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ABC on Freemasonry

ABC News ran a feature this week which referenced Freemasonry and its probable appearance in Dan Brown's next book. The video is available online, and looks to be shot within the House of the Temple in Washington, D.C.

Solomon Slip?

The Telegraph recently posted an interview with Amazon UK managing director Brian McBride, and in it the reporter makes mention that "the launch of the secret new offering from The Da Vinci Code author Dan Brown later this year will be another major event for Amazon." Is the reporter taking a stab in the dark, or did they get some inside information from McBride?

In related news, a recent story on the 'Harry Potter effect' on the business of publishing quotes Brown's publisher Stephen Rubin: "I surely would hesitate before trying to do something like 12 million copies for Dan Brown's next book, but thanks largely to Potter, we can think about numbers we wouldn't have imagined before." So at least it seems there's something happening with the next book, however minor!

No Solomon Key in 2007

The Bookseller is reporting that it is unlikely we will see a new Dan Brown novel before the end of the year. Brown's UK publisher has said that the Da Vinci follow-up had been budgeted in for 2007 but that Brown had yet to send any material.

It is in the budget, but it was in the budget last year. There is still a chance it will be this year; we just don't know. He'll deliver, I am sure, but I don't know when. It will be published when it's published.

Considering it is usually a 6 month to 2 year turnaround between publishers first seeing a manuscript, and actual publication, the book is certainly unlikely to come out this year (unless his publisher is being secretive).

Dan Brown Donates a Million

Dan Brown has donated a million dollars to a community centre project in his local area (Exeter). This isn't the first time that Brown has supported his local community - three years ago, he donated $2.2 million to his alma mater, Phillips Exeter Academy.

Inside the House of the Temple

Smithsonian.com has a short article taking a look inside the 'House of the Temple' in Washington, D.C. This classic building is the headquarters of Scottish Rite Freemasonry, and is the resting place of Civil War general and Scottish Rite founder Albert Pike. As mentioned in my book, this is likely to be a plot location for The Solomon Key (and Pike's history could well play a part also). There's some information about this in the free sample chapter available here onsite.

Solomon Key Confirmed?

There has been some speculation about whether Dan Brown decided to drop 'The Solomon Key' as the title of his next book, due to an ambiguously worded story by USA Today writer Carol Memmott. There may be clues now though that TSK will indeed be the title of the upcoming book. The domains solomonkey.com and solomonkey.net were due to expire today, but on Friday both DNS records were updated, prolonging Dan Brown's ownership until the year 2016 (hopefully that's not an indication on when the book is to be expected...).

Add the above to that the fact that there have been no new trademark applications since Dan Brown lodged one for 'The Solomon Key', and it would appear that it remains the working title for the new book. Or at the very least, in the mix.

Hanks on for Angels

Reports are saying that Tom Hanks has signed on to play Robert Langdon again, in the upcoming DVC 'prequel' Angels and Demons. Sources say the deal will net Hanks the "biggest salary ever paid to an actor in the history of Hollywood." Award-winning DVC screenwriter Akiva Goldsman will again adapt Dan Brown's novel for film.

National Treasure II

The sequel to the 2004 movie National Treasure has begun filming, with news that they have set up shop in the George Washington National Masonic Memorial to film a variety of scenes. Probably not the news Dan Brown wanted to hear, as it's a very likely location in The Solomon Key (see the sample chapter in my book for a rundown of the likely locations in the book).

Dan Brown Exonerated by Appeals Court

It seems the definitive judgement on the Da Vinci copyright case has now been handed down. The Court of Appeal in London has ruled that Dan Brown, author of The Da Vinci Code, did not reproduce ideas from the book Holy Blood, Holy Grail, authored by Michael Baigent, Richard Leigh, and Henry Lincoln. Baigent and Leigh lost the original court case in 2006 (Lincoln declined to take part in the claim), with the appeal held in January of this year.

Personally, I have to say I'm happy with the decision...if a precedent had been set in this case, I can't imagine the issues there would be in future for fiction writers in using historical research. On the other hand though, it's sad to see 'legends of the genre' Baigent and Leigh take such a costly fall (it is said they will have to pay costs of £3million). In a statement, B&L said:

We believed, and still do, that non-fiction authors would suffer and be discouraged from extensive research if it was found that any author could take another's ideas, 'morph' and repackage them, then sell them on.

I can't see a lot of merit in this reasoning - all non-fiction researchers know that any fiction writer can take their ideas and weave a story around them. In B&L's case, did Brown's book cost them anything? On the contrary, it provided a whole new wave of publicity and sales of their 1980s bestseller went through the roof. Comments welcome.

NT Times Mention

Scuse my vanity, but I must tell of the quick mention of my book in a New York Times piece on Dan Brown's popularity. Not exactly a review, but I'll certainly take a "not-half-bad" and "intriguing" from the very discerning NYT writers/reviewers! The piece has certainly spiked interest in the Guide, with a number of people seeking out where to buy the book. The box to the right of page says it all!

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