Cedric the Entertainer knows where you live

At D.C. Comics, Brad Meltzer has made a name for himself writing such titles as Justice League, Green Arrow and Identity Crisis, but Meltzer is also a big player in another D.C.—Washington, D.C. Last year, he was invited by Homeland Security to join an anti-terrorism think tank, and he recently hung out with both George W. Bush and Bill Clinton. Plus, the Globe just interviewed him. Coincidence? Perhaps not. WHAT’S YOUR NEW BOOK ABOUT? You want to hear the version that the publisher wants me to tell you, or do you want to hear what I really think it’s about? I WANT THE VERSION THAT THE FREEMASONS DON’T WANT ME TO KNOW ABOUT. Yeah, that’s good marketing. The Book of Fate is about a young presidential aide who watches his friend die and many years later finds out his dead friend is actually alive and on the run. Finding out what really happened takes him through secrets buried in Freemason history and a 200-year-old code invented by Thomas Jefferson. But the book is really about the transformation of this Wes character and all these characters as they grapple with trying to figure out what really is important in life. There’s no question that this book is meant to make you turn the pages, and me using the Freemasons is me playing on your fears of the great American bogeyman. WHILE AT THE SAME TIME LEARNING ABOUT THEMSELVES. IT’S LIKE THE WONDER YEARS WITH CONSPIRACY AND EXPLOSIONS. No, that’s what you would say. There’s nothing easier in Hollywood than to take any idea and reduce it to the first scene of The Player, but again, I really do think this is something that isn’t that. I think the Freemasons are fascinating. I’m obsessed with any secret society that can have John Wayne, Mark Twain, Harry Houdini, Bob Dole and Jesse Jackson all in the same club. AND CEDRIC THE ENTERTAINER. HOW BIG A ROLE DOES HE PLAY IN YOUR BOOK? Cedric is pretty much what it’s about. When I think Freemason, I think Cedric the Entertainer. What movie doesn’t sell with Cedric doing the funny-guy role? SPEAKING OF MOVIES, NATIONAL TREASURE IS ABOUT THE FREEMASONS. IS THERE ACTUALLY A NATIONAL TREASURE? I thought we got past the Cedric the Entertainer question. [Meltzer will be reading from The Book of Fate on Wednesday, 9.20.06, at the Brookline Booksmith, 279 Harvard St., Brookline. 617.566.6660. 7pm/free.]