Book bans, terrorist plots, and topping the New York Times Bestseller lists. Brad Meltzer has seen it all. His newest book, “The Lightning Rod” explodes onto the page with thrilling action and complex characters, exactly what readers of the Zig and Nola Escape Artist series expect. Meltzer goes deep on his research, lending an unmistakable authenticity to his novels. In addition, Brad’s work for the History Channel has turned up artifacts believed to be lost forever. Get “The Lightning Rod” now from the link below.
Brad Meltzer is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Inner Circle, The Book of Fate, and nine other bestselling thrillers including The Tenth Justice, The First Counsel, The Millionaires, and The President’s Shadow. His most recent book, The Escape Artist, debuted at #1 on the bestseller list. His non-fiction book, The First Conspiracy, is about a real life secret plot to kill George Washington and is out now. And his upcoming book is The Lincoln Conspiracy, about a FIRST secret plot to kill Abraham Lincoln.
In addition to his fiction, Brad is one of the only authors to ever have books on the bestseller list for Non-Fiction (History Decoded), Advice (Heroes for My Son and Heroes for My Daughter), Children’s Books (I Am Amelia Earhart and I Am Abraham Lincoln) and even comic books (Justice League of America), for which he won the prestigious Eisner Award.
He is also the host of Brad Meltzer’s Lost History on H2 and Brad Meltzer’s Decoded on the History Channel. The Hollywood Reporter recently put him on their list of Hollywood’s 25 Most Powerful Authors.
Brad is also responsible for helping find the missing 9/11 flag that the firefighters raised at Ground Zero, making national news on the 15th anniversary of 9/11. Using his TV show, Brad Meltzer’s Lost History, he told the story of the missing flag and asked Americans for their help in returning it. Four days later, a former Marine walked into a fire station in Everett, Washington, said he saw Meltzer’s TV show, and now wanted to return the flag. Meltzer recently unveiled the flag at the 9/11 Museum in New York, where it is now on display. See the video here.
For sure, it’s tough to find anyone being so successful in so many different mediums of the popular culture. But why does Brad thrive in all these different professions? His belief that ordinary people change the world. It is that core belief that runs through every one of his projects.
His newest thriller, The Escape Artist, introduces Nola and Zig, brand new characters in a setting that will blow your mind (you won’t believe where the government let Brad go). For now, we’ll say this: Nola is dead. Everyone says she’s dead. But Jim “Zig” Zigarowski just found out the truth: Nola is alive. And on the run. Together, Nola and Zig will reveal a centuries old secret that traces back the greatest escape artist of all: Harry Houdini. The Escape Artist arrives in March 2018.
His illustrated children’s books I Am Amelia Earhart and I Am Abraham Lincoln were written for his own children, to give them better heroes to look up to. Try them. You won’t believe how inspired you and your family will be. The next in the series will be I am Leonardo da Vinci (April). A TV show based on the series just debuted on PBS: Xavier Riddle and the Secret Museum.
His other non-fiction books, Heroes for My Son and Heroes for My Daughter, are collections of heroes – from Jim Henson to Sally Ride — that he’s been working on since the day his kids were born and is on sale now, as well as History Decoded: The 10 Greatest Conspiracies of All Time.
He’s also one of the co-creators of the TV show, Jack & Bobby.
Raised in Brooklyn and Miami, Brad is a graduate of the University of Michigan and Columbia Law School. The Tenth Justice was his first published work and became an instant New York Times bestseller. Dead Even followed a year later and also hit the New York Times bestseller list, as have all eight of his novels. The First Counsel came next, which was about a White House lawyer dating the President’s daughter, then The Millionaires, which was about two brothers who steal money and go on the run. The Zero Game is about two Congressional staffers who are – literally – gambling on Congress. The Book of Fate, is about a young presidential aide, a crazed assassin, and the 200 year-old code created by Thomas Jefferson that ties them together. For authenticity, The Book of Fate, was researched with the help of former Presidents Clinton and Bush. The Book of Lies, is about the missing murder weapon that Cain used to kill Abel, as well as the unsolved murder of Superman creator Jerry Siegel’s father. Brad is one of the only people to interview Jerry Siegel’s family about the murder and, with his charitable site www.OrdinaryPeopleChangeTheWorld.com, has been the driving force behind the movement to repair the house where Superman was created.
