Everybody has an opinion about Dan Brown. Some love the 45-year-old best-selling author of The Da Vinci Code and have already snapped up their copy of The Lost Symbol, which went on sale Sept. 15. Others suggest that he represents all that is bland and over-processed in publishing today. When I met with Brown, I found him pleasant and likable, even comfortably dorky. Here’s some of what he had to say (you can read the complete profile in this week’s EW).
You published two novels to little fanfare before The Da Vinci Code. At what point did you realize your days of obscurity were over?
I was out in Portland on book tour when I got news that it was debuting at #1. And I was all alone. I don’t even remember if I had a cellphone. I walked into the hotel where I was staying and the front desk said “Mr. Brown, we have a fax for you.” And it was just a huge number one. (wiping tears from his eyes) I still have that fax. It’s in a scrapbook.
With all the hoopla surrounding the publication of The Lost Symbol, do you miss that sensation of being newly discovered?
Now there’s enormous anticipation, enormous expectation. If the book weren’t good I’d be terrified. There’s so many critics who complain that I’m not William Shakespeare or William Faulkner or whoever it is. That’s exactly the point. They’re right. I write books in a very specific and intentional way, blending fact and fiction, writing in a very modern, efficient style that just serves the story. Some people understand what I’m doing and other people should just go read somebody else.