tv Brad Meltzer The Escape Artist CSPAN August 19, 2020 12:59pm-1:52pm EDT
applause thank you. >> coming up on this afternoon present trouble holding news conference on the white house, will have live coverage starting at five eastern on c-span2. also available online at c-span.org or listen with the free c-span radio app. weeknights this month for future book tv programs as a preview of what's available every weekend on c-span2, tonight starting at eight eastern, york times journalist reported on a girl scout troop living in a homeless shelter in your city and she offered her thoughts on why some americans are moving away from traditional religion, later journalist erica barnett looked at addiction in america and discussed her own struggles with alcoholism. enjoy the tv on c-span2.
cameras out, c-span is here and you know what that means. all of us book nerds are being watched by all our favorite book nerds. we arefinally altogether in oneplace . we have as many viewers as svn right now . that joke does not work in sports places. i love coming to virginia, obviously the washington dc area was our home and a beautiful place for us where we had our children here . we had our lives here. i started writing here and it's especially important today. today is the day my dad died and we marked the day and i know it seems like something sad but i love my father and i especially love being in this barnes and noble because my father used to go into barnes and noble and say yes, i'm here for brad meltzer book, he's my favorite author and they'd say mister
meltzer, we know he's your son. my mom would be like what do you mean, that john grisham is in the front window. not anymore. now meltzer is in the front window so we honor my father here tonight but the other person, we havea couple bank used to do that our local . so i write a character named beecher and inner-circle and i know my friend trevor is here . where are you ? come on out this is the guy who helped me at the national archives. people say whose feature, there is so handsome and sharon, people who helped us online, you see jim over here and dodger case, yes, in the back. i've never told the story publicly though i'm going to tell it. this year for halloween i went as willy wonka and my daughter last year went as
veruca salt but there's no veruca salt costume sold and we decided the week before halloween i went on twitter and i said can anyone help me with a veruca salt costume . cates was a stranger on our twitter site and he became part of our family and said i've got a costume for you and it's homemade and my daughter wore it and thank you, iappreciate that . this is the biggest bank you of all is i'm a man of my word i hope at all times three years ago i made a promise. and the promise was that if, i was looking at my teacher when i was a history teacher and my teacher in 11th grade needed a kidney, she was dying and i put a notice on facebook that said can you help me find a kidney for my teacher and i said if you help me find a kidney for my teacheri'll put you in my next book . that was my bride. and where are you amy? i know you're here somewhere. come up here.
amy, don't clap for her yet, i haven't told you the story, you don't know anything about your and here's what happened is any rights to me and says i volunteered to be the donor for your teacher and i just want you to know i didn't hear back from her and i said they're very busy, there's lots of volunteers and amy said let me just check it out and i said don't worry, i'm sure it got there and i don't know what possessed me i called up my teacher and said there's someone who volunteered and i know you get a lot of them check this one out and it wound up of all the people that volunteered amy was thematch for my teacher. and it came down to florida , whatwas it ? are we on to yet? over two years, came down to florida. so amy gave her kidney, you're looking at a one kidney womanright here . but here's the thing, don't clap yet, i'm not done area is the best part of the story . the best part is this is that
when she was having the surgery one of the reporters interviewing said whatever happened to that original email she sent and i was curious so they looked and she found it, it was in spam and if i never would have called that day it was just gone forever . so being a man of my word you will see the character amy wags in this book. and finally she's immortalized as a hero she should be so thank you . [applause] don't tell her that she does the most amazing things in the book. she read it already, she wanted to stay up to make sure i didn't make her a jerk . i can't do any of that anywhere else so any only in virginia do you getpeople who make veruca salt costumes and also give kidneys . so someone here tonight is going to give away their kidney and let's talk about the escape artist.
