I write thrillers for a living (The Fifth Assassin is the newest). I also host "Decoded" on the History Channel. And wrote Justice League of America, Identity Crisis, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I tweet here: @bradmeltzer Loved doing this. And thanks to all who support in every medium. I'll never forget it. Ever.

Comments: 316 • Responses: 71  • Date: 

ProcDiadochu28 karma

Decoded is the SHIT! Thanks for the brain food.

Brad_Meltzer33 karma

Best question here.

DONNYatUOFL22 karma

Identity Crisis was a major turning point for the DCU around the time I started reading comics. How did that story come about? Also, IMO, The Tornado's Path is one of the most amazing story arcs I've ever read. Thanks!

Brad_Meltzer15 karma

It was actually a response to 9/11 -- to let people worry about the heroes like we were worrying about real heroes like police and firefighters. It was supposed to be a small emotional story. No crossovers, no nonsense. And I think that's why it came out so honest. We didn't think anyone would care. Or at least I didn't.

lilpinkerbelle18 karma

First I would like to say how much my husband and I enjoy your books. I will be at the Boston bookstore to see you and I was wondering if you would like to join me and my husband afterwards for drinks.

Brad_Meltzer36 karma

By drinks, do you mean sex?

lilpinkerbelle15 karma

nope, drinks...unless

Brad_Meltzer29 karma

Then no.

lilpinkerbelle18 karma

ok then sex :)

Brad_Meltzer28 karma

Deal. Brookline Booksmith signing is going to be the BEST!

lilpinkerbelle5 karma

do i get a decoder ring?

Brad_Meltzer7 karma

Depends if this is all a joke or not. But I say yes.

AFlyingToaster14 karma

How much of what you talk about in Decoded do you actually believe? Has anything you've learned while involved with that show changed what you believe?

Brad_Meltzer18 karma

When we shot that forensic dummy in the Meriwether Lewis episode. No way was that suicide. Also, don't go canoeing with Alex Jones.

AshliG198410 karma

Hi Brad! First off, I have NO clue how Reddit works and only registered so I was able to ask you a question.. or 3. My main one being, just what has inspired you to go in the direction of fictional political writings?

Brad_Meltzer7 karma

Love that you tried something new. Bravery gets you everywhere. I don't think politically. For me, it's simply a love of history.

PapaHudge8 karma

No question. Just want to say I'm a big fan. Cant wait see more Decoded (and maybe hear you back on Elliot in the Morning!).

Brad_Meltzer7 karma

On Elliot tomorrow. Probably the most honest interview I do on tour.

snow_gunner8 karma

Hi Brad, enjoy reading your books.

Why is it in your show Decoded that you're never in the field with the investigators?

Brad_Meltzer16 karma

I enjoy reading my books too. I don't go in the field because Buddy keeps hitting on me. In a good way.

AflacHobo17 karma

Was this a joke? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CJL9SgYUNZ4 (excuse the title)

Thanks for the AMA!

Brad_Meltzer15 karma

That's one of my favorite jokes we ever did. See what I just did? I decoded the decoded joke for you.

pandasarec00l1436 karma

What inspired you to pursue the career you're in today?

Brad_Meltzer10 karma

There is no big dream unless you dream big.

Crazynewman5 karma

What's the most food you've ever eaten in one sitting?

Brad_Meltzer6 karma

In college, tried to convince someone I could eat the entire tub of chocolate pudding at Wendy's Superbar. Still think I can. And can beat anyone eating ice cream. Bring on The Stomach.

VocalLizzy1 karma

Forget that...Kitchen Sink at Jaxsons. ;-)

Brad_Meltzer3 karma

The Kitchen Sink at Jaxson's is indeed worthy. Of vomiting.

Rukiezilla5 karma

Good afternoon. Which degree did you obtain from the University of Michigan and how relevant was it to your success as a writer? Also, what was the one major experience/event that most benefited your career early on?

Brad_Meltzer4 karma

History major. And best for me? Getting 24 rejection letters. Will never take it for granted. Ever.

martlet15 karma

How amazed were you that President Bush would actually give you something that secret?

Brad_Meltzer8 karma

Still think it's fake.

boredlike5 karma

Which of your works are you most proud of?

Brad_Meltzer2 karma

Tenth Justice, First Counsel, Book of Fate, Inner Circle, Fifth Assassin. The older I get, the more honest I get in the novels. And Heroes for My Daughter is really it for me. That's me.

A_Felt_Pen4 karma

did you know we're cousins?

Brad_Meltzer5 karma

Mazel. I'd like to call you up for candle number 8!

