News from the Aurora University community

Instructor has the ‘write’ stuff

Posted by on April 22, 2014


Rick Polad, Pro Rata Instructor of Natural Sciences and Top 3 finalist for the2014 Soon to be Famous Illinois Author Project.

An Aurora University instructor has become somewhat of a local celebrity after being named a Top 3 finalist in the 2014 Soon to be Famous Illinois Author Project coordinated in collaboration with the Illinois Library Association and Reaching Across Illinois Library System. Rick Polad, Pro Rata Instructor of Natural Sciences, was nominated by the Phillips Library at Aurora University for his book “Change of Address.”

Polad is an avid mystery reader and developed his own character. “I wrote a story for my parents and friends but, given the hurdles of the publishing industry, never considered that route,” he said. “After a suggestion from a friend to e-publish, I published the first book in the Spencer Manning series, ‘Change of Address.’ The hardest part of this venture is marketing. I am very excited to be a part of the Soon to Be Famous Author Project. This is wonderful exposure for ‘unknown’ authors and libraries.”

Polad was among 103 self-published authors nominated by Illinois librarians for the Soon to be Famous Illinois Author Project. Amy Manion, Information Services Librarian at Phillips Library, submitted Polad’s book for the project.

“On the personal side, after two years, it still is exciting that someone wants to read my books,” said Polad. “And that Amy thought enough of it to nominate me for the contest was a great honor. That meant more to me than the contest. It is extremely gratifying that something I created is recognized as a quality work. From the book side, writing the book is a labor of love—the marketing is just labor. So anything that helps to spread the word is a benefit.”

Polad’s book centers around Spencer Manning, a private investigator. Tracking down an unknown father involves Manning in murder and drugs as his first case leads him to a Chicagoland racetrack and the mayor’s house where things are not all as they appear.

Polad is about to release his third book and has advice for those interested in becoming an author. “First is to read,” he said. “Pick your genre and read everything you can by successful authors. As you read you will start to find what you like and what you don’t and you will start to develop a style. Second, write. If you have an idea, find your first sentence and then the second. I often hear ‘what a daunting task to write a book.’ Start with a short story or writing about something important in your life. It doesn’t matter what you write about—the key is to put words down on the paper—or in the file! And don’t try and be perfect. The delete key is the most important key on the keyboard. It’s also important to write something every day just to keep ideas flowing.”

For students who want to write, but are challenged by time constraints, Polad offers an idea. “Balancing time with anything is always an issue,” he said. “There are so many things we want to do. I have fun writing and often yearn to get back to the computer but can’t get away from the things that aren’t optional. Schoolwork is not optional! My suggestion, and one that I figured out for me after a time, is to just allocate a short time period every day—even ten minutes—to writing. Get your schoolwork done first and then you may find you have more than ten minutes to write.”

For more information on Polad, including his books, visit