that's the book we're here to talk about and for me this is 20 years and i've beenwriting thrillers . 20 years and when you're done with 20 years you have a choice, you can say i made it, i'm done. that's the way it's going to be and i'm going to write another book or you can be a normal person and have some humility and say you know what, how do i get better? when do i do my best work? which are the best ones? i went back and look, i think now which books of mine i thought were the best and when i realized what i had in common was and they were the ones that have these amazing characters corbett, you needed a character and i love all the books i've written, i wouldn't ask you to pay your good money to buy it but i realize my favorite ones have these characters i just said that's what's going to be my motive this time. so i was on six years ago i us a trip in the middle east,
entertaining our troops and i can tell you while we were there it was the dallas cowboy cheerleaders right before us, the mma fighters and then aust, the authors. ava got six authors every year, thriller writers and my friend says can you hear the audible sigh realizing right after the cowboy cheerleaders they got meltzer and the literary people what was great is how many of them came up and said i love the country singers and i love all the amazing people that come through here with her it's the fighters or the cheerleaders but you're the first group at here for me because i'm a reader. and that's fantastic to me is that we can find a fellow nerd, let's be friends . and i loved it and the uso tour but it was on the tour that i really learned about dover air force base and we allknow dover , we've all seen sadly those famous flag
covered coffins that come out of the plane, we know that all too well but what i didn't know is that dover handles the biggest cases so when the space shuttle goes down as bodies go to dover and when 9/11 happened the pentagon victims went to dover and dover is well where all of our spies around the globe, all are 007 and no one knows their real identity , they go to dover to and that means dover is a place that is built and is holds secrets and mysteries. you'd better believe i wanted to get into that place. so i went there and i thought i've done the secret tunnel below the white house read i've done the hidden labyrinth below the capital and i know it's a place and i'm going to write my book and that's how it's going to be and i was humbled when i got there. i was humbled because when i saw care that these men and women at dover, but they took for our fallen soldiers there was nothing i'd ever seen like that.
this was bigger than any place i've been because you realize the families of those who have fallen troops and their families , if they open even believe what happens until they see it with their own eyes so the people there will rebuild for 14 hours someone's cheekbone and smooth it out with clay and modeling clay so that family can get onelast look at their child . will rebuild an entire hand is the mother specifically says i want to hold my sons hand one last time . we're a country right now whatever politics are on both sides, we're starting for heroes. here's where the real heroes were. these are the best of us . and i knew right there that i had totell the story , that this was going to be where i was going to be so i started by, i always bring my plots to the people i'm talking to and i said i want to see if i can have a body and i'm going to tell you the escape artist opens with this. it's one of my favorite
characters i've ever written named nola and nola is dead . she died in a plane crash and when her body is brought to dover, our hero zig , he pulls down the sheet and he realizes as he opens her up at there's a secret note hidden inside her body andthe note says nola, you are right , keep running and he realizes she's alive, he's on the run and she's the escape artist and i have that kind of general plot and i gave it to one of the people who work there and people who have left there and i asked them all the same thing, how could you hide a secret note on the body and one of them said if you're on a plane and the plane is going down if you actually the timing is right depending when you eat it the liquids in your stomach can protect the noteand that had actually happened . i was blown awayby not . and i knew in that moment there was a plot and i know what you're thinking right now because every time i fly in a plane ithink of what's in my note . and i'm telling you every time you're on a plane right now you're going to be
thinking of me and you know that stupid brad, don't make my note to me. when you write a note like that and when that happens in real life you're reaching out and i knew in that moment i took that and put it intothe book . they say nola, you're right, keep running. i obviously made it a much better version of what happened in this sad story but that's where i started. and i knew i had to dig, i knew these this divorce guy, he's missing many things in his life and he is upset and he has a hole in his life that he needs to fill. that's the important part of him and that's one of the characters and then when we refill loss history we were looking for the 9/11 flag and we were in virginia and we were filming there, happy to find the flag and it was great but what i didn't tell anyone at the time is they gave me a tour of the base
and where walking around this army museum and i see the show me paintings that adolf hitler did, they're showing me these paintings all these amazing militaryartists and i said why does the army have so much art ? and they explained to me since world war i us army have had a painter, an actual painter on staff who is in charge of painting disasters as they happen whether it's storming the beaches at normandy and whether it's vietnam or 9/11, they were there at 911 to read there's an artist and they call him the wall artist in residence that's on staff and i said you're telling me while everyone else is racing in with guns blazing your telling me someone is running in with nothing but pencils and paintbrushes? that's the craziest person in the world. i want to meet him and he said no, you need to meet her . oh, a woman. of course it's a woman, she's amazing read and i knew right there, i knew nola. that was it, i knew it and