Icesp4 karma

How do you personally deal with writers block?

Brad_Meltzer8 karma

Leave the computer. Walk away. Call a friend. Phone rings when you're in the shower.

aliens1823 karma

Which episode of Decoded was your personal favorite? Do you really think there is no gold in Fort Knox?

Brad_Meltzer9 karma

The Lincoln Assassination. Then DB Cooper. I've been to Ft. Knox. And I promise, we almost got in. You'll never know how close.

laurelhedare3 karma

Do you still feel that depicting the rape and murder of Sue Dibny in Identity Crisis was the best way to tell that story? Is there anything about Identity Crisis you would change in hindsight?

Brad_Meltzer7 karma

Nope. We spent longer than you know discussing how to deal with that scene. We didn't want it to be on-panel or graphic or gratuitous in any way. I wish rape didn't exist in this society. But it does. And to say that we can't deal with it in comics limits the entire medium.

jacquelinesarah3 karma

How much did you collaborate with Joss while writing Buffy? What was it like to work with him on that?

Brad_Meltzer17 karma

The only reason I did it was becasue Joss asked. I wanted to work with him (shock). I have a very plot brain. He has a heart brain. My favorite parts were when we'd get on the phone and I'd add plot and he'd add emotion. Then he'd add, and I'd add. Then we'd spend an hour describing Buffy and Angel having sex.

dolphy0072 karma

Hi Brad,

Big fan of your work and I love your enthusiasm.

Two quick questions:

What method of purchasing your books puts more money in your pocket(ebook, printed etc)?

Do you have any intentions on writing another comics book series? DC need your help!!!


Brad_Meltzer4 karma

Printed. And are you that person who used to email me any time someone sold one of my books on ebay since you were worried I wasn't getting royalties? I love you. I'm sorry you went to prison.

Platypus182 karma

What is the most shocking fact you have learned about Abraham Lincoln?

Brad_Meltzer2 karma

The dreams he had before every great moment in his life. And how poorly he read the one on the night before he died.

samsheffer2 karma

Thanks for doing this!

What are your thoughts on the seemingly downward progression of shows on the History Channel? It used to be so good!

Brad_Meltzer7 karma

I like that Meltzer guy. He's got passion and a plucky spirit (actual line from Summer School with Mark Harmon, one of 4 films we had freshmen year).

domes0072 karma

Hey Brad, if you had you choice of the entire comic universe who would you write for? And what would the story be like?

Brad_Meltzer9 karma

JLA/Avengers. I pitched it. I know who wins every fight. It's already written in my brain.

dmoreau30002 karma

Sorry If this was asked, but what else can you tell us about the identity of the boss from "Spear of destiny" episode who may have it?

Brad_Meltzer2 karma

Can't say. I'm a man of my word.

TChuff2 karma

I watched that show decoded where you sent the people to find out who DB Cooper was. That was some time ago but I still remember laughing hysterically because they found a hidden compartment in the attic of the old home of the guy they claimed was cooper. This was like 1/4 of the show and actually used as proof. God that was some of the funniest keystone cop detective work I've ever seen.

Brad_Meltzer3 karma

Keystone cops drive a model-T. We drove a Porsche.

iamaredditer2 karma

I really enjoyed your episode of the cove on decoded. I was just wondering if you have found out any other things you found interesting pertaining to this episode?

Brad_Meltzer5 karma

A week after, someone invited us inside. Kid you not.

ME246012 karma

What is your favorite comic series currently being published?

Brad_Meltzer5 karma

Saga. Locke & Key. Criminal.

icaneatastar2 karma

Is there really a lesbian subtext between Faith and Buffy?

Brad_Meltzer6 karma

Only when you read it slowly.

dufflepud4562 karma

What is the story behind the character that is in all of your books? When will you be in the Seattle area? I would love to have you sign my copy of your books!

Brad_Meltzer6 karma

I hide lots of things in the books. Including a hidden treasure in Inner Circle. No one's found it. No one. Not even the Decoded folks.

Brad_Meltzer2 karma

Not telling.

NvaderGir2 karma

What's your favorite food to eat?

Brad_Meltzer26 karma

Ice cream. Four years scooping ice cream in high school. If you were a rich, dicky parent who snapped your fingers at me, I used my pinky to break the bottom of your cone. 50 feet away, it'd be on your shirt. Suck it, upperclass.

Srgsweet2 karma

Hey Brad! What's your favorite part about filming your show? And are you friends with the 3 others who help you "decode"?

Brad_Meltzer9 karma

We're friends. I just don't talk to them. Or allow eye contact. Or their eye contact with my feet. Or feet contact.

radworld2 karma

Brad...Tell my wife to stop laughing at me for reading comics at my age.

