The Secret Life of Dan Brown

March 14, 2006 | 2 books mentioned 2

We think we know people so well, but then real honest to God information comes out about them in a court proceding (or a Smoking Gun investigation) and we find out how wierd they really are. This is doubly true for celebrities, though, it turns out, not always literary ones. Case in point, Dan Brown, who I never thought of as much of a public figure and who always seemed to me to be nothing more than the bland face behind the Da Vinci Code juggernaut, has his quirks, but not very exciting ones it seems. We’re discovering this as a result of the plagiarism trial currently under way in England where he’s been accused of lifting the premise for his book from Holy Blood, Holy Grail. On to the quirkiness: according to a story in the Guardian, “his witness statement reveals his working method, beginning at 4am, seven days a week, with an antique hour glass on his desk to remind him to take hourly exercise breaks.” “push-ups, sit-ups and some quick stretches. I find this helps keep the blood – and ideas – flowing,” adds a story in the Independent. Well, if that’s all it takes… Also noted at the trial: Blythe, his wife, does the lion’s share of his research; he moved on to writing after a failed career as a singer-songwriter in Los Angeles; his parents hid his Christmas gifts and he had to decifer a treasure map to find them.

(via the Publishers Lunch newsletter. The free one. It’s all I can afford.)

One more thing. I haven’t been following this trial very closely, but I do know one thing: Holy Blood, Holy Grail has been an incredibly huge seller ever since Da Vinci Code came out. Talk about biting the hand that feeds you.

created The Millions and is its publisher. He and his family live in New Jersey.


  1. I'm sure they're getting a sales bump now, but they've been getting one all along. Da Vinci came out when I worked at the bookstore, and it didn't take long for people who had read it to come in looking for something similar. Often times they bought HBHG. Before long we were selling dozens a week, but before Da Vinci came out I don't think we even carried HBHG.

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