Dan Brown’s next novel will feature character Robert Langdon, but the bestselling author has warned fans it may be some time before the manuscript is ready.
The American thriller writer met a group of trade press journalists in Sharjah, UAE, where he is attending the Sharjah International Book Fair 2014 as the guest of honour.
While Brown revealed his next novel would definitely feature symbology professor Robert Langdon, he would not be drawn on where the story would be set. And when asked when his next novel might be completed, Brown said: “I have learned never to predict. I am in the research phase. Some books take two to three years, Lost Symbol took quite a while, so I don’t predict and I keep researching until I know what I need to know until I know enough to write the book and that takes some time.”
However, Brown said that did not mean he was getting short on ideas. When asked if he still had 12 books to write in mind as he had previously stated, he said: " That number has probably grown. Every book I write spins off ideas for another three or four so there is no shortage of material for Robert Langdon in this world. Symbols, religion, conspiracy, all of that is a really rich world to explore." He added: "I wish I wrote these books faster, I think a lot of people do, but I don’t. They take an enormous amount of research and for every one page you read in the book I have written 10 that are thrown out so I don’t know how many books I have time to write."
The author praised his publisher Doubleday for not putting too much pressure on him to complete manuscripts in haste, because it is more concerned with maintaining his readership over a long period of time with quality work.
Following the release of The Da Vinci Code, which catapulted Brown to fame, he said Doubleday was “amazing”, “incredibly supportive” and applied “no pressure”.
“After The Da Vinci Code, my publishers said, ‘Look, your life is changing, you’re making movies now, there is all this other stuff going on, we get it. The most important thing to do is to write a great follow-up. We don’t want something that you dashed off that we can publish in six months. We want you to be around in 10 years. We want people to say I liked The Da Vinci Code and we like the next book and the next book after that.’ So I know that I could have been under a lot of pressure and I have enormous respect for the foresight and the support I have had from my publisher,” he said.
While Brown warned “not to read anything into” the fact he was visiting the UAE and then India next week, as an indication of where his next novel would be set, he admitted he was keen to gain a greater knowledge of Arab countries.
“With the exception of Istanbul to research Inferno, I had not been to the Arab world,” he said. “I had spent so much time in Europe researching Christianity, Christian art, Western culture, and I felt almost on a personal level that I needed to start stepping out into the greater world and start to learn other things and so that was part of it.” He added: “Certainly wanting to meet some of my Arab readership was also part of it.”
After a book signing event at SIBF tomorrow night (5th November), Brown will next travel onto India after to give the Penguin Annual Speech in New Delhi and then Mumbai.