Brad Meltzer is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Book of Fate, as well as the bestsellers The Tenth Justice, Dead Even, The First Counsel, The Millionaires, The Zero Game, and The Book of Lies.
He is also one of the co-creators of the TV Show, "Jack & Bobby" – and is the Eisner Award-winning author of the critically acclaimed comic book, Justice League of America.
His first non-fiction book, Heroes for My Son, is a collection of heroes – from Jim Henson to Rosa Parks – that he'd been working on since the day his son was born. This December, he'll be launching "Brad Meltzer's Decoded" on the History Channel. And his newest thriller, The Inner Circle, will be released on January 11, 2011.
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 six of his novels. The First Counsel came next, which is about a White House lawyer dating the President's daughter; then The Millionaires, which is 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 times them together. For authenticity, The Book of Fate was researched with the help of two former Presidents, Clinton and Bush. His last book, 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, OrdinaryPeopleChangeTheWorld.com, has been the driving force behind the movement to repair the house where Superman was created.
His books have spent over ten months 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.
Brad Meltzer didn't hope all his life to become a novelist. He came to it by chance, after a job at Games magazine didn't pan out. "I had no idea what to do," he says. "So I did what all of us would do in that situation. I said, 'I'm gonna write a novel.'" After one false start, a book called Fraternity that 24 publishers rejected, Meltzer hit his stride. In 1997, The Tenth Justice (which earned him extra credit as a student at Columbia Law School) was picked up by Morrow and hit The New York Times bestseller list. A year later, he repeated the performance with Dead Even. He's been writing bestselling legal thrillers ever since.
Critics like Meltzer's fast pace and nifty plots (Kirkus called The Tenth Justice "a mean, paranoid fantasy that'll have you turning pages in a frenzy," and USA Today said it "reads fast, rings true, and refreshingly breaks the mold of legal thrillers"), but it's the details that distinguish his novels from most legal fiction. The key, he says, is "Research, research, research," a task that can consume two to six months of his year-long writing schedule.
In addition to his thrillers, Meltzer is a bestselling author of critically acclaimed comic book series like Identity Crisis, Green Arrow, and Justice League. He has also written short stories, television scripts and nonfiction articles, including reviews of The Sopranos, the multiple Emmy Award-winning TV show.
Good To Know
Meltzer played himself as an extra in Woody Allen's Celebrity.
He lives in Florida with his wife, a high-school sweetheart to whom he devotes a lengthy essay on his web site.
With his friend Steve Cohen, Meltzer conceived Jack and Bobby, a critically acclaimed television program about two young brothers (not the Kennedys), one of whom grows up to be President of the United States. Cohen and Meltzer wrote all 22 episodes of the show, which was cancelled after one season. Widely considered a premier example of intelligent, high-quality TV, the series has since become a cult favorite.
Meltzer spoke with former presidents Bill Clinton and George H.W. Bush in order to accrue authentic details for his 2006 novel The Book of Fate, a thriller set in the world of White House politics.
A major plot element in The Book of Lies (2008) is the unsolved murder in 1932 of Mitchell Siegel, whose son Jerry created the iconic comic book hero Superman. Meltzer, himself a rabid comics fan, interviewed the Siegel family to research the murder.