Thursday, September 28, 2006

The Book of Fate On The Colbert Report

For those that have asked me, here is the clip of Stephen Colbert talking about The Book of Fate on Tuesday's The Colbert Report.

Click here to go to YouTube, or watch the video below.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Monday, September 25, 2006

West Coast begins

Landed in San Diego late last night and now ready for a week of In-and-Out Burger (which is a restaurant I love despite it sounding like bad porn).

So onto the west coast--looking forward to seeing Alex Sinclair, super colorist, tonight, comic folks all week, a surprise novelist for breakfast, as well as the Jack & Bobby posse in LA.

And with the time difference, I feel like I'm sleeping late.

Finally, sorry to the Portland folks -- it got cut from the tour at the last minute (just scheduling issues, no gossip), which truly bummed me out.

And going to the White House Saturday for the National Book Festival. Will of course report the insanity.

Thanks as always,

B

Thursday, September 21, 2006

The boy named Sam

Day 15 of the book tour brings easily the most rewarding moment. I'm in Boston, Mass, with an hour to kill before the event at Brookline Booksmith begins. The vital piece is that it was in a restaurant on that very street that I first said, "I'm going to write a novel." The second vital piece is that there's also a comic shop on that street that I used to shop at. So to kill time, I dart into the comic shop, pick up a few books, and sign some comics for the manager.

Ten feet away, this boy and his Mom see me signing. The boy (Sam) doesn't know me from Eve, doesn't care what I do, but man, is he excited that I'm signing Justice League. So excited that he begs Mom to buy one...and when the manager tells them about my book signing across the street, he begs Mom to go to the event.

And Sam shows up, novel in hand. He didn't care what it was about. Didn't care if anyone else was there. He was just excited to meet a real writer.

In twenty years, I'm gonna be standing in line at Sam's booksigning. Wouldn't have it any other way.

Off to Philadelphia...

Brad

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Bestseller List

I called my Mom first (my wife already pried it out of my publisher when they were trying to track me down). So I come out of the interview I was in, and get the news, and call my Mom, telling her The Book of Fate will be debuting at number 1 on the New York Times bestseller list.

My Mom starts sobbing, barely able to utter a word. And with her sobs come my own as the reality of it finally settles in. And in mid-sob, my voice cracks as I ask her, "Where are you?"

She chokes back her own tears and a sob and tells me, "Marshalls."

Of course my Mom's bargain hunting at Marshalls. Bet she bought some irregulars too. And that's why I love my mother--the one person who forever taught me to never ever ever ever change. For anyone.

Needless to say, this isn't just our victory. It's yours. All our friends and family and readers--you built this. When you bought those novels or took them out of the library or borrowed them, you built it.

And where did the publisher think the sudden push came from? Longtime readers who put the word out and comic readers who came over to the medium. That's right. You.

I've always said our longtime readers are the kindest and best. And having it in JLA 1 was one of the single most rewarding things I've ever been a part of. My publisher called it an experiment. It was never an experiment to me. It was a movement. A movement I'm so proud to be a small part of -- and a change from the snobbery that ranks thriller, mystery, and comic readers at the bottom of the literary pyramid.

If you're reading this, you're part of that same movement. So thank you -- for telling your mom and dad and family and friends and whoever else you called up and said, "You gotta read this book."

There's one name on the cover of every book, but only a fool thinks it's a one-person show. Thanks for being part of the show.

See you on the tour -- and of course, at Marshalls.

Much love and thanks,

Brad

Sunday, September 10, 2006

NASCAR’s David Stremme & Brad

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.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Adam Brody & Brad

Adam Brody, star of The OC and Thank You For Smoking is slinging the questions at Brad today.

Just getting here now? Then you missed Damon Lindelof, former First Lady Barbara Bush, and director Tommy Schlamme.

And now, here’s Brad and Adam Brody:

Adam Brody: Which is your favorite film adaptation of a novel?

Brad Meltzer: Okay, I see how you're playing this game. You're just gearing up to grill me like those guys you hate at TV Guide. The answer's obvious: Lord of the Rings. Everyone says To Kill A Mockingbird, but let's be honest, the book is better. Especially for Scout. Also, the last Harry Potter movie -- Goblet of Fire -- ranks up there too. Far better than the book, which I just thought ran way too long. Plus, Charlotte's Web made me cry.

