Meltzer Talks "Book of Lies" & "Buffy"

While Brad Meltzer's "Book of Lies" carries ample geek cred for its fictitious exploration of the mysterious events surrounding the real-life death of Mitchell Siegel (the father of Superman co-creator Jerry Siegel), when the paperback edition arrived in finer bookstores last week, there was an extra gift for fans of the writer's comic book work.

Under the heading, "COMING in 2010," a Dark Horse Comics advertisement appeared in the back of the book announcing to the non-comic reading set, "New York Times best-selling BRAD MELTZER joins JOSS WHEDON in Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season 8."

Meltzer is no stranger to this type of cross-pollination, as his previous novel "Book of Fate" featured an advertisement for his run on "Justice League of America" for DC Comics. And the strategy seems to work as Meltzer became the first writer to top The New York Times Bestseller List and the Diamond Comic Distributors Top 100 Sales Chart simultaneously when the two projects launched in 2006.

Scheduled to write the penultimate arc of the book that is a virtual lock each month for a spot in Diamond's Top 10 sales chart, Meltzer's run on "Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season 8" is expected to begin in early 2010 with #31.

With two other books, one fiction and one non-fiction also in the works, CBR News checked in with the fan favorite writer for an update on everything Meltzer.

CBR: "The Book of Lies" reached #2 on the New York Times bestseller list and was well received by geeks and non-geeks alike. Why do think readers have connected with this story?

Brad Meltzer: At the end of the day, I think people realized that "The Book of Lies" wasn't about who killed Jerry Siegel's father or some search for an old murder weapon. It was about storytelling. Especially the stories we tell about ourselves. And that's something we all know too well.

Living with the book now for more than a year and receiving feedback from family, friends and fans, what do you love most about the story you told in "The Book of Lies?"

I just love that it's the most honest book I've written. It's a father and son story and a mother and son story. And I really believe I'd never have been this honest 10 years ago.

What makes Cal Harper a great leading man? Because he's certainly no Superman.

I think that's really the heart of it. At its core, Superman is an orphan story. And that's Cal's story too. I don't care about the perfect hero. I far prefer the one who may not be able to survive the ending.

You haven't done this in the past, but any chance you would consider re-visiting these characters in a sequel/followup novel?

Next novel. I'm for sure bringing back someone from a previous novel.

The artwork for the paperback cover is pretty cool. Were you involved in the conceptualization/selection?

They showed it to me. I thought it was really spectacular. So yes, I take all the credit.

Can you share any details on the next novel?

For the first time, I'm trying to create someone who'll be around for a bit. Plus, there's the new non-fiction book, "Heroes For My Son," which is something I've been working on since my first son was born.

Are you suggesting that the next novel you release will be the first of a series or franchise starring a recurring lead?

And I'm bringing someone back.

Can you say which character? Or at least which book?


Have you started writing your upcoming run on "Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season 8" yet?

Not physical writing. But the plotting is moving along. The ending is gonna be just... goodies.

Can you share any details of the plot you are developing?

Haven't you ever watched "Buffy?" The wildest stuff always happened in those last few episodes. Plus, readers will finally get to see the big picture.

Were you a fan of the show when it originally aired in the 1990s?

I'm always late. I didn't start watching "Battlestar Galactica" until Season 2. Then I had to go back. But of course I love it.

What makes Buffy a great hero?

She knows what she wants. And we know what she wants. Plus we know how hard it is for her to get what she wants. Just like we all feel about our own lives.

Any updates on Siegel House or OrdinaryPeopleChangeTheWorld.com, your endeavor to save and restore Jerry Siegel's childhood home?

Work has been progressing all winter. So let this be my invitation to all:

On Saturday, July 11, 2009, in Cleveland, they'll be having the official ribbon-cutting and unveiling of the redone house. The roof, the siding, the cement... they really outdid themselves. They even repainted it back to historic colors. Honestly, I kinda liked the red and bright blue, but history won in this one. The only thing that made me crazy was the dark green trim - green on Superman's house? A bunch of us screamed bloody kryptonite, but again, only to give them a hard time. It's good to have the history. And from what I hear, they'll have a great showing by the Siegel family for the big unveiling. So if you're anywhere near Cleveland, feel free to stop by. We may've raised the money but it's the people of Cleveland - the Siegel and Shuster Society - who did the real work.

For more on "The Book of Lies," check out this promotional video Meltzer created for YouTube.

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