Brad Meltzer, author of the new book The House of Secrets, joined The Glenn Beck Program on Friday to discuss his obsession with Benedict Arnold and how he wove the infamous traitor into his latest novel.
The premise surrounds the host of a conspiracy TV show whose daughter wakes up in a hospital with no memory.
"She finds out there's been an accident that's killed her father, who is the host, as you said, of a conspiracy TV show, just like my life," Meltzer explained. "But the FBI tells her the last person her father was seen with was actually also found dead, and he had an object stuffed into his body --- a priceless book that belonged to Benedict Arnold."
When Meltzer's heroine returns home, she finds guns that were not there before and scars on her body she can't explain. Only by solving her father's murder can she figure out what happened and who she really is.
"That's what I love about your books. I spend a lot of time reading your books with the iPad next to me...and then going down a wormhole of history for a while and then back to your book. I love that," Glenn said.
What inspired Meltzer to include one of America's most infamous historical figures in The House of Secrets? It was a trip to the national archives many years ago.
"They take me to one of their treasure vaults, and in the treasure vault, they hand me a sheet of paper...from the Revolutionary War. And on the top of the sheet of paper, it says it's an oath of allegiance," Meltzer revealed.
During the Revolutionary War, George Washington had his top military advisers sign an oath of allegiance stating, "I do solemnly swear, I will be forever true to this country." The military has a similar tradition today, having new enlistments raise their right hand and swear loyalty and faithfulness to the U.S.
One signature on the Revolutionary War era oath caught Meltzer's attention.
"The one they hand me, Glenn, is --- they're all numbered in the corner, one, two, three, four --- the fifth one is signed by a guy named Benedict Arnold," Meltzer said.
"Wow," Glenn responded.
In that moment, Benedict Arnold came alive to Meltzer, inspiring The House of Secrets.
As students of history, Glenn and his guest had much more to discuss, including Tiger Woods, Ted Cruz and Donald Trump.
Listen to this segment from The Glenn Beck Program:
Featured Image: Brad Meltzer speaks on stage during THRIVE: A Third Metric Live Event at New York City Center on April 25, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by D Dipasupil/Getty Images)