoy visiting Civil War battlefields and other historical sites. I love to travel and visit places I've never been to when I have spare time.
Do you have any new books in the works?
The follow-up to A Long Road to Redemption is scheduled for release in March or April. The title for it is Memories and Remorse. It's a spin-off series that features many of the same characters from Long Road and introduces new characters. The Oaths We Keep follows Memories and Remorse and is in the editing stages. A Murder on the Court is the book I'm working on now, and it is the fourth in the Long Road series. A Southern Noir is also in the editing stage, and I plan to release it in the fall or early next year. I'm working on a horror story set in the Pacific during World War 2, and a vampire story in the works, but both are in the very early stages of development. So I have quite a few planned releases.