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
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. :)