”Spencer Michaels” is the pen name of the father-son writing team comprised of Michael and Spencer Bennington. When friends ask how the collaboration began, son Spencer is quick to joke that his dad, Michael, guilted him into becoming a writing partner. That wry sense of humor smacks of modesty as Spencer is also an Adjunct Professor of English and a doctoral student at the University of South Florida and works as a freelance writer.
One might say that entertaining is in Michael Bennington’s blood. Prior to becoming a novelist, he worked as a professional musician for over 50 years playing varied venues from night clubs to coliseums and even recorded CDs and served as back up to nationally known recording artists. He shared his love of music as a teacher at Sacred Heart Catholic School for 13 years before retiring in 2012. He says that these days his music is limited to playing at his church where he serves as choir director.
Spencer’s first book was inspired by what he believes is an inspiration to many a writer…the love of a beautiful woman. He also credits the stories his dad told about his early days as a nightclub entertainer with sparking his imagination.
Michael notes that his love of writing began rather accidentally when he suffered a stroke. Not being one to rest on his laurels, Michael launched into writing and convinced Spencer to jump on board as his partner. Michael lists The Baltimore Orioles as his other passion, along with single malt scotch. He jokes that those wondering what to get him for Christmas might consider Yamazaki, an 18-year-old Japanese Whisky Sherry Cask he has his eye on.
Originally from Denton, Maryland, Michael and his wife, Susie, have called Danville, Virginia their home for the past 40 years. Spencer describes his birthplace as being a small southern town community with big city dreams. Although Michael remains in Danville, Spencer has relocated to Tampa, Florida where, in addition to his studies and teaching, he is an accomplished Tae Kwon Do instructor.
Besides their son Spencer, Michael and Susie, have one other son, Miki, two grandchildren, Tyler and Kayla and a Sheltie named Luci, who the family considers their only daughter.