Writers » DAN BROWN
|Full name||: Dan Brown|
|Alias||: Dan Brown|
|Address||: Exeter, New Hampshire U.S|
|Animals||: The Dragon|
|Father||: Richard G. Brown|
|Wife||: Blythe Brown (m. 1997)|
|Education||: Amherst College Phillips Exeter Academy University of Seville|
For lovers of secrets, codes, symbols and conspiracies, books by Dan Brown are ultimate fixtures of excitement, ecstasy and exhilaration. Set in a 24-hour period, they engulf the mind, body, heart and soul of the readers completely, with their themes of cryptography, keys, symbols and codes. Interestingly, so much for the treasure hunts, reading them would not have been possible if Dan Brown hadn’t drawn inspiration from Sidney Sheldon’s ‘The Doomsday Conspiracy’ to become a writer! A musician by profession, Dan Brown switched to the vocation of writing full-time later on. However, his move was just the perfect one as he mastered the skill that thriller-based novels demanded and went on to become one of the most celebrated writers of the genre. In a writing career spanning a little over the decade, Brown has come up with classic novels some of which are ‘Angels & Demons’, ‘The Da Vinci Code’, ‘The Lost Symbol’ and ‘Inferno’. Amusingly, all the aforementioned novels have the same protagonist, Robert Langdon, a Harvard symbology expert. Additionally, they share historical themes and Christianity as motifs. Most of his works have garnered immense positive response from the publics and the critics, selling over 200 million copies as of 2012. Also, his books have been translated into 52 languages, while two of them, ‘Angels & Demons’ and ‘The Da Vinci Code’ have been adapted into films.
Along with his siblings, Dan Brown has donated US$2.2 million to Phillips Exeter Academy in honor of their father, to set up the Richard G. Brown Technology Endowment to help provide computers and high-tech equipment for students in need. It was a homage paid to the 35 years of hard work and dedication that Richard G. Brown paid to the academy.
Brown and his wife Blythe have been actively involved in charitable works. They are active supporters of the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation. Additionally, they have created the Dan /86 and Blythe Brown Scholarship Fund to celebrate his 25th reunion from Amherst College. It is a permanently endowed scholarship fund at the college whose income provides financial aid to students there, preferably those with an interest in writing.
‘Angels & Demons’ set the stage for the best to come from Dan Brown. It was the first novel that introduced the character of Robert Langdon, which was subsequently seen in the future works of Brown. The book became 2000’s bestselling mystery-thriller novel.
‘The Da Vinci Code’ is till date the bestselling book from the Brown camp. With over 81 million copies sold worldwide as of 2009, the book topped the New York Best Seller list in its first week of release itself. Brown is estimated to have earned about $250 million from this book itself.
‘The Lost Symbol’ replicated the success story of ‘The Da Vinci Code’, selling over one million in hardcover and e-book versions in the U.S., the U.K. and Canada. It was number one on the New York Times Best Seller list for hardcover fiction for the first six weeks of its release, and remained on the list for 29 weeks.
‘Inferno’ till date is the latest book released by Brown. It debuted as the bestselling book in the US and UK. In its first two weeks, the book had sold around 580,000 copies.
Dan Brown was born in Exeter, New Hampshire to Richard G. Brown, a mathematics teacher, and Connie Brown, a music professor. He was the eldest of the three children and was raised as an Episcopalian.
Since young, Brown was comfortable dealing with multiple disciplines, which the world assumed to be poles apart from each other. Growing up in a household where science and religion coexisted peacefully, Brown got the taste of best of both the worlds. While the foundation of science rested on proofs, claims, equations and codes, religion relied on faith alone.
Educationally, Brown completed his formal education from Philips Exeter Academy after which he enrolled himself at the Amherst College. At the college, Brown was an active student. He was a member of Psi Upsilon fraternity and was also a writing student of visiting novelist Alan Lelchuk. He sang at the Amherst Glee Club and also played squash.
In 1985, Brown went to Seville Spain, to do an art history course from the University of Seville.
He completed his graduation from Amherst College, Massachusetts in 1986.
Brown’s relocation to Los Angeles in the year 1991 paid handsome results personally; as it was there that he met his lady love Blythe Newlon. Despite working in the position of Director of Artist Development for the National Academy of Songwriters, Newlon was instantly attracted to Brown who was 12 years his junior.
Blythe started helping Brown to promote his career using the power of her position. In 1993, when Brown moved back to New Hampshire, Newlon tagged along with him, thus proclaiming their love to the world for the first time.
The two tied the knot in 1997 at Pea Porridge Pond, near Conway, New Hampshire. Over the years, Newlon has been the pillar of strength and the backbone for Brown. She has assisted him in numerous projects, helping him in the research and like.
Interestingly, writing was not the first career option for this outstanding writer, who initially took to music and songwriting as the preferred vocational option.
The treasure hunt games played as a child during Christmas and holidays devised by his father lead him to inculcate the same in the books written by him so much so that Chapter 23 of the ‘The Da Vinci Code’ was inspired by one of his childhood treasure hunts
Characters in his books are often inspired from real life people. For instance, the protagonist, Robert Langdon is named after John Langdon, the artist who created the ambigrams used for the Angels & Demons CD and novel. Editor Jonas Faukman is named after the writer’s real life editor Jason Kaufman.