instantly i was sitting there going i got her. this is it. a woman who can go out there and see things no one else sees. when i was working on the justice league years ago the artist jean hodges came to me in florida and we had a great dinner together and he said brad,i'm so glad we worked together and i know so much more about you . i said what are you talking about and he rattled off a list of only six that i have and that i do that i don't even realize i do and i'm not talking about the obvious ones things thati would like , you see the world differently than i do read the great traffic designer chip kidd, he sees the greatest representation in a stop sign of graphics ever created that can be read in any language. he sees the world differently than we do and their nola was born. she's our girl with thedragon tattoo , but it's this character that will look at
you and see what no one else sees. she will look at your belt belt and figure out the way it pointed if you're right-handed orleft-handed and she will see that you have crows feet on one eye and that's the iu lane with . every time you walk past a reflective service you check yourself, she sees your weakness . that's what nola sees and nola can find weaknesses instantly because she has so many herself and he has old in her life he's trying to fill you twocharacters and i have this plot . nola is dead and she's going to be racing out of there and that's a plot, i can start chapter 1. what the years i've been doing it, i can always figure out how tobuild the boat while i'm sailing the boat . but i said wait, don't start the book until you have nola and until you have it all, it will make a better book and then i had this area and in 1898 a man named john albert wilkie is in charge of the us
secret service. he's a magician and he's a friend of harry houdini and it's the only time inhistory that a magician was in control of the secret service . i love that, right? that's a good detail and a couple books now i've been trying to figure out i use it and you don't want to force that in there. it's notabout vomiting up information, it has to make sense thematically . and then i started looking into houdini's life . houdini had his own secret service. harry houdini had his own secret service which is a fantastic idea and that's how he used to do his tricks . he come and the secret service would comfort the week before and they figure out what kind of handcuffs the police use, what locks were on the jail doors and harry would come and say lock me up and put your me in your jail and i'll get out guess how he got out ? he always had inside
information. i was like i need to get secret service and harry houdini was also obsessed with death . he never got over the death of his mother. and when i looked at harry houdini's life, we all know the escape artist shows, they mock him and something and then he gets out there and that the escape artist of the other part of this shows that i didn't realize was he spends time defrauding and showing what the mediums were and the people who the scances work and this was a time after world war i we had we had lost many sons in the war so i know it sounds silly but there were people who would say your son me a message from beyond the grave and he wants to talk to you if you pay me five dollars. it sounds so obvious butback then they didn't know and people were being taken advantage of all the time . harry houdini hated it. he hated they were trying to do that and he comes out to his mother and part of the show was always dedicated to
pulling up these people and showing they were frauds. in one of the things i love is harry houdini was so obsessed with death he gave secret code word to his family and friends that if they died and it was a science and they came back as a ghost he would know it was then he's really like i don't believe any of this nonsense but in case i'm wrong, here's your code word. the secret code word harry houdini gave to his mother, the woman whose death he never got over was supposedly this, this oneword. forgive . such a simple idea. and i knew i had a zig who had this hole in his life and then know of the artist and here was harry houdini with a hole in his life andevery person here and every person watching as something that put them in that hole. it may be of use , it may be the loss of a loved one and
we all had that moment where you get kicked down and were in that crater and wehave to get out of thatcrater and come back to life , truly come back to life and it was harry houdini who taught us how to do it forgive. especially starting with your health . then the escape artist, i knew all the puzzle pieces form the picture and that's when i started the book and that's where the escape artist comes from and for me , obviously that's the book and that's the thrill of it but 20 years in, what do you take away and i feel like in virginia, especially since it's theday i think about my dad , we all have our rituals . we all have our rituals and are things that we do andi want to tell you that for 20 years now , this is myritual . when i was first writing here in washington dc, i had sent out my first book, at that .22 rejection letters and there were 24 submissions and we were waiting for number 23