Brody: Which is your least favorite?

Meltzer: League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. Best book. Sorry to say, they just shanked that movie.

Brody: Who's on the verge of a comeback?

Meltzer: Wonder Woman. Really. Don't believe me? Joss Whedon is doing the film. That's right. Buffy's brains...Serenity's brawn. All on the big screen. My wife said she used to spin around, praying she'd turn into her.

Brody: Most underrated movie?

Meltzer: A few years back, I'd say The Big Lebowski, but it's somehow thankfully now everywhere. I also think Go, Man on the Moon, and Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind were severely overlooked. But y'know what? Let me give my real answer. People hate sequels. I hate sequels. But I just saw Toy Story 2 again with my nephew. That and Rocky 3 (yeah, I said it) are just -- they're great. I mean it. Go watch.

Brody: What actor would you cast as yourself in your biopic?

Meltzer: You mean besides every flight attendant on every plane I go on telling me I look like that guy from ER? I say to them, "You must mean Clooney." They say, "No, the bald one."

Thanks to AOL for hosting the interview.


Looking for Brad on tour?
Liked this interview? Tomorrow – NASCAR superstar!
And to find out which celebrities are actually Freemasons, click here.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Tommy Schlamme from Studio 60 & Brad

Tommy Schlamme, master director of The West Wing, Jack & Bobby, and Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip is on question-duty today.

Just getting here now? Then you missed Damon Lindelof and former First Lady Barbara Bush.

And now, onto Tommy and Brad…

Thomas Schlamme: Who would win in a fight -- real fight -- between the comic book Superman and the movie Superman?

Brad Meltzer: The true sad part is, this is a really good question. And the even sadder part? I'm fascinated by the answer. And so...I have to go with the comic book Superman for the win. Sure, the movie one can fly around the world to turn back time to save Lois...and he can lift that kryptonite land mass that was gonna make Luthor...um...have something to do in the movie...and yes, he has that cellophane S from Superman II. But in the full annals of Superman history, the comic book version has survived 14 types of kryptonite, a dozen trips to the Phantom Zone, hundreds of villains trying to beat him down on a monthly basis, death itself, and even that bad redesign of his costume in the 90s that made him look like an ice skater. Not in a good way.

Schlamme: What about a race between Superman and Flash?

Meltzer: If they run, Flash. If flying's allowed, Superman. What's strange is how sure I am of this. Sometimes, truly, I'm a sad pathetic man.

Schlamme: What's the hardest part about writing a fight scene?

Meltzer: Oh, I hate writing fight scenes. It’s a minefield of clich├ęs. But people want ‘em. Don’t say no. They do. In the very first book I wrote, I was determined to challenge the genre. I had the big ending, and the big confrontation, and the gun to the hero’s head – and then, hoping to make it completely realistic, instead of having the hero kick the gun away like in the other thousand thrillers out there, I let the FBI come bursting in the door to save the day. That was my solution: be real and show how it really happens. Every reader of that draft – even the snobby ones – they just destroyed it. They needed to see the hero save that day. The only good news was, in the final version, I didn’t have him kick the gun.

Schlamme: Does anyone even care if fight scenes are realistic anymore, as long as they're entertaining?

Meltzer: In a movie, the fights are ridiculous. I love Rocky III. I truly do. But if any single man took that many punches to the face, they'd look like...well...let's just say there'd be no Rocky IV (which I realize is probably a good thing). But the point is, we don't care in a movie. We want to see the action go all fast and all furious. Did you see the recent Batman movie? I loved the fight scenes in there. I couldn't tell what the hell was happening or who was punching whom, but man, it was pretty. In a novel, people want it far more realistic. In The Millionaires, when they were in the underground tunnels under Disneyworld, I had the villain hitting the hero in the face three or four times, and the editors were like, “Whoa, whoa – he’d be unconscious by now.” And I’m thinking, “Didn’t you see Rocky III?”

Schlamme: Have you ever actually been in a fistfight?

