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EXCLUSIVE: Dan Brown answers our Facebook fans' questions

Dan Brown Inferno

He’s in the UK on a whistlestop tour to promote his latest thriller Inferno, but we managed to grab a few minutes with top author Dan Brown to ask him some of our Facebook fans’ burning questions.

In his answers, the Da Vinci Code author reveals all about his writing method, his inspiration and which of his characters he wishes he could be.

Inferno – out now in hardback for just £9 – is inspired by Dante’s Inferno and throws Harvard professor Robert Langdon into the harrowing world of this mysterious literary masterpiece.

More than 100 people on our Facebook page submitted questions for Dan to answer – he chose his favourite 10. Here’s what he had to say:

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Katie Whiteley

Katie Whitley: You obviously have a vision of how you see each book in its finished state, but are you a writer who plans every detail before you write or do you see what happens as you go along and amend it where necessary?

Dan Brown

Dan Brown: I plan before I write, and always know the direction I am taking, but I do edit as I go along.

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Paul Witney

Paul Witney: If you could be any fictional character, who would you be and why?

Dan Brown

Dan Brown: I guess I’d be Robert Langdon, because he gets to do all the things that I really love to do!

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Leigh Bartram

Leigh Bartram: What inspired you to become a writer and do you have any favourite authors?

Dan Brown

Dan Brown: My parents nurtured my love of writing. I wrote my first book aged five. My mother and I published just one copy and bound it in cardboard covers.

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Andy Gardiner

Andy Gardiner: How much research do you put in for each novel and what sparks the idea for a new one?

Dan Brown

Dan Brown: I put in a huge amount of research and travel in preparation for writing. I’m fascinated in art and literature and ideas that spring from those areas often inspire themes in my novels.

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Carol Gregory

Carol Gregory: Do you get stuck for an ending or do you have an ending when you start to write?

Dan Brown

Dan Brown: I have an ending when I start to write. It’s always been that way. I don’t get stuck there!

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Raven Clare Crook

Raven Clare Crook: Who or what inspired the character Robert Langdon?

Dan Brown

Dan Brown: Robert Langdon is an amalgam of many of my childhood teachers and professors, no one stands out in particular.

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Lucy MacGregor

Lucy MacGregor: Which of your books did you enjoy the most?

Dan Brown

Dan Brown: Of all my books, I enjoyed writing Inferno the most.

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Nick Liddle

Nick Liddle: What was the first thing you ever wrote and when did you write it?

Dan Brown

Dan Brown: The first book I wrote was called “The Giraffe, The Pig and The Pants on Fire” I dictated to my mother when I was only five. We did a print run of one, so actually published it in cardboard binding.

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Sally Welbourn

Sally Welbourn: All of your books are fast paced and engaging for the reader. What techniques do you use to keep the momentum going and how integral is this to your novels?

Dan Brown

Dan Brown: Momentum is integral to my writing. I use a lot of physical motion. Langdon moves through the landscape all the time. I believe that suspense is created best by withholding information and I edit very heavily to keep things trim.

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M L Robertson

M L Robertson: As an aspiring novelist I would be very interested to hear how you motivate yourself to commit to your daily writing routine and how many words of content you approximately produce per day/week?

Dan Brown

Dan Brown: I do not set out to write a certain number of words in a day. I set out to write a certain number of hours. The problem with writing a certain number of words is that if you are having a good day and you reach that number of words quickly, you stop when you are on a roll. In contrast if you are having a terrible day, you could waste your whole day getting to that number of words and having to delete them anyway. I would recommend choosing a comfortable number of hours to write everyday instead.

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Posted in News & Blogs on 23 May 2013
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