Thriller Author Dan Brown - Dark Streets
Unless you’re living under a rock, everyone’s heard of The Da Vinci Code – and its’ author, Dan Brown – but did you know he was also a songwriter?
Dan Brown was born and raised in Exeter, New Hampshire, USA, the eldest of three children. Brown grew up on the campus of Phillips Exeter Academy, where his father, Richard G. Brown, was a teacher of mathematics, and wrote textbooks from 1968 until his retirement in 1997. Both of Brown's parents are also singers and musicians, having served as church choir masters.
Brown's 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 of Sophie 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 enrolled 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.
In 1996, Brown quit teaching to become a full-time writer. Brown's first three novels (among them Angels & Demons) 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. Its success has helped push sales of Brown's earlier books. In 2004, all four of his novels were on the New York Times list in the same week, and in 2005, he made Time magazine's list of the 100 most influential people of the year. Forbes magazine placed Brown at No. 12 on their 2005 "Celebrity 100" list, and estimated his annual income at US$76.5 million. The Times estimated his income from The Da Vinci Code sales as $250 million.
Brown's third novel featuring Robert Langdon, The Lost Symbol, was released on September 15, 2009. According to the publisher, on its first day the book sold over one million in hardcover and e-book versions in the U.S., the U.K. and Canada, prompting the printing of 600,000 hardcover copies in addition to the five million first printing. The story takes place in Washington D.C. over a period of 12 hours, and features the Freemasons. Brown's promotional website states that puzzles hidden in the book jacket of The Da Vinci Code, including two references to the Kryptos sculpture at CIA Headquarters in Langley, Virginia, give hints about the sequel. Brown has stated that he has ideas for about 12 future books featuring Robert Langdon. Brown is currently at work on a new book as well as the Columbia Pictures film version of his most recent novel, The Lost Symbol.
I confess, I’d never heard of Dan Brown until a friend told me about The Da Vinci Code – and then I was hooked! Not only did I enjoy escaping into the world of Robert Langdon, now I am also a puzzle aficianado! My favorite, though, I confess, is Angels & Demons. Although Da Vinci Code is the better known, to me Angels & Demons more fully fleshes out the character of Langdon – plus it’s a very enticing mystery and suspenseful story!
Synopsis of The Lost Symbol:
Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon is summoned unexpectedly to deliver an evening lecture in the U.S. Capitol Building. Within minutes of his arrival, however, the night takes a bizarre turn. A disturbing object —artfully encoded with five symbols—is discovered in the Capitol Building. Langdon recognizes the object as an ancient invitation . . . one meant to usher its recipient into a long-lost world of esoteric wisdom.
When Langdon's beloved mentor, Peter Solomon—a prominent Mason and philanthropist —is brutally kidnapped, Langdon realizes his only hope of saving Peter is to accept this mystical invitation and follow wherever it leads him. Langdon is instantly plunged into a clandestine world of Masonic secrets, hidden history, and never-before-seen locations—all of which seem to be dragging him toward a single, inconceivable truth
So, take a venture into the world of Robert Langdon – if you haven’t read Angels & Demons, The Da Vinci Code or The Lost Symbol – what are you waiting for?
Toni LoTempio – admin by day, writer by night! In addition to writing the suspense column for Nigh Owl, Toni writes paranormal suspense and mysteries, among them, Raven’s Kiss, MY SUPERHERO SISTER, Raven’s Quest and NO REST FOR THE WICCA available at Amazon.com and B&N.com. Toni’s cat, ROCCO, occasionally lets her on his blog, www.catsbooksmorecats.blogspot.com, which features interviews with authors and giveaways each month. Toni and her blogging cat ROCCO also do work for Nathan Fillion’s charity, KIDS NEED TO READ, (Rocco is its official spokescat!) and Toni is featured in the paranormal anthology, EVERY WITCH WAY BUT WICKED, available at Amazon and Barnes and Noble, whose proceeds benefit the charity!