Dan Brown

Best known for writing the bestselling novels Digial Fortress, Angels and Demons The Lost Symbol and The Da Vinci Code, the American thriller Author Dan Brown was born June 22, 1964. Typically Brown’s novels are fast paced treasure hunts set during a short period of time, which feature the recurring themes of history and Christianity as well as cryptography, keys, symbols, codes, and conspiracy theories. His interest in secrets and puzzles stems from their presence in his household as a child, where codes and ciphers were the linchpin tying together the mathematics, music and languages in which his parents worked. The young Brown spent hours working out anagrams and crossword puzzles, and he and his siblings participated in elaborate treasure hunts devised by their father on birthdays and holidays. On Christmas, for example, Brown and his siblings did not find gifts under the tree, but followed a treasure map with codes and clues throughout their house and even around town to find the gifts.Brown’s relationship with his father inspired that ofSophie Neveu and Jacques Sauniere in The Da Vinci Code, and Chapter 23 of that novel was inspired by one of his childhood treasure hunts. After graduating from Phillips Exeter, Brown attended Amherst College, where he was a member of Psi Upsilon fraternity. He played squash, sang in the Amherst Glee Club, and was a writing student of visiting novelist Alan Lelchuk. Brown spent the 1985 school year abroad in Seville, Spain, where he was enrolle in an art history course at the University of Seville. Brown graduated from Amherst in 1986.

After graduating from Amherst, Brown dabbled with a musical career, creating effects with a synthesizer, and self-producing a children’s cassette entitled SynthAnimals, which included a collection of tracks such as “Happy Frogs” and “Suzuki Elephants”; it sold a few hundred copies. He then formed his own record company called Dalliance, and in 1990 self-published a CD entitled Perspective, targeted to the adult market, which also sold a few hundred copies.In 1991 he moved to Hollywood to pursue a career as singer-songwriter and pianist. To support himself, he taught classes at Beverly Hills Preparatory School.He also joined the National Academy of Songwriters, and participated in many of its events. It was there that he met Blythe Newlon, a woman 12 years his senior, who was the Academy’s Director of Artist Development. Though it was not officially part of her job, she took on the seemingly unusual task of helping to promote Brown’s projects; she wrote press releases, set up promotional events, and put him in contact with people who could be helpful to his career. She and Brown also developed a personal relationship, though this was not known to all of their associates until 1993, when Brown moved back to New Hampshire, and it was learned that Newlon would accompany him. They married in 1997, at Pea Porridge Pond, near Conway, New Hampshire.

On 1993 Brown released the CD Dan Brown, which included songs such as “976-Love” and “If You Believe in Love.”In 1994 Brown released a CD titled Angels & Demons. Its artwork was the same ambigram by artist John Langdon which he later used for the novel Angels & Demons. The liner notes also again credited his wife for her involvement, thanking her “for being my tireless cowriter, coproducer, second engineer, significant other, and therapist.” The CD included songs such as “Here in These Fields” and the religious ballad “All I Believe.” Brown and his wife moved to his home town in New Hampshire in 1993. Brown became an English teacher at his alma mater Phillips Exeter, and gave Spanish classes to 6th, 7th, and 8th graders at Lincoln Akerman School, a small school for K–8th grade with about 250 students, in Hampton Falls. While on holiday in Tahiti in 1993, Brown read Sidney Sheldon’s novel The Doomsday Conspiracy, and was inspired to become a writer of thrillers. He started work on Digital Fortress, setting much of it in Seville, where he had studied in 1985. He also co-wrote a humor book with his wife, 187 Men to Avoid: A Guide for the Romantically Frustrated Woman, under the pseudonym “Danielle Brown.” The book’s author profile reads, “Danielle Brown currently lives in New England: teaching school, writing books, and avoiding men.” The copyright is attributed to Dan Brown.

In 1996 Brown quit teaching to become a full-time writer. Digital Fortress was published in 1998. His wife, Blythe, did much of the book’s promotion, writing press releases, booking Brown on talk shows, and setting up press interviews. A few months later, Brown and his wife released The Bald Book, another humor book. It was officially credited to his wife, though a representative of the publisher said that it was primarily written by Brown. Brown subsequently wrote Angels & Demons and Deception Point, released in 2000 and 2001 respectively, the former of which was the first to feature the lead character, Harvard symbology expert Robert Langdon.Brown’s first three novels had little success, with fewer than 10,000 copies in each of their first printings. His fourth novel, The Da Vinci Code, became a bestseller, going to the top of the New York Times Best Seller list during its first week of release in 2003. It is now credited with being one of the most popular books of all time, with 81 million copies sold worldwide as of 2009. Brown’s third novel featuring Robert Langdon, The Lost Symbol, was released on September 15, 2009. The story takes place in Washington D.C. over a period of 12 hours, and features the Freemasons and Brown’s fourth novel is the mystery thriller Inferno which also features Robert Langdon,

His books have been translated into 52 languages, and as of 2012, sold over 200 million copies (a lot of which can be found in Charity shops). Two of them, have also been adapted into films – The Da Vinci Code, directed by Ron Howard and and starring Tom Hanks as Robert Langdon, Audrey Tautou as Sophie Neveu and Sir Ian McKellen as Sir Leigh Teabing And Angels & Demons, with Howard and Hanks returning. Filmmakers have also expressed interest in adapting The Lost Symbol into a film as well.

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