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A Brief Q&A with NMR's Ray Palen Brad Meltzer  regarding his new novel The Fifth Assassin

NMR:  You indicated that you had been working on THE FIFTH ASSASSIN for four years.  With episodes of your thought-provoking History Channel series
DECODED featuring both the Inner Circle and Presidential assassinations, was your research driven by this novel or did it come from the DECODED episodes?

Meltzer: It started long before Decoded, but no question, the show helped me flesh out some of the ideas as I was thinking about them.

NMR: Did you discover any other startling similarities between the four U.S.
Presidential assassinations that did not get mentioned in the novel?

Meltzer: All of them were frighteningly neat.  They barely drank.  None did drugs. And for the most part, weren't considered troublemakers until that moment they pulled the trigger.  Plus, three out of the four were in their
twenties.  Amazingly sad how we see that type affecting our world today.

NMR: Were there any other artifacts in The Museum of Health and Medicine that might inspire additional stories?

Meltzer: Maybe one.  Not saying which.

NMR:  Is the protagonist of THE FIFTH ASSASSIN, Beecher White, based on anyone in particular?  What's next for him?

Meltzer: He's not just wish-fulfillment for me.  He protects me.  As I've had to deal with the loss of my parents, Beecher's dealing with his.  It may sound
insane, but it helps.

NMR:  The U.S.A. is such a young country yet has a history that inspires
countless inspiration for novels, films, etc.  What untold episodes in U.S.
history specifically intrigue you and will a new novel come out of it?

Meltzer: I hope so.  :)