and number 24 and the good news was that you editors said they liked the book and they told me they really liked it and my agent told me at the time go and sit at workplaces, wait by the phone and i'm talking to both of them today and i'm going to call you at whatever time it was and i'm going to tell you what their authors are. they're going to bid against each other and have a bidding war and i'm thinking i'm going to pick up the phone and she's going to tell me how rich i was going to be i was in college from michigan and i said this ismy moment, she's going to tell me . and i will never forget the phone rang and i was all excited to hear how well we did and i pickedup the phone and i'll never forget she said sorry kiddo , and every day for 20 years every day that i sit down to write, every day before i touched the keyboard and do everything i read, repeat that entire moment. i rethink what kind of phone
i was holding, it's one of those see-through ones where you can see the wires inside because in the 80s that seemed like it was hightech . i picture a formica desk on my left and the swivel lamp every college kid has because that goes with gps and i pictured the bed on my lot right. it was a bed and a mattress because that's what we had and i picture a little paris in washington dc that looked over and that parking lot and the fire station i was staring at which had three doors and then i'd see those words to myself, sorry kiddo. sorry kiddo, 20 years and going area because every single day, i want to be as hungry as i was when i was 24 years old living in this town and i never ever want to think i'm done or that, the moment i think i made it i'm finished. i want to always be so hungry i'm going always my best work . you learn and we can all do the same things we do inlife every day, many of us are so
good in our jobs . you're so good at doing it i don't want to do the same thing over and over. like a magician we need to reinvent ourselves times and have that moment where we say i felt this way and now i want to get evenbetter . you don't have to change but you have to think about it. sorry kiddo, sorry kiddo you and today, i was actually telling the person i was with the story and you can't even make thisup. we happened to just because of the way we were going drove past that fire station as i was telling the story and i was like i'm staring at the fire station right now . here it is read the one i pictured this morning when i woke up, sorry kiddo and i loved that. i love this town bring that back to me and i love i get a new look and i even love the change the doors in the last two years on the fire station . but it still the old oneto me every day in my high . so with that said that the introduction to the escape artist and what i'd like to do is to take questions because i will always inspire more great stuff or c-span and you can ask about " and
about the thrillers and i'll give you a quick update on the kids books is one interesting thing has happened and for those that don't know i do this line of kids books with chris elliott was and i was tired of my own kids book and reality tv star and thinking that was the hero and so we started with a amelia ehrhardt and i'm abraham lincoln and we did i have a rosa parks and my son loves sports the weekend i am jackie robinson for him and i said a hero is not someone who scores a lot ofpoints, here's jackierobinson , this is what a hero looks like . my daughter i didn't lucille ball or her because i wanted to have a female entertainment hero and lucille stands for the idea is not just okay to be different, it's spectacular though she loves her dog and i did i i am jane goodall for me her. i did i am jim henson and i can tell you that when i was five years old on sesame street jim henson proved you could use your creativity and
look good into this world and i hope if i'm doing nothing but all i'm doing today is trying to use my creativity to put good into this world. that's all i aspired to do and the amazing part is as a quick update on the kids books is as the election was approaching last year in november we saw something amazing happened with the kids books. and heroes started popping up better than anyone and it is i am martin luther king jr. and i am george washington and they started selling like crazy and then the whole series art of selling like crazy and in publishing just about everything is down area and i love that book tvwhen we have c-span here it's incredible that they still support the written word . they support the most important and most dangerous and valuable thing in the world, ideas. that's what the book is full of, ideas and i love that part of it. but books are down and movies are down and ratings are down
because we have so many things were looking at and so many things that have your attention but our kids books were selling like bananas and we quickly realize what it was you it was that everyone was tired just like i was turning on the tv and it wasn't a democrat or republican thing they were all tired of turning on the tv and seeing allocations and they wanted to show kids were leaders and we all know there's a difference between a leader and a politician and we teach our kids that so i love that people buy these books and they're not just buying i'm amelia ehrhardt or abraham lincoln and they're not just buying i'm harriet tubman, i love that they're using these books to build a library of real heroes. so that's what the kids books are about so i can tell you quick and i love anyone who's wearing one of our teachers, you get an extra hug for me i appreciate that and again, you can ask that td, you can ask about comics, you can ask about "the escape artist" 's
shout it and i'll repeat it. >> you focus on a millionaire for heart and i want to do a report on i and carol burnett . >> out to you this about amelia ehrhardt because he mentioned it is right now, with this group we can get there. we are working right now on a lego amelia heart and here's the thing. we went to lego ideas and lego ideas has a rule, if you get 10,000 people to vote for your set they will consider making it. that's how the ghostbusters set not made and it's how all these different leaders, they all come through lego ideas and we are at i think 8000 200, sharon will tell me. 8000 400. because of last night,8400 . we need to get 10,000 and we have 30 days to go. so go put the words lego amelia ehrhardt into google.
