Lost Symbol information on Twitter: @lostsymbol
This recent news item suggests that the title of DB's next book will *not* be The Solomon Key. The news is based on a discussion a (different) journalist had with Brown's representative:
During a conversation about the book, which the journalist repeatedly called “The Solomon Key,” Brown’s rep seemed to get exasperated and stopped her:
“You are using a title that was used several years ago. That is completely out of date.”
I'd imagine this was the same journalist that called me about Dan Brown's next book a couple of weeks ago. She told me the same thing, although not in that detail, and asked me for my thoughts. I agreed that it could well be the case, given that much of DB's 'thunder' has been stolen in recent years (not least by myself!), and also given similar news items a couple of years ago.
However, I also noted that some things still argue in favour of 'The Solomon Key' as being the title. A couple of years ago - after the first news of the title change - DB's Solomon Key domains were renewed through to 2016. Also, there have been no new trademark applications in Brown's name since The Solomon Key was registered - and it was renewed most recently in December 2008 by his lawyers, suggesting the title is still well and truly in the frame and not "out of date" as his rep stated (although this is the last 6-month extension available to him for that trademark - so we might know for sure in June).
It's worth noting also that the rep dismissed the ET story as well (regarding Ron Howard's comment that the next book was finished) "repeating that Brown had not finished the book." Not sure that Howard would get that fact wrong, given he's in direct communication with DB. So I'd reserve plenty of skepticism for the rep's statements. Hopefully we'll find out either way pretty soon.
Director Ron Howard may have just spilled the beans. Talking to Entertainment Tonight on the set of Angels and Demons, Howard said...
...Brown had finished writing the long-awaited third book featuring Langdon, and that the author was "very excited" about the novel.
But still DB's US publisher Doubleday are refusing to make anything official, saying only that he was making "great progress" with the book and that there was as yet no title or publication date to share.
In other news a longer Angels and Demons trailer - with shots from the actual movie this time - has been released on the movie's official website. Looks like some good fun.
Publisher Random House has reorganised its empire with the dismantling of the Bantam Dell and Doubleday imprints. The latter was home to Dan Brown, so now he will become part of the Knopf imprint led by publisher Sonny Mehta. GalleyCat believes this might actually be a positive for fans of Dan Brown:
This means that we might actually see 'The Solomon Key' sometime in 2009, maybe 2010 at the latest. Because Sonny Mehta can get that book out of Dan Brown if he has to lock himself into a hotel room with the guy and collect the manuscript pages as they come out of the typewriter, just like he did to coax 'So Long, And Thanks for All the Fish' out of Douglas Adams.
We shall see...
Rumours swirled at the recent Frankfurt Book Fair with some publishers saying that Dan Brown has delivered the final manuscript for the sequel to The Da Vinci Code. Will it still be called The Solomon Key? DB's lawyers renewed his trademark application for the title mid-year, so it would seem it's likely. Stay tuned...
The WSJ has some promising news about The Solomon Key from Doubleday's Stephen Rubin:
Now, the publisher is hinting that a manuscript is close. "Dan Brown has a very specific release date for the publication of his new book, and when the book is published, his readers will see why," says Stephen Rubin, president of Bertelsmann's Doubleday Broadway Publishing Group, whose Doubleday imprint publishes Mr. Brown. Mr. Rubin declined further comment.
Rubin seems to be hinting at a specific reason behind the publication date. Is it likely to be a day of importance in American history or politics? July 4th, the start of the election campaign...what do you think?
AFP is carrying a new story about The Solomon Key, although there's little new in it. Some have got excited over the mention of Brown's 'posting' to his website about the book, but that particular part of his site has been there for a few years now. The one interesting part of the story is that DB was in contact with Masons in the Washington, D.C. area:
Brown "had a contact with us but then cut it short. We are all sitting around waiting for his book to come out but nobody knows what he's going to say," Akram Elias, grand master-elect of Washington's Grand Lodge, told AFP.
Interesting about the 'cutting short' part. Was this because DB had enough material, or has he changed plans with the new novel? This report follows on from previous stories that he had also been in contact with senior Mormons in Salt Lake City, another apparent topic to be featured in The Solomon Key.
A website called "The Contrarian" has an excellent photo tour of the George Washington Masonic Memorial. As I discuss in my book, the GW Masonic Memorial could well be a location used by Dan Brown in The Solomon Key, for a number of good reasons. Well worth a visit to take in some of the sights (even if via your computer monitor).
ABC News ran a feature this week which referenced Freemasonry and its probable appearance in Dan Brown's next book. The video is available online, and looks to be shot within the House of the Temple in Washington, D.C.
The Telegraph recently posted an interview with Amazon UK managing director Brian McBride, and in it the reporter makes mention that "the launch of the secret new offering from The Da Vinci Code author Dan Brown later this year will be another major event for Amazon." Is the reporter taking a stab in the dark, or did they get some inside information from McBride?
In related news, a recent story on the 'Harry Potter effect' on the business of publishing quotes Brown's publisher Stephen Rubin: "I surely would hesitate before trying to do something like 12 million copies for Dan Brown's next book, but thanks largely to Potter, we can think about numbers we wouldn't have imagined before." So at least it seems there's something happening with the next book, however minor!
The Bookseller is reporting that it is unlikely we will see a new Dan Brown novel before the end of the year. Brown's UK publisher has said that the Da Vinci follow-up had been budgeted in for 2007 but that Brown had yet to send any material.
It is in the budget, but it was in the budget last year. There is still a chance it will be this year; we just don't know. He'll deliver, I am sure, but I don't know when. It will be published when it's published.
Considering it is usually a 6 month to 2 year turnaround between publishers first seeing a manuscript, and actual publication, the book is certainly unlikely to come out this year (unless his publisher is being secretive).