DC at Night

DC at Night

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

A Vet Dishes on the National Book Fest

Brad Meltzer
With almost a dozen New York Times best selling books, many of them set in Washington, Brad Meltzer is no stranger to the National Book Festival, sponsored annually by the Library of Congress, and the DC area.

That was why, when he appeared at the Book Fest last Saturday, he felt like it was a homecoming of sorts.  It was also why he wanted to let his fans, hundreds of whom crowded into the Fiction and Mystery tent, in on the real reason why so many authors always attend the 2-day celebration on the National Mall of all things books.

And the secret?  Authors are offered a special breakfast at the White House. Meltzer recounted his first 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue dining experience. "I was sitting with (British fantasy writer) Neil Gaiman and Salmon Rushdie. And Neil and I are such geeks we were talking about Superman".

Meltzer said he did participate in one White House tradition. "The napkins disappear like crazy and I still have mine," he said.

Later, Meltzer was invited to a special lunch in the residential part of the White House. He found himself seated next to Barbara Bush. On the table in front of him was a beautiful, hand-written seat assignment card embossed with White House designs. Mrs. Bush leaned toward him and told Meltzer that first-timers often made off with the cards. "Oh, those novices," Meltzer said he told Mrs. Bush. "Hey," he called out while pointing, "Look, there's Ruth Bader Ginsburg". As Mrs. Bush turned, Meltzer pocketed his name card. "Still have that, too," he said.

Meltzer in a one-man media empire. In addition to his political thrillers, he has written two best-selling books for young people, one entitled Heroes for My Son and the other Heroes for My Daughter. He has worked on Green Arrow, Justice League of America, and Buffy, the Vampire Slayer comics. He also hosts the History Channel series Brad Meltzer's Decoded.

The prolific content producer was also one of the 1st authors to fully utilize the internet for promotion. Since much he has placed on line goes into far more depth about his writing than he had time to offer in the 45 minutes allotted to him at the Festival, we will use some of his own website postings to tell more about Meltzer and his books.
Tales, Tidbits, and Tips
While I like Meltzer's thrillers and am looking forward to his 10 greatest mysteries Decoded book coming next month, as a former teacher, I am most appreciative of his Heroes for My Son. In my last year of teaching, I used the book in my classes for seriously at risk students, some of whom were repeating 10th grade for a 3rd time. Most of these students were engaged and inspired by the stories in the book. I'm sure your children or grandchildren would be, too.

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