Meeting Author Brad Meltzer

16 Jul

A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of meeting author Brad Meltzer. He was in town doing a book tour for his latest title, The President’s Shadow. Meltzer’s first book in this series, The Inner Circle, had been chosen as the Everyone’s Reading title for our area. You can read my book review and book club reflections of that book.

Image via Lisa (click for more)

Image via Lisa (click for more)

Meltzer was a great speaker. I was really blown away. I didn’t really know what to expect from him, but I guess I should have reasoned that someone who hosts two television shows would be a good speaker. He has some very strong ties to Michigan, namely that he is a University of Michigan graduate and a very proud alumnus. Every year for his birthday, he teaches a class to pass on the knowledge he gained when he attended there. He told the story about picking UofM because he had a friend with an old ‘Michigan’ t-shirt that he loved and it got him to look into the school. His first book was about Michigan and while that one landed in the ‘reject’ pile, he works a Michigan reference into all of his books. In The Inner Circle, I think the President was a Michigander.

IMG_1959

Me and Brad Meltzer.

Brad was asked about what kind of books he likes to read. He said that he doesn’t read a lot of thrillers. Because he’s so involved in the structure of them in his own writing, he tends to figure out the red herrings and can guess at the ending before he’s supposed to and it ruins it for him. Instead, he reads a lot of Young Adult books and comics. I should add that in addition to thrillers, Meltzer is known for his children’s books and writes comic books. He said that Neil Gaiman is his favorite author.

IMG_1962Before I had to chance to, someone asked him about his writing process. He said that he handwrites his outline before he starts. I would think that as a thriller writer, you need to know the ending when you begin. Though Brad is the first thriller writer I’ve met so I can’t say this is a trend. Then he’ll outline 50-100 pages in more detail and write those chunks. This reminds me a bit of the Snowflake Method that I’ve visited in a few posts before. (If you’re interested, search my ‘Library Writers Group’ posts.) Being a UofM grad, a lot of his friends were able to come to the event. One in particular Meltzer recognized and made him stand. The man was a doctor. Whenever Meltzer is working on a murder scene or has a question about human anatomy or illness, he calls this friend. I think friends like this are an invaluable resource for writers!

IMG_1961After waiting in line over an hour to meet him, I got my two minutes with Meltzer. I asked him the question I ask all authors. “I want to be where you are. What advice would you give me to get there?” His answer: “Don’t stop.” I don’t plan on it, Mr. Meltzer. No time soon.

There are a few more pictures below. Enjoy! Meltzer’s current book tour is over, but you can vote on his site for your hometown to ask him to visit. Maybe he’ll stop in!

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

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