This weekend’s Parade magazine has an exclusive interview with Dan Brown.
In the interview, Brown discusses his spiritual beliefs, his fascination with the Sacred Feminine and why he set The Lost Symbol in Washington D.C.
But he begins by revealing how fame–and fortune–initially held up work on his latest novel, which has been six years in the making:
How did the success of The Da Vinci Code affect your next book?
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. Instead of writing and saying, “This is what the character does,” you say, “Wait, millions of people are going to read this.” It’s sort of like a tennis player who thinks too hard about a stroke–you’re temporarily crippled.
How did you get out of it?
The furor died down, and I realized that none of it had any relevance to what I was doing. I’m just a guy who tells a story.
With a lot more money.
There were dramatic life changes. Most, but not all, were wonderful. You lose your privacy, and that’s really the big thing.
Are there any parallels between your new novel and The Da Vinci Code?
There are parallels between it and all my other books. I’m back in the same world of symbols, secret societies, art, and history.
In the same issue, Parade editor Janice Kaplan also writes about the photo shoot that accompanies the article and how Brown is prevented from leading an ordinary life because of his fame.
Our PARADE photo shoot went quickly, and we were done earlier than expected. Quite relaxed now, Brown said he’d like to go get “a beverage” at the bar of the nearby Regency Hotel.
But his publicist looked worried. Maybe she didn’t want him in a public spot. Or she didn’t want him seen sitting in a bar at 4 p.m. She suggested they go back to the office and work.
Brown sighed. For a brief moment he’d anticipated the simple pleasure of being a super-mega-bestselling author: a guy who could get a drink in the afternoon at an elegant bar. But it wasn’t to be.
It must have felt a bit like what he experienced after all those orders [for the Da Vinci Code] came pouring in from Barnes & Noble. All would be wonderful. But then, for some reason, it wasn’t.
Life After ‘The Da Vinci Code’ (Parade)
Paul Berger, Contributing Editor, Secrets of the Lost Symbol.