Saturday, July 4, 2015

Brad Meltzer is My New Favorite Author Interviewee!

Scott D. Parker

The best thing I heard this week were two interviews Brad Meltzer gave via podcasts. The first was the latest installment of Kevin Smith’s Fat Man on Batman. I think I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again: when Smith interviews a creator and deep dives into what makes that creator tick, it is some of the most inspirational things I’ve ever listened to. I had already gone back and re-listened to the Mark Hamill episodes before the Meltzer episode dropped. What’s great about Smith and Meltzer talking is that they’re me. They are about a year or two younger than I am so they lived the geek life I lived. But the material, the life experiences they discuss are wonderfully profound. Just listen to Meltzer’s comment about a ‘parent’s love in bottled form.’ I'm not ashamed to say that some of the discussion moved me, even sitting at my desk at the day job. Brilliant.

Throughout the podcast, Smith kept referencing “Hardwick” and needing to get Meltzer out in under an hour. It turns out that Meltzer was going on The Nerdist podcast with Chris Hardwick. Never heard of it but, in the high I felt right after the Fat Man episode, I immediately downloaded the Meltzer interview at the Nerdist. Holy moley! Even more Meltzer goodness. There was only about 5-10% of common material between the two episodes. What comes across is that Meltzer is a genuinely nice guy, the kind of person who’d invite you to sit down and talk with him even if he didn’t know you. I was eagerly awaiting the release of The President’s Shadow, his third Beecher White novel, and I snatched up the audiobook on release day (narrated by audio superstar Scott Brick). After hearing both of these episodes, I went home, pulled my copy of Identity Crisis from my bookshelf for a re-read (it’s been seven or eight years). I got the issue numbers he wrote for Green Arrow and Justice League and plan on getting those trade paperbacks soon.  I even checked my local listings on when Meltzer’s TV shows come on.

Houston wasn’t on Meltzer’s tour schedule this year. That’s a shame, but these two podcasts make up for not seeing him in person. In a way, however, these two podcasts actually let you get to know the man more than a book event. That won’t stop me from hoping that his next project brings him to Houston. I want tell him thanks for being my inspiration this week.

BTW, The Nerdist podcast is awesome! I’ve already and listened to episodes featuring Tom Bergeron, William Shatner, Grant Morrison, and Mark Hamill. And there are something like 600 episodes. It's like July!

I'm a history major so I wouldn't be myself if I didn't acknowledge that today is Independence Day in the United States. Here is how John Adams predicted the great day (in his mind, 2 July) would be celebrated:

I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated, by succeeding Generations, as the great anniversary Festival. It ought to be commemorated, as the Day of Deliverance by solemn Acts of Devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with Pomp and Parade, with Shews, Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward forever more.

I think he pretty much nailed it.

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