we are the first thing that comes up. lego amelia ehrhardt into google and it will take a second, one minute to register but a vote in their. i'm tired of my kids just basing things on toys or barbies or superheroes, i'd love to get the kids in america a real hero in a lego set though while you're in line ending around the talk to the person and make friends, don't do that. we don't need more friends area no lego amelia ehrhardt and thank you and go vote and thank you for reminding me of that . >> you i make our government sources nervous? you have just made everyone is from the government here nervous. yes we do but that's part of these events area i have an event in maryland and here we are in virginia is all the real spies and people who work in the intelligence community all tell me differently, you never know
who they are and i tried to pick them up right now and i will never correctly but whoever youthink it is it's wrong . this woman came up to me last night and gave me the non- and i said you were totally grandmother and she just like nola is a badass and i said wow . i love that the intelligence community has been so supportive and here's the other thing toanswer your question which deserves a answer . i am not an investigative reporter. storyteller and when i looked at dover air force base and was trying to figure out how i'm going to get in there i thought i'm trying to get in the front door but if not i'll go around the back and i went through the front and i'm not and said basically i want to write a book about dover and let's see what happens and to their credit they were so kind and let me in. they gave me three years of unprecedented access. from is shut down, no one gets inthere anymore . i got access to places you can't go and i think, i hope
i've done research with president bush and i got help from president clinton the reason they talk to me is the same reason the secret service talk to me. i've worked with the secret service for 16 years and every acronym in this city i've worked with over and over again and what they'll do isthey'll say brad , i can tell you this right here but you can't write about and you need to understand it so i can tell you about this one and you can write about this and in the 16 years idon't break my word . i know many things that i can put my name in the paper and that's going to get me some press and that's going to be a good thing i don't want to do anything that ever undoes the safety of our country, the security of our country and there's always the top it off because they're interesting and because they had parked a history and there are other ones that are just there and they're just going to put someone in
danger and i want no part of that and that's what in every book even when you see something that sounds cool i always change the security protocols. i know what they really are. they write me letters and say you know what, they said it's a swipe card, it's a pin thing, i know, i changed it. i know it's coming. especially about the dover one, i know what it is but i don't want to show you what it is and i take that seriously and i think the reason they help me most important if i'm guessing it's because i writeabout what i love, not about what i hate . that's it. i'm not an investigative reporter who's there to make you look bad. i wrote that and true to my word i said i love what you do here at dover. you take care of our fallen troops and they deserve the best and they deserved honor and dignity and respect and i want to show the world this amazing universe here. they took me into this room that is an incredible room and it has all the uniforms that you see and you know
when you go in the candy aisle and there's gummy bears and gummy worms and you pull a bag off and there's dozens of them, they have a room where you walk in and therefore manikins and the whole room almost as big as the space, it's every metal and every red and you can imagine, all of them. purple heart and medals of valor but whenyou step into that room , you feel the entirety of it. how many people were talking about here. and you see the ultimate sacrifice right there and the four americans, army, navy, air force and marines read every uniform is a machine can make and engraved, their nameplates and there they all are area and then there's another room which i won't ruin in the book so i'll keep the name but there's a room where you go in where it's all the thingsa soldier leaves behind when they die and it's the immediate things . it's your cell phone and your sunglasses, the visor that was next to your bed, a
wallet, a laptop but then there's those things they send to the family andthose are the heartbreaking ones. the pictures of young kids . across that they wear or the star of david or maybe it's your see things that are in their where you'll just see it's a wedding band or the most heartbreaking one of all , an unfinished letter that never going to get finished. writing to their son, writing to their daughter, telling them what they'rethinking that day and how much they miss them . you can say it doesn't say love dad or love mom, it's the perfect metaphor . a life unfinished. a letter unfinished and a life unfinished. it's heartbreaking and these people deserve all the love we can give them and if we can't bring them back, we can't experience their pain but we can make sure they're treated with honor and dignity and respect and they
knew that was the story i wanted to tell and i love we've been able to tell that story and i love how many people have read thebook and say i still admire it now and i hope that's why i don't make people nervous .but i'm other than i'm very fidgety . i see a young man, question in the back, shout it out area how did i meet christopher eliopolous? a great way to meet people is on the internet can we have a hand for every parent that brought their kidhere tonight ? you brought your child here and all we do is talk about war, i really appreciate it . every parent is going home with the best questions from their children tonight. that's my gift to you but chris eliopolous, that's a great question. chris and i, i'm going to have one of the eye handbooks . i'm chris because i lovehis work at marvel and the reason i looked him , he had this