Brad_Meltzer9 karma

Wife, stop laughing at him. Just roll your eyes like my wife does.

coregmrconman2 karma

What is the one thing in history that you firmly believe the text books/general population/mass media are wrong on? [In lines of a topic you have or would like to discuss on Decoded]

Brad_Meltzer5 karma

I want to do the JFK Assassination. I think half is right and half is wrong. Wanna show which is which.

morganatichondrius2 karma

Hi Brad! Big fan from you from Portugal! I've met your books on a book sale 2 years ago. At that time, I've bought "The Book of Lies" (in portuguese) for a really cheap price! I got really addicted and wanted to purchase more books from you, but for some reason they said they wouldn't make more translations from your books. Please, please, please, try to bring your books to Portugal again!

Brad_Meltzer6 karma

We're in Portuguese. And yes, I once did crash a rental car by accidentally riding down the main set of stairs at Lisbon's most breathtaking art museum. (Banned!).

my_parakeet_petey2 karma

In all your research, whats something that you have learned that has troubled you the most?

Brad_Meltzer12 karma

How easy it is to kill people.

mgilbert981 karma

Do you have heat from Govt. Illuminati, etc., for covering Conspiracies? If so, which conspiracy has been the most "challenging"?

Brad_Meltzer2 karma

I speak to Government Illuminati a lot. They hate corn.

bebejgirl1 karma

Brad, Love Decoded it actually got me to enjoy History which has never happened before in my life! :oS After that I read The Book of Fate and I have since purchased more that are in my "book bag" waiting to be read. Anyways my question is: What book have you read that you are embarrassed to say that you really enjoyed?

Brad_Meltzer2 karma

I will never be embarrassed for reading. Or for liking something I like. (except for the shake I used to make when I worked at Haagen Dazs. It could make anyone got to the bathroom in 20 minutes. I'm embarrassed for liking that).

Salacious-1 karma

This is one of my favorite scenes from Justice League.

Who is your favorite comic book villain of all time?

Brad_Meltzer4 karma

Deathstroke. Because he fooled me. Hard. When I was 13. Then Dr. Impossible. See here: http://bradmeltzer.com/other-works/how-i-spent-my-summer-vacation-with-the-judas-contract/

deejaygoose1 karma

Just out of curiosity, how did you do in school? And were you a rebel?

Brad_Meltzer1 karma

By rebel, do you mean nerdy? Then yes! Though did wear a cheerleading skirt to school as a protest. A decoder ring to first who finds the old story... (Hmmm, why do half my stories in here involve me wearing girl's clothing?)

ImBakinBacon1 karma

Who is your greatest inspiration?

Brad_Meltzer6 karma

My mom. No fear in her opinions. Ever. Here's my eulogy for her: http://bradmeltzer.blogspot.com/2008/05/brads-eulogy.html

cdubya221 karma

What is your most prized possession?

Brad_Meltzer4 karma

The Justice League membership certificate (with my name on it) they gave me when I left the book. Letters from two former Presidents. The comic where Superman is reading The Millionaires in a panel. My lucky underwear.

Ssportwidow1 karma

Were you always a writer or did you start as an adult? Who is your biggest mentor?

Brad_Meltzer14 karma

I was born an adult.

JPS20101 karma

What is Buffy like in real life and does she like Eastern European men...to your knowledge?

Brad_Meltzer2 karma

No, Joss, she only loves you. Yeesh.

NoiCantSpell1 karma

You have lived in a few different areas of the country, East coast, Florida, Michigan etc. where are you now and where is your favorite place to be?

Brad_Meltzer9 karma

No, you can't come to my house, Uncle Jeff.

21kclimer1 karma

Hey Brad, love your books and movies.

In your opinion, Whats the most important thing in American History, that would be considered "secret"?

Brad_Meltzer2 karma

That the best weapon we have is our brain.

Crazynewman1 karma

Who'd win in a fight Superman or the Hulk?

Brad_Meltzer3 karma

Superman. Batman beat Hulk. C'mon...

tconvery1 karma

LOVE LOVE LOVE your show! Thanks for bringing something so awesome to TV.

Question: do you actually believe in the conspiracies you investigate or is it just kick ass TV?

Thanks for everything!!

Brad_Meltzer7 karma

When I say I believe it, I believe it. But I just don't believe in EVERY conspiracy. That's just reckless and silly. Sometimes a conspiracy is real. Sometimes it's something you read on the internet (I'm looking at you, Statue-of-Liberty-is-symbol-of-satan people).