Meltzer: Once. In Brooklyn, in fifth grade. But it wasn’t one of those someone-throws-a-punch- and-it-turns-into-a-wrestling-match fight that you usually see in the schoolyards. It was a fistfight. The first punch was thrown by him – he put his entire fist in my eye. And that’s when the switch flipped for me. I just started swinging and swinging and swinging at his face. My hand got so swollen from where my fingers were digging into my palm, I could barely make a fist. Finally, he collapsed, his nose and chin covered in blood. When we eventually got dragged up to the principal’s office, they made me wait there while they called his parents to take him home (he was too beat up to send back to class). The worst part was, he had one of those dads who was older than everyone else’s dad -- and when his dad came into the office, I’ll never forget the look on his face as this old man had to go over to his broken son. I still can’t shake the image. I eventually got sent back to class with a nice shiner, and when I walked inside, my class cheered. It was the worst victory of my life.

Thanks to PopSugar for hosting this interview.


Looking for Brad on tour?

Liked this interview? Tomorrow – a star from 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.

Brad on a racecar. Really. On it.

Of all the dumb cool things that’ve ever happened to me, from Woody Allen to well, my entire career, this is one of the most insane.

The Book of Fate on the #12 car for Fitz-Bradshaw Racing. It’s in the NASCAR Busch Series, and if Fitz-Bradshaw wins today in Richmond when this sucker hits the racetrack, we’re all getting cool jumpsuits!

Needless to say, my recent NASCAR obsession comes from my son, which is why I put it in Chapter 1 of the novel. But the true thrill from being involved with NASCAR has been my friendship with racing legend Mike Calinoff. He’s the one in the President’s limo in Chapter 1, but he’s also one of the truly nicest people I’ve ever met.

Go support him, and go support David Stremme.

And Mike, if the #12 wins today…Oy…

Brad


Thursday, September 07, 2006

Barbara Bush & Brad. Really.

BTW, thank you for all the comments on the video we shot at the New York signing. Special thanks to PF Bentley who shot the video for us.

For those just tuning in, we promised we’d have cool bigshots interviewing Brad on the occasion of The Book of Fate and the book tour. Yesterday, we had Damon Lindelof from LOST. And today, here’s one of the biggest of all – former First Lady Barbara Bush. That’s right, Barbara Bush.

Take it away Mrs. Bush…

Barbara Bush: What're the top three albums that are on your iPod?

Brad Meltzer: I’m looking right now for what I played last…Guero by Beck, About A Boy by Badly Drawn Boy, and the new Chili Peppers double-disc. But I need to know -- can you tell me what's on yours?

BB: In all honesty Brad, I don’t know if I can narrow it down, Andrew Lloyd Webber is a favorite but I absolutely love any kind of show tunes -- you play a Broadway musical, and I’m going to be tapping my toes. On that note, music is considered art -- What's the worst piece of art you and your wife ever purchased?"

Brad: Something tells me my answer will be a lot less expensive than yours. But at the Broward County Fair, I once bought a picture of David Hasselhoff sorta painted on a mirror -- the whole thing framed in what could only be described as plastic wood. I thought it was cool because it had the Knight Rider car in the background. Don’t ask. I was thirteen.

BB: Beauty is in the eye of the beholder I suppose. While reading your website--

Brad: Wait, you read my website? Don't you have staff for that? Or like, the Pentagon?

BB: I have an iPod and a Blackberry. I know how to go to websites, Brad.

Brad: My mother's going to be mad at me for asking you that.

BB: I’m sure she will understand. Now, while reading your website, I saw that you received 24 rejection letters on your first novel, which still hasn't been published to this day. Do you draw any inspiration from that rejection?

Brad: Every single day I sit down to write, I think about those rejections. I had twenty-four people tell me to give it up. Does that make them wrong, and me right? Of course not. All it means is life is subjective. All you need is one person to say yes. So every day, I think about those letters. It puts it in perspective. It reminds me to never take this job for granted. And it tells me to never let anyone tell you No.

BB: Great attitude Brad, I might just send friends to you for advice now. What was your favorite book as a child?

Brad: The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle. What about yours?

BB: My favorite book to read to my children when they were being raised was Make Way for Ducklings by Robert McClosky.

Brad: See that's the thing. Mine is solely because my mom read it to me. Just sitting in her lap. That book makes me feel young and safe to this day. Plus, I love the illustrations. I was at a wedding where Eric Carle was a guest, and I had to fight everything within me to not go over and ask him to sketch something on a cocktail napkin for me.

BB: You should've asked.

Brad: Yeah...he wouldn't have said no to you.

BB: [Laughs] And where's your favorite place to escape?

