On radio this morning, Glenn interviewed "Heroes For My Daughter" author Brad Meltzer about his new book. Watch the full interview in the clip above.
GLENN: Brad Meltzer is here. Out today is a new book called Heroes For My Daughter, a follow-up to a book that he wrote -- how many years ago was that? Two, three?
MELTZER: Two and a half years ago.
GLENN: Two and a half years ago. Heroes For My Son. Brad is a good friend of mine and the Heroes For My Son is a great book. Heroes For My Daughter includes stories on Tina Turner and what she had in her pocket. Brad, do you want to tell this story?
MELTZER: Yeah. You know the story. Basically six years ago when my daughter was born, I decided to write a book that lasts her whole life and I was going to fill it with all the things she needed to become a great woman and I wrote rules for her like love God and be nice to kids and the truth was I had done Heroes to My Son, as you know. You helped me launch it. For three -- for two years now my daughter has asked me, where the heck is my book? That's been the No. 1 thing she wants to know, because she's, like, you've got the son one. Where is mine? But I looked at people like Tina Turner. You know, Tina Turner what I loved about her -- and, you know, we have obviously Rosa Parks and Amelia Earhart, all the people that, you know, we all know and love, but why I wrote about Tina Turner is when she ran out of the hotel room after Ike had beat her up, do you know what she had in her pocket? She had $0.36 and a Mobil credit card. That was it. And after 16 years of cruelty, she walked out on Ike Turner and what I think her lesson is for, you know, every young girl but also every woman is just to know that you have to fight back and you have to never forget that no matter how deep the hole is, you can always find a way out because she kept saying to herself over and over, I will die before I go back. And, you know, she fought her way to become, again, this great rock icon and I said, I want my daughter to learn how to fight. I want her to learn how to stand up for herself and so I picked heroes like Rosa Parks, you know --
GLENN: Tell me about Sally Ride. Tell me about Sally Ride. Why was she picked to be an astronaut?
MELTZER: People say it was because -- when she was picked to be an astronaut, it was just because she was (inaudible) great athlete, some say because she was fearless and all those things are true, but here's what she also had to do: She had to answer an ad in her college newspaper that said NASA was looking for astronauts and she had to look at it moment and see this and I said, I want my daughter -- you know, that's how she became the woman that did what no one had ever done before. She saw a moment and she seized it and I want that lesson for my daughter and that's what Heroes to My Daughters was designed to be, is to give her those lessons and examples.
GLENN: One of my sister's heroes is Julia Childs because Julia Childs was a massive failure.
MELTZER: Yeah, she was. You hit it right on the head. You know, everyone knows Julia Childs. Everyone loves Julia Childs. You know, she's one of my heroes because she was actually a spy, also. People don't know that about her. She was a spy for the U.S. Government as part of the OSS. But what I love about her is, you know, she wrote the greatest cookbook of all time, mastering The Art of French Cooking but, you know, she got rejection letter, rejection letter, rejection letter, over and over again after six years of working at it and everyone said this book is never going to work and she never, ever ever gave up. Her secret ingredient was the most vital ingredient of all. It's to never give up on what you love and I said -- the funny part is, again, when I was writing the book, I handed in the first draft and my editor said to me, We have a problem. I said, what's the problem? She said, you use one word over and over again in all these heroes. I said, What's the word? She said fighter. She said, you use the word fighter for the
Dalai Lama's entry. The Dalai Lama's a passivist and I use the word fighter, but clearly it tells you about me as a father. One, I'm overprotective of my daughter. No question about it, but, two, and here's what I don't apologize for -- I do want my daughter to learn how to fight. You know, I tell her all the time, I said, you know, you have to fight for something when you want it and when you see injustice, you have to fight harder than ever before and I also tell her, don't be the princess who's waiting for Prince Charming to come save you. You can save yourself and I said, that's what I want the book to be full of examples of that.
GLENN: Do you think that heroes for your daughter is more important in today's world or Heroes For My Son?
MELTZER: You know, when I started doing the book, I thought I was going to do equal books, one for my son, one for my daughter, my son's would have more male heroes, my daughter would have more female heroes and it would be the exactly the same and I would treat them the same, but what I realized in this fighter comment that I just was talking about is I do treat my daughter differently and do you know why I do? Because the world treats my daughter differently. It is a statistical fact and I wish this weren't the case, but my daughter will have a harder life just be by being a woman. She is going to statistically make less money, have a harder time getting a promotion and I hope these things will change. We all hope these things will change, but I know that I do treat my daughter differently for that. And people sometimes say that with our sons, we inspire and with our daughters we try and teach them how to battle and we try and protect them and I fight myself every day to be a good father and just put them on equal ground, but I know that, like any father with their daughter, I'm just always going to be protective of her.
GLENN: Okay. Can I ask you a question? There are male heroes in this book, as well?
MELTZER: Of course there are male heroes. If I just put male heroes for my son, I wouldn't be doing it justice and for my daughter, of course I -- I mean, how do I not --
GLENN: I can't believe that the Three Stooges is in --
MELTZER: Do you want to hear -- you've got to hear the Three Stooges story. So, yeah, let me start with the big one. Yeah, I've got to give my daughter Abraham Lincoln, I have to give my daughter Christopher Reeve, I've got to give my daughter Ben Franklin and I want to give my daughter, you know -- there are male heroes I want her to have. I saved Ben Franklin for her because I just love him, but I have the Three Stooges in there and I put that in there because my dad, when I was growing up, used to show me the Three Stooges. My mother hated it. My wife hates it. Most women hate the Three Stooges. Here's what I want you to know about the Three Stooges is that the three stages were actually the first ones to parody Adolf Hitler on film. Everyone thinks that Charlie Chaplin The Great Dictator was the great one, but the Three Stooges who were three Jews, the Three Stooges were the first one to parody him. They actually did it two years, almost two years before Pearl Harbor, the three Stooges stood up to the bully and said, You know what? Everyone said we can't make propaganda. Everyone said you're not allowed to do any propaganda about Hitler. Hollywood really kind of had a serious push not to do such things and these three so-called idiots were the ones who stood up to him and I said, I love that. I've got to give my daughter the lesson of what it means to stand up to the bully.
GLENN: So, the name of the book is Heroes For My Daughter. It's out today. I have Heroes For My Son. I will be getting Heroes For My Daughter, as well. Just great books. Brad is a good friend, a great writer, knows heroes. In my book he is -- he is a hero himself and, Brad, it's always great to talk to you.
MELTZER: Yeah. No. I appreciate it, Glenn, and I appreciate your support from the very start. Can I say one thing? The last hero in the book is the most important one because it's a blank page and it says: Your hero's photo here and your hero's story here and I promise you, you take a picture of your mom or your grandmother or military for you family and you write one sentence of what they mean to you and you put in in this book and it is the most perfect page in Heroes For My Daughter is the hero they live with every day.
GLENN: Brad, thanks a lot. Appreciate it.
MELTZER: Thank you, sir
GLENN: You bet. Heroes For My Daughter, available in book stores everywhere today.