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Thursday, June 22, 2017

What writing suspense is all about

“For me, a good thriller must teach me something about the real world. Thrillers like Coma, The Hunt for Red October and The Firm all captivated me by providing glimpses into realms about which I knew very little - medical science, submarine technology and the law.” – Dan Brown

Best known for The DaVinci Code and several subsequent works with the same main character, Dan Brown was born on this date in 1964 in New Hampshire and grew up on the campus of an elite private school where his father was a “live-in” teacher.

Although he thought about a teaching career himself, he seriously considered music instead and was both writing and performing regularly when his career path took a sharp turn in 1993 while he was on vacation in Tahiti.  While there, he picked up a copy of Sidney Sheldon’s bestselling thriller The Doomsday Conspiracy and said he was instantly captivated and decided he, too, wanted to be a writer of thrillers.  Brown’s first three books met with little success before he came up with the idea for DaVinci and the rest – at least for Brown – is writing history.  His books have been translated into 52 languages, and as of 2012, sold over 200 million copies. Three of them, Angels & Demons, The Da Vinci Code, and Inferno have been adapted into films.

Brown says he’s a slow writer because he is constantly striving for the best way to portray each and every scene.  “I often will write a scene from three different points of view to find out which has the most tension and which way I'm able to conceal the information I'm trying to conceal,” he explained.   “And that is, at the end of the day, what writing suspense is all about."           
                                   “I still get up every morning at 4 a.m.  I write seven days a week, including Christmas. And I still face a blank page every morning, and my characters don't really care how many books I've sold.”

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