cross between it always looked to me like peanuts meets calvin and hobbes. that's what he did and he did it over and over again and it's easy for an artist to do cute and funny but chris could do heart and i knew i wanted my kids to be off their phone and i want them to be off the screen and the only way you can do it is give them something better and i gave them chris. i'm not the secret weapon, chris is the weapon area it's chris's part yourkids are calling for and i knew if i gave them that they be like that adorable , and imet him truly on the internet . he followed me on twitter and we became friends and we have most mutual friends, don't talk to people on the internet kids, that's a joke. like i need this lawsuit. this town is bringing the lawsuits to, you know they are. every person that comesup , i'm a lawyer. i know and i met chris and we hit it off with the love of history andhe was an easy choice . we've been having a greattime
since . >> what your timeline for the release of i am neil armstrong. >> thank you sir, i appreciate that area he wants to know about the next kids book and let's talk quickly about them. in two months and may coming out with i am gandhi the graphic novel which is the same text as the i am gandhi kids book but when the election happens, i was just finishing i am gandhi and i have a 16-year-old son and the country was whipping ripping each other apart. remember election night? i was having none of that and i said you need to read this book and were stronger when wedon't hate each other . as opposed to putting anger in the world and i had him read the script . and it made me realize my son needed this and i need to get this older kids to middle school and high school kids
read to adults, let's be honest those of us who read comics so i brought on board everyone from a red to fill jiminez and bilson cabinets, the best comic book artist in the country rated their rolodex is and gave us their best amazing group of artists and the best part of it is everyone's working for free, even myself. i rewrote the book to make sure it's in graphic novel format and all the money goes to keep the peace and it all goes in gandhi's mission and that comes out inmay . right after that i'm doing superman for action comics number 1000 and which i'm so excited about because they're bringing back superman red trunks as i wrote them in, can we bring back thetrunks ? all want to wear our underwear on the outside of our pets . and superman is coming back underwear on the outside of his pants and my son says i don't like it like that and i said you're wrong, go to your
room . daddy is bringing it back. the man wears his underwear on the outside and he will be in action comics 1000 . we didn't know they were going to give us the okay for it but i came to the artist and i said we don't have the okay yet so if they don't give us the okay never draw him from the waist down because he's going to be wearing those trunks . i said no matter what happens, he was like i'm in. i can hide it with a k. that's it. and after that you have neil armstrong is the next handbook and that comes out in september. chris eliopolous has been begging me to do neil armstrong since book 1 and he wanted to do it more than abraham lincoln. but he finally got to draw it and he drew every rivet on every rocket and we sent it to our friend at nasa and we were nervous about this stuff, we always talk to
people when we did martin luther king jr. we had doctor kings, thefamily of his top lieutenants , we had the writers of march. we had a representative lewis read the book for us because he was there. we were just like this is what we have to do and when john lewis is reading your book, your like i hope i don't mess it up because it is like to so we sent to the guys who used to work at nasa and it came back and he said you guys are such a nerd area because we just went really deep and she said you're going to love the book and i'll tell you this one secret, don't tell anyone even though there's a national television audience but no one knows this we are doing it is when youread i am neil armstrong and i'm not going to say this at any other signing but i'll say here . when you read i am the armstrong wanted to do that scene when he gets to the moon he wants to look back at her and i wanted it to feel
as big as it looks and when we first drove it wasn't working so i did was i asked someone special on the book that when he looks back at a gate phone and. both ways and it's a giant spread like this and you get to see the entire earth from space and it's beautiful. so i am neil armstrong comes in december and one of the big projects no one knows about it in january i'm doing my first adult nonfiction book and i found this story about george washington that george washington during the revolutionary war, during the early battles in new york there was a secret plot against george washington. someone's going to kill and murder him, some said to kidnap him but a secret plot against george washington and when washington found out about it gather 20,000 troops, but the guy responsible for plotting against him and executed him in the largest public execution at that point in north american history. george washington brings down the hammer. these like that's what you do
to me, i am toward washington . put me on the george washington, b dollar bill, that's well dialogue by the way isdirectly . he said the old dollar but otherwiseit was all the same . but this george washington story is called the first conspiracy, the secret plot against george washington and the birth of the counterintelligence movement because you see how counterintelligenceoperations started after that , when someone took a shot at the big man we started fighting back so the first conspiracy comes out in january so those are the books that follow. will do a couple more questions real quick . >>. [inaudible] >> this smart young man, maybe the smartest and the whole room just pointed out that we do secret behind a couple of things in every book.