Brad: The week before my wedding, my best friends rented a boat for two hours. We were still in school -- we had no money, no jobs…but for two hours, in Key West, we had this boat. The Captain had a radio that somehow -- magically -- I’m telling you, it played all your old favorite songs, and we just sat on that boat and drifted around. That was an escape.

BB: Final question: I know the answer to this one, but what details did you steal from the Office of George Bush and put in your new novel?

Brad: Ahh, you saw the advance copy, didn’t you? I didn’t know if it got there yet. Well…when I came to Houston -- and when I went up to Harlem to the Office of Bill Clinton – you both had the coolest offices around. You have to know that -- personally, I don’t have pictures of me and the Pope on my walls. But when I was looking for things to describe it the novel, I picked lots of the cool details, and of course, my favorite desk item of all time: that bronzed casting of Abraham’s Lincoln fist. C’mon, you have Lincoln’s fist. That beats my Kermit the Frog paperweight any day.

Special thanks to Whitney Matheson at USA Today's PopCandy for posting this to her blog on Tuesday.

Looking for Brad on tour?

Liked this interview? Tomorrow – we’ve got the man from Studio 60…

And to find out which celebrities are actually Freemasons, click here.

NPR Interview

Here's the interview from yesterday's All Things Considered on NPR. Now go give money to public radio!

B

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Damon Lindelof from LOST & Brad

Rather than bore you with five boring questions from yet another reporter, we’ve asked some of the best celebrities, politicians, and personalities in the world to do their razzle and dazzle on you.

First up: Damon Lindelof, the co-creator of the TV show LOST. As for the rest, you really won’t believe it – we’ve got one of the stars from The OC, a former First Lady, one of the brains behind Studio 60, a NASCAR driver, and more.

These interviews make up the first-ever Celebrity Blog Tour – if anyone uses that term, we invented it here, so start paying royalties, sucker. You owe us! Anyway, this first one started on PerezHilton with Damon Lindelof, then we went to AOL with…you’ll see. Check back tomorrow.

And so, here’s Brad and Damon.

Damon Lindelof: When you were a little kid, what was your favorite thing to do in gym class? I ask this because most of us spazoids were terrible at the jock-attracting activities like basketball, football, baseball... well, ANYTHING with a ball really... but yet elementary school gym offered a wider curriculum of activities. So give it UP!

Brad Meltzer: Red Rover, Red Rover, we call Damon right over. No ball, no brawn, no athletics involved -- and the first little mind game they let us play. I wasn't strong or fast, but man, did the meatheads get pissed if they didn't get their name called. I took the smallest amount of pathetic joy in that.

Lindelof: You have a time machine. You can go back to ANY time in your own life and tell yourself to do something differently. You may NOT place any bets or give stock tips. To what point in your life do you travel and what do you tell yourself? Paradoxes are welcomed.

Meltzer: Brooklyn, New York, July 5, 1984. The day my family left Brooklyn to move to Florida. I was fourteen, my mom and dad had no jobs, no place to live, and only $1,200 to their name. They packed me and my sister in our crappy Dodge and began driving to Florida. So there, yes, it would've been nice to have someone whisper in my ear that things would be okay. But I was a cynic at fourteen and would've thought the current Me was a bald, uncool white dude, so I would've screamed, "Stranger!" and run away, thinking, "What a turd." Nice going, Me--brilliant at fourteen. Besides, all that fear and anxiety is the core of everything in my belly, so I'm glad I'd think I was a knob. Go, young cool Me!

Lindelof: Would you rather be referred to as a comic-book writer or a novelist in your obituary. You can only choose one.

Meltzer: This question haunts me. Daily. It cuts to the heart of all my fears and self-focused fantasies. Novelist is easily more "impressive" to the large group. It impresses my mom. It lets her brag to her friends. But as a matter of pride, I’m truly more in my own skin in the world of comics. I didn't read novels growing up. I don't read that many novels now. But comics? I read comics. I know them. I understand them. And they let me be part of the coolest, geekiest, saddest, happiest, smartest secret-club around. Comics are like high school sweetheart, and novels are like the sexy sultry blonde who would never date you when you were nothing, but shows up now once you've found a sliver of success. But even with all that ridiculous self-confession -- I still have to say "novelist" for my obituary. Not because it's cooler or more prestigious or more impressive to my mom. I say it because, when I write a novel, it's mine. The creation is mine. The creative process is mine. And to build that entire house with nothing but your own hands...to be the sole architect from idea to end...and to not need a large conglomerate's property to do it...that's something to be.
And Damon, I owe you a good two bills for that therapy session.

