My stance is in my books, says Dan Brown

  • Sneha Mahale, Hindustan Times, Mumbai
  • Updated: Nov 15, 2014 16:46 IST

As we wait in the lobby of a five star hotel, Dan Brown walks by with his bodyguards.

During his stay in the country while talking at Crossword Bookstores' Penguin Annual Lecture, the author of books like Da Vinci Code, Angels And Demons, and Lost Symbol has received an almost rock star-like treatment.

He admits that this level of enthusiasm is "a little startling".

In a chat, he opens up about his works, the films made on them and the controversies they've generated.

You visited India when you were 18. Recently, there were reports that one of your first stories was based on your experiences here.
It's true; that story was one of the first I wrote. I'm not going to reveal what it's about. It's in a box in the attic somewhere, but it won a writing award in the US. It was part of what inspired me to become a writer.

The Vatican snubbed your books, even calling Angels And Demons "godless". Have you ever had the chance to clarify your stance?
No, my stance is in my books. They disagreed, and that's fine. They put me on trial and didn't invite me to defend myself. The whole idea of Da Vinci Code was to spark dialogue, and that worked.

Governments ban books, too, claiming that the text hurts people's sentiments. Book burning is also common. As an author, does this disturb you?
I think burning a book is not a fair response to disagreeing to somebody's philosophy. What happens in an educated society is that if a book is offensive or unfairly critical, it doesn't succeed. But, if you burn it, everybody races to see it. When the Vatican got upset about the Da Vinci Code, it helped the sales.

Coming to the film adaptation of your books, did you have a say in who played your books' lead character, Robert Langdon?
I was included in that decision. But, I'm fortunate to be working with someone like Ron Howard (director), who knows how to make a movie. If he says Tom Hanks is the guy, it was an honour to have someone like him for the role.

Did you discuss religion with Hanks?
We haven't talked about profound spirituality. Hanks is an intelligent guy, and I imagine has deep thoughts philosophy and religion.

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