one, i am hidden in every book, chris draws me in every book, the ball where's waldo and we also hide the number 27 read we hide superman in there actually if you are the dc lawyers watching, it is totally not superman or clark can't. but we always hide the next hero in the next book and if you read i am. and you can find neil armstrong and he asks who is in the next book i should be looking for clearly you are the intelligence person in this crowd tonight . we are making them younger than ever and i'm not telling you atall but it's a good try, i appreciate . 2 morequestions . >> are the thoughts of any of your books becoming movies and would you want and if so which book would you pick. >> are they making any movie finally, what are youdoing? are doing tv . we might be doing tv.
and looking at someone in this room who knows exactly that we will be doing something in tv and we're not announcing but we will be doing it soon and it's not what you think . it's going to be great and when the time comes, trust me. i love secret. i can keep a secret. that dude can't. he keeps secrets and i can tell he's going to get them but me i would love for them to make a movie, i don't see anyone casting, the city and i are like cluny and everything and that's fine. they said the you know you look like that doctor in er and i always say cluny ? thanks for laughing at my handsomeness, i appreciate that but for me if they make it god bless, go with it. i love that i get to tell the stories. i love for 20 years now i've been able to tell these stories and whether they make the film or not, that's okay
with me. hollywood messes everything up anyway. other quick questions. >>. [inaudible] so my friend here who i knowforever , came to the sign at wegmans which was a supermarket and one of the craziest places i've ever signed and it is no question thewhite house . that's where it is and i got invited to this private lunch at the white house and not in a big area where all the reporters get to go but it was in the president's private dining room and i got invited to go there and when you go and use it in the white house, we're in the lincoln bedroom and you're walking through the president's private area and if the top two floors of the white house you know secret service up there, it's just you and it's the big deal area you feel it and use it down, you don't get accuracy. it's not like here where it's
like grab a seat, you've got. they tell you exactly where to set and there's a card and it's engraved with a picture of the white house and it says mister meltzer, it's the mostbeautiful card never seen. and as i sat down my first thought was i am totally stealing my card . and mrs. bush was first lady at the time leaned over to me and said you know brad, all the novices they always try to steal their card and i saidmrs. bush , where's ruth bader ginsburg and i took my card and my card is absolutely in my house. i got it, i stole it signing books up there is tremendous. i remember when bill clinton was president i was walking through the west wing and we were doing a book party and got to go in the west wing and we were like we put it on his desk? my one regret is we didn't because we would have gotten in so much trouble but it would have been worth it . to put the first book on the president's desk.
