Lost Symbol information on Twitter: @lostsymbol
The UK's Telegraph published a profile of Dan Brown last week, undoubtedly a puff piece to jump on the publicity of the announcement of The Lost Symbol. In saying that "details of the plot have leaked", they seem to mean "people have written about the contents of The Solomon Key for a number of years now", because as far as I know there have been on plot leaks regarding The Lost Symbol. Much of the article also seems to have been regurgitated from Lisa Rogak's biography. Nothing to see here, move along...
If you were unsure if DB had ended up with Jimmy Hoffa somewhere, I can reassure you that he is alive and kicking (and hopefully finished a certain book!). He's turned up in a promotional video proselytising on behalf of books, alongside Elmo and Jon Stewart no less. It's only a brief appearance, but it confirms that the Illuminati and Opus Dei agents haven't done anything heinous to him (yet)...
The Children's Museum of New Hampshire announced this week that they have received a $100,000 contribution from the Dan and Blythe Brown Foundation.
The Browns' contribution is in partnership with the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation and will be used to move the museum from Portsmouth to 60 Washington St. in Dover — the former Butterfield Gym...
..."We have been fortunate to receive commitments that are greater than we had expected from companies — and now Dan Brown," said the museum's executive director, Denise Doleac, "and I think that's because they see something in the Children's Museum of New Hampshire that just resonates.
Local boy does good (and then some), and gives back to his community. Sounds like a movie script...
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.
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.
Stephen Brown, Marketing Professor at the University of Ulster, gives his thoughts on the secret of Dan Brown's success. They are: razzle-dazzle, persistence, secrecy, shock, and a little bit of luck. Guess I'll go write a best-seller now...
Astraea Magazine has an an exclusive interview with Michael Baigent about his new book The Jesus Papers, and of course the Dan Brown court case saga in which he was involved. Most of the interview is about his book (which is interesting enough), with just the last 7 minutes or so devoted to the copyright claim, and how he thinks the granting of leave to appeal the original decision means he has a very good chance of winning the appeal. The interview is available as either Windows Media or mp3.
Following in the footsteps of Lewis Perdue, Michael Baigent and Richard Leigh, is Catholic author Jack Dunn, author of The Vatican Boys:
In the last five months, Dunn has received "several oral and written credible preliminary reports from literary and/or linguistic experts confirming that substantial similarities in many constituent elements" between the two books are present "and would be readily apparent to reasonable lay readers of both books," according to the lawsuit.
At least he's only asking for a small amount as restitution - what's $400 million (say it out loud, it's almost funny)...
The Catholic newspaper The Universe is reporting that 'rebel priest' Archbishop Emmanuel Milingo is said to have met with representatives of Dan Brown and Sony Pictures, discussing the possibility of working with Brown on a new novel about exorcisms:
Participants talked about organising a meeting between Archbishop Milingo and Dan Brown at Gatwick in late September or early October, according to the Italian daily, Il Giornale.
In addition his work with Brown on the new novel, Milingo is also reported to have reached an agreement to collaborate with Sony Pictures in the production of a film based on Brown’s earlier novel Angels and Demons.
The Vatican has said that if the story is true, there would be "serious consequences" in store for Milingo, who has previously caused controversy by suggesting there are devil worshippers within the Catholic Church and by becoming married in a 'Moonie' ceremony.
Despite finally slipping down the best-seller charts, Dan Brown appears to remain a favourite with members of the British Parliament. In a survey of which books the pollies are reading, Brown was top of the list, or near top of the list for many of them - despite most of their other books of interest were historical or political 'heavy' reads. Perhaps they're brushing up before the next one heads for Washington, D.C.?