Here it is – the final round of our Celebrity Blog Tour. And for this one, we saved one of the funniest and best -- and our vote-getter for Rookie of the Year – NASCAR driver David Stremme.
Also, thanks to PerezHilton, USA Today's Pop Candy, PopSugar, AOL and NASCAR.Com for hosting the full blog tour.
And now, here’s Brad and David Stremme:
David Stremme: What inspired you to utilize NASCAR racing as part of the first chapter of The Book of Fate?
Brad Meltzer: My son, who was three at the time. No joke, the boy came out of the womb in a multi-colored jumpsuit. He went as Dale Jr. for Halloween. So when it came time to write Chapter One, I was about to start with a baseball scene (for my dad), but instead picked a NASCAR race (for my boy). Plus, NASCAR guru and my pal Mike Calinoff e-mailed me and said he liked my thrillers, so now I had an inside track.
Stremme: What is the fastest you have ever driven in a passenger car?
Meltzer: Whatever I was doing when me and my high school buddies took Howie Robinson's car for a joyride and crashed it. In the end, the car was only slightly dented--so we thought we got off easy. The next day, we found out we cracked the car's axle -- and we were so stupid, we didn't even realize that the car was six inches lower when we drove it home. When I told my Dad what we'd done, he looked me right in the eye and said, "You'll never be worse than I was as a kid. Don't tell your mother." The day Howie got the car fixed, a guy ran a stop sign and plowed into it, totaling his just-fixed car.
Stremme: How many speeding tickets have you gotten? ...Honestly.
Meltzer: Six. Plus fifteen fingers worth of warnings. I always make the cops nice in my books -- so they let me off.
Stremme: Does (your wife) Cori ever tell you to "slow down"? Do you listen?
Meltzer: My wife thinks I'm a maniac and that I drive like I’m sixteen years-old. Which is probably fair, although at sixteen, I used to think every red light was the three seconds before they yelled, “Gentlemen, start your engines.” Of course, that’s what I like most about NASCAR – on any given day, on any road, I can squint my eyes and pretend I’m in the race. And when you’re driving where I live in Florida? You are in the race.
Stremme: What was your first reaction to seeing the Daytona International Speedway?
Meltzer: The thunder, baby. No doubt. That sound…the way your teeth vibrate…the roar of 200,000 people in one place, all screaming over the chainsaw of engines. At University of Michigan football games, 100,000 people was a massive roar of a crowd. But Daytona? Think of your biggest football stadium -- and you can put two of those in Daytona. Right now, I can close my eyes and still feel it.
Stremme: I have fun going fast. What's fun about being an author?
Meltzer: When I pull up next to Dan Brown on the highway and nod at him like we’re friends, and then, when he least expects it, I tear the wheel to the right and bite his back bumper just enough to send his best-selling ass spinning like a helicopter as he careens into the cement wall, pissed at me, but already thrilled to plan his payback.
Thanks to NASCAR.Com for hosting this interview.
Looking for Brad on tour?
Liked this interview? Make sure you didn’t miss the ones with Damon Lindelof from LOST, former First Lady Barbara Bush, director Tommy Schlamme, and Adam Brody, star of The OC.
To find out which celebrities are actually Freemasons, click here.
And to see The Book of Fate doing the full NASCAR, click here.