His book The Inner Circle (and its sequels, The Fifth Assassin and The President’s Shadow) is based the idea that George Washington’s personal spy ring still exists today. A young archivist in the National Archives finds out the spy ring is still around. He doesn’t know who they work for — but the greatest secret of the Presidency is about to be revealed. While researching the book, former President George HW Bush also gave Brad, for the very first time, the secret letter he left for Bill Clinton in the Oval Office desk. Oh, and yes, Brad was recruited by the Department of Homeland Security to brainstorm different ways that terrorists might attack the US.
His books have spent over a year on the bestseller lists, and have been translated into over 25 languages, from Hebrew to Bulgarian. In The Tenth Justice, the opening lines are: “Ben Addison was sweating. Like a pig.” In the Hebrew translation, it became: “Ben Addison was sweating. Like a horse.” We’re not sure if it’s a kosher thing or what!
Brad has played himself as an extra in Woody Allen’s Celebrity, co-wrote the swearing in oath for AmeriCorps, the national service program, and earned credit from Columbia Law School for writing his first book, which became The Tenth Justice. Before all of that, he got 24 rejection letters for his true first novel, which still sits on his shelf, published by Kinko’s.
Brad currently lives in Florida with his wife, who’s also an attorney.
J.K. Rowling was nearly homeless when she wrote the first Harry Potter book. Stephen King penned CARRIE on a small desk wedged between a washer and dryer. James Patterson worked in advertising and famously wrote the Toys “R” Us theme song long before becoming an author.
Whether you’re traditionally published or indie, writing a good book is only the first step in becoming a successful author. The days of just turning a manuscript into your editor and walking away are gone. If you want to succeed in today’s publishing world, you need to understand every aspect of the business – editing, formatting, marketing, contracts. It all starts with a good book, then the real work begins.
Join international bestselling author J.D. Barker and indie powerhouses, J. Thorn and Zach Bohannon, as they gain unique insight and valuable advice from the most prolific and accomplished authors in the business.
In this episode, you’ll discover:
- Ways to respond to book banning
- Why the Department of Homeland Security needed Brad’s help
- When your kids might think you’re cool
- Where the 9/11 flag was found, and how
J. D. Barker – http://jdbarker.com/
J. Thorn – https://theauthorlife.com/
Zach Bohannon – https://zachbohannon.com/
Best of BookTook – https://bestofbooktok.com/
The Carbon Almanac – https://books2read.com/carbonalmanac
Brad Meltzer – https://bradmeltzer.com/
The Lightning Rod: A Zig and Nola Novel (Escape Artist Book 2) – https://books2read.com/escapeartistbook2
J.’s “Subtle Art” NFTs (and others) on OpenSea – https://opensea.io/jthorn
Story Rubric – http://storyrubric.com
Nonfic Rubric – http://nonficrubric.com
Scene Rubric – http://scenerubric.com
Proudly sponsored by Kobo Writing Life – https://kobowritinglife.com/
Music by Nicorus – https://cctrax.com/nicorus/dust-to-dust-ep
Voice Over by Rick Ganley – http://www.nhpr.com and recorded at Mill Pond Studio – http://www.millpondstudio.com
Contact – https://writersinkpodcast.com/dev/contact/
*Full disclosure: Some of the links are affiliate links.
1 year ago
Great interview today guys. Brad has a great CV. Interesting that he writes non-fiction books about stuff he finds fascinating and then fiction books about a similar topic. But it’s obvious, why wouldn’t you write fiction about stuff you find fascinating?
I love the story of the flag. I know it’s an American flag but as retired military I understand the power of flags. I once saw a flag flown at the Battle of Trafalgar (not on HMS Victory) and it was one of the few things that can raise emotions in me.
I love ‘Cities of the Underworld’ too. I watched the one based in Chicago as research for a postapoc I’ve started but rested.
That was a great interview of an interesting writer. It almost made Zach speechless which is an achievement Brad can add to his already impressive CV.
1 year ago
I knew you’d like this interview! And yes, making Zach speechless is quite an achievement.
1 year ago
Another interesting episode. I love Kobo Writing Life because they represent the human face of indie publishing. Also, Kobo readers are great readers for any author to have, and I value each and every one of them.
Keep up the good work, chaps.
1 year ago
Excellent! Thanks for the comment.