Lindelof: Earth has been ravaged by a hundred year war as humanity is forced below the earth, cowering in underground caverns until a victor is declared between the two mighty combatants. Robots vs. Zombies. Who wins that war?

Meltzer: Zombies, easy. Please, it's the first rule of Zombies: Nothing stops Zombies. Robots may make it through a sequel or two. The cybernetic forearm may survive until they can afford morphing effects. But lava eventually stops robots. Keanu stops Robots. Nothing stops Zombies. (Tomorrow I'm changing my answer. Robots can always create more of themselves).

Lindelof: What is the WORST ending of the BEST story?

Meltzer: I hate giving this answer--I actually regret it as I say the words: The easy answer is The Phantom Menace (just a shame), but the real answer has to be the last two Matrix movies. I remember exactly where I sat in the theater when I saw Star Wars at age 7. I remember where I sat when I saw the first Superman movie. And it never happened again until The Matrix. It was like that scene in Kavalier & Clay where they see Citizen Kane and they feel like the whole wide world just opened and expanded. That's how I felt with The Matrix. I came out of there and just felt the whole world of fantasy and geekdom and film and story all change at once. I was thrilled, inspired -- thankful even -- just to witness it. But the sequels...all the emotion was gone.

Special thanks to Perez Hilton for posting this to their blog on Tuesday.


Looking for Brad on tour?

Liked this interview? Wait till tomorrow – we’ve got one of the biggest of them all…

And to find out which celebrities are actually Freemasons, click here.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Video: Book Of Fate Signing In New York

Thank you to everyone in New York who came to the first reading and signing for The Book of Fate.

We look forward to seeing more of you at the upcoming appearances on the book tour.

In the meantime, here is a video of Brad talking about his visit to Bulgaria. Oh, and Wednesday afternoon we'll post the first interview in the Celebrity Blog Tour featuring Damon Lindelof, the co-creator of the TV show LOST.

Click here for the YouTube link or watch it here and you can also "Digg" this video on Digg.Com.

Cori

Kickoff for The Book of Fate

If you’re reading this, you’re a dear friend, a complete stranger, or (let’s be honest, shall we) most likely, you’re a relative. Hi Aunt Bunny!

It’s true. I have an Aunt Bunny.

So today kicks off the 25-city tour for the publication of The Book of Fate.

But rather than shill the new novel (you can read the Q&A for that), let me just take a moment to thank all of you who are reading this right now. This book is the culmination of three years of research and work, yet while there’s one name on the front cover, only a fool thinks this is a one-person show. So thanks to you, dear reader, dear friends (trust me, that’s the same group). I’ve been at this for nearly ten years now, and the best part is having you in my life.

So what else?

Wanna see Damon Lindelof, one of the co-creators of the TV show LOST, quizzing me something fierce? Go here. Plus, you’ll see my Q&A with a former First Lady as well (oohh, neat).

Wanna see which celebrities are Freemasons (and therefore part of the world’s oldest and largest fraternity)? Go here to see the game Warner built.

I’m off to New York right now for the big first event.

More to come tomorrow. And even more on Friday.

B

Friday, September 01, 2006

I'm Thirteen Again

This was sent to me this morning via the website:

Question: Posted by RaynerFan
Have you ever taken the time to consider that you might have writtensomebodies first comic, and that they are hooked because of you?

Answer: Let me tell you something – THAT is the most humbling, fantastic, terrifying, incredible throught that any creator can think – although only the pig-headed ego freaks actually think it. But man, what a reward.

During my trip to San Diego for Identity Crisis, a young thirteen year-old kid sheepishly comes up to the table and puts down his comic. I ask him his name and he steps backwards, purely by instinct, and bumps into his Dad, who’s right behind him. The Dad smiles proudly and says, “You’re one of his favorite writers.” The kid is even more embarassed – and as the Dad’s words reach my ear, I realize that this kid is ME. This is me at thirteen. This is my awkwardness. This is my love for the industry and for writing.

I can’t wait to stand in line at his table one day.

Four more days until The Book of Fate. Oy, this is when the sweating starts. I leave Monday for book tour. See you soon.

B