Brad Meltzer has millions of happy fans the world over. How many writers can claim both former President George Bush and former President Clinton as fans? The author of bestselling thrillers like The Tenth Justice, The First Counsel, The Millionaires, The Zero Game, The Book of Fate, The Book of Lies, who also wrote The Justice League, and let’s not forget Green Arrow, has a new book–Heroes for My Son. He also has a new show, Brad Meltzer: Decoded, which premieres on the History Channel December 2nd. Brad and his team of researchers will check out clues, stories, and theories regarding unsolved mysteries and try and divine the answers. Readers will be happy to hear that his new book, The Inner Circle, will be released on January 11th, 2011. Brad will appear in the Miami Book Fair International on Saturday, Nov. 20 at 1:00 p.m., Room 7106/7107 (Building 7, 1st Floor).
RS: Tell me a bit about your childhood:
BM: My family moved from Brooklyn, NY to Miami, Florida when I was 13 years old. My father had only $1,200.00 to his name. He was never great at making money, but you know how there is stuff you don’t let the movers touch? On the day I was born, my father bought a bottle of champagne to be opened the day I got married. He bought one for me and one for my sister. There were only two things he kept in the car with us, and that was the two bottles of champagne.
RS. Is there a person or event that you would say played a big factor in contributing to where you are today?
BM: Mrs. Spicer, my teacher at Highland Oaks Middle School. She was always praising my writing and telling me I would make a great writer. When I finished my first novel, I went to see her, with the book, and said, “My name is Brad Meltzer, and this is for you.” She told me she planned to retire. I told her there were 30 students in the class, and she was a very big influence on my life. This past June, I went as a surprise guest to her retirement dinner and took my book, Heroes for My Son.
RS: Who is your hero?
BM: My mother and my grandfather on my mother’s side. My mother has always been there for me. There was the time when I was worried because the publisher I had at the time went under, whether I would be able to get a contract from another publisher. I talked to my mother about it, and she looked into my eyes, and said, “I love you if you were a garbage man.” She passed away two years ago from breast cancer. To this day, I think of her words to me. She is one of the last heroes listed on my book. Usually, it is those people closest to you, who are your true heroes. I also left a blank space on my book, so that readers can write in their own heroes.
RS: If you could have one superpower, what it would be?
RS: Do you have a comic book collection, and if so do you have a favorite comic book?
RS: In your opinion, are superhero comic books good for children?
BM: It depends on which one. Some people think children reading books like To Kill a Mockingbird will be good for them, but you know, children can also learn a lot from comic books. They also enjoy reading them, which is good. They can be an excellent guidance tool.
RS: If you were in a desert island and could have only one thing, what would it be?
BM: My family.
RS: How did your son react to your new book, Heroes for My Son?
BM: First of all, I waited too long to give it to him. He wanted to hear about all the major athletes. He was not as much interested in Rosa Parks, as in Roberto Clemente. He became very upset about Clemente, after listening to his story, and I thought, he won’t want to hear anything else read to him now, but the next day, he asked me to read him some more. I asked him why, since he acted so upset about Roberto Clemente, but he answered me that he loved it because Roberto Clemente died while doing such a good thing.
RS: What are your present & future projects?
BM: I have a show, Brad Meltzer: Decoded, which will be on December 2nd, on the History Channel, at 10 p.m. It is basically that I was given a staff of researchers to look up the greatest mysteries I could find. This was a lot of fun, because as you know, that is what I do in my books.
RS: True, that sounds right up your alley, Brad. How fascinating! What a marvelous project custom fitted for you.
BM: My new novel, The Inner Circle, is being released on January 11th, 2011, published by Grand Central.