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Ian Caldwell and Dustin Thomason both grew up in the suburbs of Washington, D.C., and have been best friends since they were 8. Together they have crafted a seamless work of fiction, "The Rule of Four " (Dial Books, 2004), which centers on a real Renaissance text in which a hidden code is buried. The concept for the novel evolved from a final paper Mr. Caldwell wrote for an undergraduate seminar. For five more years, the authors spent countless hours brainstorming ideas, working scene structures and discussing character arcs to produce this New York Times best-seller. Mr. Caldwell graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Princeton University in 1998. Mr. Thomason won the Hoopes Prize for undergraduate writing and graduated from Harvard in 1998.