86 F
Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Grant Spradling is preparing next book, with beach as his muse

Latest headlines

The great Kukulkán prepares for his descent, but no one will be there to see him

As was the case during the last spring equinox, Chichén Itzá closed for three days as a precaution against the spread of COVID-19.

Yucatán kicks-off rabies vaccination campaign for cats and dogs

This week marks the beginning of Yucatán's rabies vaccination program for cats and dogs

House permits for foreigners — How to buy a house in México

Any foreigner can obtain direct ownership of a property in the interior of the country, they just need a permit from the Foreigner Affair's Office. However, under Mexican law, foreigners cannot directly own property within the restricted zone.

Bars, cantinas, and sports centers to re-open in Yucatán

Mérida’s bars and cantinas will be allowed to operate once again, but only at 50% capacity. Photo: Carlos Rosado van der...
Lee Steele
Lee Steele is the founding director of Roof Cat Media and has published Yucatán Magazine and other titles since 2012. Sign up for our weekly newsletters, so our top headlines will appear in your inbox each Monday and Thursday.


Grant Spradling is writing another book, with the help of his Yucatecan muse. Photo:: Facebook
Grant Spradling is writing another book, with the help of his Yucatecan muse. Photo: Facebook

The increasing impact of novelists, poets and memoirists on the Mérida social scene has made Grant Spradling happy he reconsidered moving away from there a decade ago.

Grant and his partner Clifford Ames have been part of the Mérida expat scene since the 1980s. And to the envy of many newcomers to this Colonial city on the Yucatán Peninsula, they purchased their beautiful Centro home about 25 years ago when grand properties like theirs were cheap and plentiful.

So the U.S.-born author has seen a lot of changes, for better or for worse, in his adopted southeast Mexican community. Over time, rapid population growth and the advent of “go-getter” speculators dampened his enthusiasm for Mérida. At one point, about 11 years ago, he told the Los Angeles Times that he was ready to start “packing it in” and move back to the States.

But friends convinced him to change his mind, and Grant hasn’t looked back.

Today, living on the peninsula affords him a sprawling city home as well as a secluded place on the coast. His beach house happens to be in a wireless dead zone, and Grant isn’t rushing to complain to the cellphone company. He gets much more writing done this way.

Also today, Grant has noticed that not all expats are here for fooling around, mindless fun or flipping properties.

“Mérida itself has great cultural roots,” says Spradling. “In the expat community, there seems to be a rich literary firmament.”

Spradling is the author of several books, and is working on his next.

“I came to Mérida to write and of course I find many writers here now,” says Grant. “When I gave up my position as Arts Council Director in Key West, that was my goal.”

He finds peer support at the Mérida English Library, which happens to maintain its headquarters on the other side of his rear wall. MEL has a full schedule of events for English-speaking expats and snowbirds, including regular meet-ups for writers of all levels who want to read their own passages at “open-mic” events.

Based on reality, to a point

Grant’s most recent novel, “David Goes Home,” follows two other mysteries with the same core cast of characters, “Palenque Murder” and “Maya Sacrifice.” The middle book is actually based in fact, when an author en route to visit Grant was slain among the Maya ruins.

The protagonist in all three is loosely based on the writer, a young, gay, semi-closeted Oklahoma-born clergyman meeting people and finding himself on adventures between Boston and Key West in the 1960s and ‘70s.

His next work, “The Chelem Papers,” is named for the beach town where Grant gets his creative juices flowing.

“Weekly, I go to Chelem Beach in search of my muse. Sometimes, in my solitude, the pelicans even speak,” says Grant. “The stories that come to me are as wide ranging as meditations on pulling crabgrass, raking leaves on an alfalfa field, as a story about a zany bunch of characters, much like some Mérida expats, on an Amazon cruise which is nearly blown up by terrorists.”

But for now, Grant’s previous books — as are books written by other expats like Joanna van der Gracht de Rosado — are available at the Mérida English Library.

Read more about Grant and his books at the Hamaca Press website.

To learn about promoted posts like this one, and other ideas for giving your enterprise some positive exposure, see our Partner page.

- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -

More articles

The small but beautiful ancient city of Chicanná

Chicanná gets its name from its most famous building, the House of the Serpent Mouth.

Yucatán curfew: Vehicle restrictions almost at the end of the road

A road curfew that kept non-emergency vehicles off the road after 11 p.m. will end Monday, Oct. 4.

Yucatán faces resistance as COVID spread continues

A "World Wide Rally for Freedom" was held on the Paseo de Montejo to protest pandemic-related restrictions. Photo: Diario de Yucatán

Guns N’ Roses cancels Mérida concert, vows to return in 2022

Guns N' Roses won't be in Mérida in 2021 after all. Los Angeles rockers Guns N' Roses...

Cholul — The small pueblo named after water wood in Northern Mérida

Although it has largely grown in popularity for newcomers, Cholul still retains its town designation as well as most of its traditions and customs.

Yucatán loosens curfew and eases limits on restaurant hours

Yucatán is easing its pandemic curfew, allowing drivers on the road at night between Sunday and Wednesday.

The best breakfasts in Yucatán

Breakfast time in Yucatán is full of delicious options, from the spicy to the sweet and savory.

Yucatán still struggles as COVID cases decline nationally

Mexico's health undersecretary has declared the country's coronavirus crisis on the wane, but Yucatán is lagging by...

Mexico will vaccinate one million children at severe risk of COVID-19

There is an important limitation since the only vaccine authorized for emergency use in children under 18 is Pfizer’s.

Shorebirds in the Yucatán: endangered travelers

18% of the total bird population in Yucatán is in danger of extinction as a result of habitat loss, the introduction of invasive and predatory species, overfishing, and the climate crisis.