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.
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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.
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