Brad Meltzer's new thriller, The Escape Artist, hit shelves last week. KMUW's Beth Golay recently spoke with Meltzer about the new book and his fascinating 20-year career.
Beth Golay: You've had a remarkable career writing thrillers, a children's book series, television shows --including "Decoded" on the History Channel. You even found the missing 9/11 flag that firefighters raised at Ground Zero. But after 20 years you're returning to your roots with a new thriller titled The Escape Artist. And although you've written nine other bestselling thrillers, I understand this is a new series?
Brad Meltzer: Yeah. You know, for me, when you get to 20 years you do one of two things: You either say, "I'm the best and I'm going to do everything that I should be doing and I'm going to do it again." Or you decide to actually have a soul, and you say, "You know what? How do I get better?" You know, when you have 20 years to look at you can look back and say, "What were my best books? Where did I do my best work?" That's what I did. I don't want to call it my midlife crisis, but it really was. And I just decided to go with a brand new series, something that excited me.
I realized my best books were the ones that always had amazing characters. So this is a brand new series starring Nola and Zig, who I found when I was on a USO tour. They take thriller writers over on the USO to the Middle East to entertain our troops. And while I was there I heard about Dover Air Force Base. And I had known Dover is the place where our fallen soldiers--their bodies get taken to be laid to rest. But I never knew that Dover is also the place that has the biggest cases. So whether it's on 9/11--the Pentagon victims--or the space shuttle going down, those victims all go to Dover. And Dover also has all of our big spies all across the globe. They go there too. Which means Dover Air Force Base is the place that has lots of secrets and mysteries and I was like, "I got to set a mystery there."
The entire transcript for this interview will be posted soon.