TreeBranchTwig1 karma

Did you think the world would end on December 21? love your show, by the way.

Brad_Meltzer4 karma

I scheduled my new book release for January 15th. What do you think?

mattman901 karma

Tenth Justice is one of my favorite books ever, mainly because of the strength of the characters. Were any of the characters based off of people you know?

Brad_Meltzer2 karma

Truth: All my high school friends say the characters in Tenth Justice are them. All my college friends say it's them. Law School friends say it's them. Lesson: I have no friends.

amyliz351 karma

You can invite 3 fictional characters to join you for a meal. Who are they and why?

Brad_Meltzer5 karma

Batman. Kermit. Scout. (Or just Batman and Rorschach. Would pay to see that fight. Will now be writing that for rest of day.)

KoalaHarmony1 karma

Who is your favorite comic book character ever?

Brad_Meltzer8 karma


aareyes121 karma

I myself would like to write books, comics and for tv. Would you have any advice or suggestions for a youngster?

Brad_Meltzer8 karma

Here's my advice -- and the world premiere of my newest (and second) TED talk: http://ed.ted.com/lessons/write-your-story-change-history-brad-meltzer

(C'mon, even Obama didn't debut TED talks in his AMA).

Mommaof2751 karma

My 16 year old son is a huge comic book fan! I am a huge fan of yours! What age did you start liking or collecting comic books? And what is your favorite conspiracy???

Brad_Meltzer2 karma

Ever since I could read. Nurture that. He'll love you for it.

ThatMumboJumbo1 karma

What would you say has been the absolute Highlight of your career?

Brad_Meltzer2 karma

Last night, me and John Hodgman breaking the Guinness Record for most secret decoder rings in one place...and then having 300 people do the Green Lantern oath wearing decoder rings was pretty close. Proof here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QOxm1v8DFYs But real highlight? Maybe this -- my TED talk. This is who I am: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zgiixRwn6xU

insanebolt1 karma

I'm good friends with miss Spicer, and she told me a few stories about back in when she was your teacher. no question

Brad_Meltzer2 karma

This is Ms. Spicer -- my 9th grade English teacher: http://bradmeltzer.com/other-works/worlds-greatest-teacher/

swidell1 karma

Why does Pope John Paul II have a 24 hr web cam on his coffin? Hint: Book of Revelation 17: 10-11. Lost book of Nostridomus.

Brad_Meltzer2 karma

You're the one who brought me the Holy Grail at my booksigning, weren't you?

Andrew722871 karma

I know you're currently busy with your many obligations including your prose work and the television show, but given a blank slate, and any artist of your choosing, past or present, what would be your dream comics job?

Brad_Meltzer4 karma

George Perez on art in 1984. Terra. That is all.

Pleb1ram1 karma

Hey Brad! So comic writers like Scott Snyder are killing it in comics right now. What do you see as the fundamental reason these guys (and gals) don't get the creative recognition for their stories as the main stream novelists. The bodies of work over time are much more intricate and detailed than an average novel.

Brad_Meltzer1 karma

I don't think one is more intricate than another. Depends on the story. Good story is good story. And hate to say it, but comics are getting plenty of mainstream love. But yes, I wish they had more mainstream readers. That's what scares me. When the readership seems to "age out." But that's the cycle in the history of comics. Always has been.

j23schoen1 karma

What is your favorite ice cream flavor?

Brad_Meltzer14 karma

Fresh Silk at Stucchi's in Ann Arbor. Amy's Ice Cream in Austin runs second. Those aren't opinions. Those are facts.

Connormurphy161 karma

Already finished the fifth assassin and its one of my favorite books of all time. Unfortunately I could go to your book signing in New York to see you break the record for most decoder rings in one place. Will you every sell the decoder rings or was that the only way to get them.

Brad_Meltzer2 karma

You're finished!? The book came out yesterday! That took two years of my life!

AshliG19841 karma

As per your reply to my last comment, would you say that history and politics go hand in hand? There are few events, historic events, that happened where politics weren't involved in some sort of way.

AshliG19841 karma

Also, do you think you could ever make a stop in Knoxville, TN? :)

Brad_Meltzer1 karma

Been there years ago. Love it. Heard TN lost some of my favorite independent bookstores...

PapaHudge1 karma

And THANK YOU SO MUCH for giving me some non-Dora/princess heroes that I can focus on with my daughters. I'll definitely be buying "Heroes for My Daughter" when I can afford it.

Brad_Meltzer2 karma

A to the MEN. I tell my daughter all the time: Don't be the pricess waiting for the price to come rescue you. You can rescue yourself. That book is my heart in book form.