Brown in 2015
|Born||Daniel Gerhard Brown
June 22, 1964
Exeter, New Hampshire, U.S.
|Language||Spanish and English|
|Alma mater||Amherst College|
|Genre||Thriller, adventure, mystery, conspiracy|
|Notable works||Digital Fortress
Angels & Demons
The Da Vinci Code
The Lost Symbol
|Spouse||Blythe Newlon (m. 1997)|
The more science I studied, the more I saw that physics becomes metaphysics and numbers become imaginary numbers. The farther you go into science, the mushier the ground gets. You start to say, 'Oh, there is an order and a spiritual aspect to science.'
The power that religion has is that you think nothing is random: If there's a tragedy in my life, that's God testing me or sending me a message.
Two thousand years ago, we lived in a world of Gods and Goddesses. Today, we live in a world solely of Gods. Women in most cultures have been stripped of their spiritual power.
Well, you know, in any novel you would hope that the hero has someone to push back against, and villains – I find the most interesting villains those who do the right things for the wrong reasons, or the wrong things for the right reasons. Either one is interesting. I love the gray area between right and wrong.
For me, a good thriller must teach me something about the real world. Thrillers like 'Coma,' 'The Hunt for Red October' and 'The Firm' all captivated me by providing glimpses into realms about which I knew very little – medical science, submarine technology and the law.
I will not write a lame follow-up. It could take me 20 years. But I will never turn in a book that I'm not happy with.
If you believe the people who love you, you get lazy. And if you believe the people who hate you, you become… maybe intimidated, or whatever the word might be, and you don't write as well.
I often will write a scene from three different points of view to find out which has the most tension and which way I'm able to conceal the information I'm trying to conceal. And that is, at the end of the day, what writing suspense is all about.
I don't read horror, ever. When I was 15, I made the mistake of reading part of 'The Exorcist.' It was the first and last horror book I've ever opened.
We did not have a television while I was growing up, and so I read voraciously. My earliest memory of being utterly transfixed by a book was Madeleine L'Engle's 'A Wrinkle in Time.'
Writing is a solitary existence. Making a movie is controlled chaos – thousands of moving parts and people. Every decision is a compromise. If you're writing and you don't like how your character looks or talks, you just fix it. But in a movie, if there's something you don't like, that's tough.
There is a statistic I heard a number of years ago: if you know somebody who is 85 years old, that person was born into a world that had a third as many people as the world does today. The population has tripled in the past 85 years.
I think one reason my books have found mainstream success is that they're written from a skeptical point of view.
Art historians agree that Da Vinci's paintings contain hidden levels of meaning that go well beneath the surface of the paint. Many scholars believe his work intentionally provides clues to a powerful secret… a secret that remains protected to this day by a clandestine brotherhood of which Da Vinci was a member.
I'm constantly trying to keep people guessing as to what I'm doing, and I will spend enormous amounts of time looking at manuscripts and asking questions, and people will say, 'I know what his next book is about.'
I read nonfiction almost exclusively – both for research and also for pleasure. When I read fiction, it's almost always in the thriller genre, and it needs to rivet me in the opening few chapters.
My sincere hope is that 'The Da Vinci Code,' in addition to entertaining people, will serve as an open door to begin their own explorations.
If a reviewer is beating me up, I just say, 'Oh well, my writing is not to his or her taste.' And that's as far as it goes. Because I will simultaneously read a review where somebody says, 'Oh my God, I had so much fun reading this book and I learned so much.'
I still get up every morning at 4 A.M. I write seven days a week, including Christmas. And I still face a blank page every morning, and my characters don't really care how many books I've sold.
I've learned that universal acceptance and appreciation is just an unrealistic goal.
It's funny, I don't know where I would place myself in the literary landscape. I really just write the book that I would want to read. I put on the blinders, and I really – it is, for me, that simple.
I have written a lot about the fine arts, but I'd never written about the literary arts, and so on some level Dante really, you know, spoke to me, as new ground but also familiar ground.
Suggesting a married Jesus is one thing, but questioning the Resurrection undermines the very heart of Christian belief.
I'm fascinated by power, especially veiled power. Shadow power. The National Security Agency. The National Reconnaissance Office. Opus Dei. The idea that everything happens for reasons we're not quite seeing.
I remember devouring the entire Hardy Boys series over one summer, enthralled by their bravery and cleverness.
Transhumanism is the ethics and science of using things like biological and genetic engineering to transform our bodies and make us a more powerful species.
My interest in secret societies is the product of many experiences, some I can discuss, others I cannot.
I was already writing 'The Lost Symbol' when I started to realize 'The Da Vinci Code' would be big. The thing that happened to me and must happen to any writer who's had success is that I temporarily became very self-aware.
That is the definition of faith – acceptance of that which we imagine to be true, that which we cannot prove.
I am a completely horizontal author. I can't think unless I'm lying down, either in bed or stretched on a couch and with a cigarette and coffee handy. I've got to be puffing and sipping.
If you ask three people what it means to be Christian, you will get three different answers. Some feel being baptized is sufficient. Others feel you must accept the Bible as immutable historical fact. Still others require a belief that all those who do not accept Christ as their personal savior are doomed to hell.
I write slowly. I actually write quickly, but I throw out so much material.
I learned early on not to listen to either critique – the people who love you or the people who don't like you.
I write seven days a week, starting at 4 o'clock in the morning, including Christmas.
Futurists don't consider overpopulation one of the issues of the future. They consider it the issue of the future.
I consider myself a student of many religions. The more I learn, the more questions I have. For me, the spiritual quest will be a life-long work in progress.
I'm somebody who likes codes and ciphers and chases and artwork and architecture, and all the things you find in a Robert Langdon thriller.
It's kind of a catch-22 now because since the 'Da Vinci Code,' I have access to places and people that I didn't have access to before, so that's a lot of fun for somebody like me, but I'm always trying to keep a secret. I don't want people to know what I'm writing about.
I think I was a shy kid. I grew up without television. I had a dog, and we lived up in the White Mountains in the summer, and I had no friends up there. And I would just go play hide-and-seek with my dog and probably had some imaginary friends.
I spend my life essentially alone at a computer. That doesn't change. I have the same challenges every day.
There's a lot of stress… but once you get in the car, all that goes out the window.
I've been through a lot. I've thought a lot about life, and I've spent a lot of time studying history and science.
Washington, D.C., has everything that Rome, Paris and London have in the way of great architecture – great power bases. Washington has obelisks and pyramids and underground tunnels and great art and a whole shadow world that we really don't see.
It's not about what you tell the reader, it's about what you conceal.
Faith is a continuum, and we each fall on that line where we may. By attempting to rigidly classify ethereal concepts like faith, we end up debating semantics to the point where we entirely miss the obvious – that is, that we are all trying to decipher life's big mysteries, and we're each following our own paths of enlightenment.
I don't know where I would place myself in the literary landscape. I really just write the book that I would want to read. And I put on the blinders, and I really – it is, for me, that simple.