the only other place is right as clinton was leaving a friend of mine worked for the white house press office and we had the most genius marketing idea of all time and what we did was is we knew they were going, i think they were going to south africa and it was a far trip, it was somewhere far and what he did is he snuck me on the plane before they left from anders air force base and we took 50 copies of the book and we put it on every seat because we knew it wasn't like they had movies back then and there were going to be stuck and i said we are marketing geniuses and i think they were just use as pillows by everybody but it was a good thought. one last question and then we will sign some books. i'll take one adult and one kid. you be our last kid. >>. [inaudible] the best thing
about kids is they have a list of demands. so they come and tell me what the next book should be and i like everyone you pick, you did not pick obvious one read there was a kid in maryland and i to show you, this is true . i'm going to show you you can't make this stuff up. this is what the kid last night brought me. and hold on, i've got to pull it all out. it's going to be worth it, i promise. almost there. where did it go? here it is.this is what the kid asked for last night. i thought that's a short list and then they said she's lying. and the only thing, the thing that was great is this kid is totally crazy and then i saw the second to last person right above beethoven was brad meltzer and i said you're my favorite child of
all. don't tell them otherwise, i'm doing every single one on here . i live because that child is making me happy. last question, you got it. >> my nine-year-old wants me to get this, which you like the writing concept for kids. >> the question is can i do a contest for kids where i can collaborate with them. i can collaborate, i'm not payingthem . i would never do achild . this is what my own kids wanted to do so my daughter said one day he said dad, i want to write a book and i said i've waited my whole life to hear my child, my offspring to tell me she wants my job and were going to write a book together. this is it, we're ready. so we said the first thing we've got to make the cover so we made the title and it was about a dog because she loved dogs all time so it was a dog book and she had drawn a picture of the dog and i said now you put the author's name on the front so i put
her name on the front and then i was going to say was brad meltzer on the bottom and she said maybe we leave your name out.and i would like you just cutme out of this deal ? i said you're not going to be a writer, your hollywood agent and she totally caught me out and i said ruthless so i'm never working with children again. they will turn on you in undine but i do like that idea . let me wrap up with this because there's a lot of books to sign . and the only thing i really need to say is thank you. thank you of course the barnes and noble thank you for letting me have this writer's life. and i can tell you that when i look back at this life i know this wasn't again, it's not that it was my midlife crisis but it was trying to look and say how do we get better, where do we go from here and it sounds so crazy that in a book that focused so much on loss and the end-of-life that you can really find and you learn so
much about what living is read a line in the book that says because you're not dead doesn't mean you're alive and it's a vital line in "the escape artist" for me. just because you're not dead doesn't mean you're alive. someone said it and it's so smart that every person you meet is going through a battlethat you know nothing about .the kind you and to me i think all of us, whatever your battle is, come back to life. estate. install the thing. we always think estate means runaway but when you want to be an escape artist i don't think it's about running away . i think it's about starting with forgiveness and it's about turning it on yourself and it's about joining us back in the land of the living on this night i think about my father and lost that i suffered those years ago when he died i don't have that sadness and in fact someone just wrote me area it was an amazing story my dad
was actually struck by lightning and his father was struck by lightning and that's crazy. that defies all odds and i thought to myself, i remember even when my dad would tell the story it seems like nonsense. what are the odds to people in the same family were struck by lightning and my dad was a kid when it happened and i thought he imagined it or made it up and i said at his funeral and when i wrote his eulogy i said i don't know if it's true but i love the story and i'm naked making it a metaphor and my dad got stuck by lightning and a few weeks after a guy likes to me through email or through the website and he said hey brad, the one pass along the eulogy you wrote for your father and you said you didn't know if he got struck by lightning and i want to tell you that he did as i was there that day i was there and i saw it and it happens to me to and
he tells the story exactly how my father told, he was a friend of my dad and in that moment this email that i had opened, this letter this man is me became the most important person in the whole world by doing the easiest thing of all which was showing some kindness and reaching out. i had reached out and he reached back so again, forgiveness. given this and i love every single person that supports these books and i love all those who help me in the best way , not running away but running together thank you coming out to support the escape artist and thanks for supporting every crazy tv idea we have especially the one that's coming but thank you for letting me do this for 20 years and dad, this one is for you.i love you. >> coming up this afternoon president from hold a news conference at the white house read live coverage five
featured on c-span2 and also available online at c-span2 or listen with the free c-span radio app. we are featuring programs as a preview of what's available every weekend on c-span2 and that the eastern new york times journalist nikita stewart reported on a girl scout troop boarded for girls living in a homeless shelter in new york city. that's what the creation of similar troops around the country . and then american interests inhibiting editor robert offers her thoughts on why some americans are moving away from traditional religion. later journalist erica barnett looked at the addiction in america and discuss her own struggles with alcoholism and enjoy tv on c-span2. >>. >> c-span2, created by america's