Washington, D.C., has everything that Rome, Paris and London have in the way of great architecture - great power bases. Washington has obelisks and pyramids and underground tunnels and great art and a whole shadow world that we really don't see.
Transhumanism is the ethics and science of using things like biological and genetic engineering to transform our bodies and make us a more powerful species.
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.
I consider myself a student of many religions. The more I learn, the more questions I have. For me, the spiritual quest will be a life-long work in progress.
I am a completely horizontal author. I can't think unless I'm lying down, either in bed or stretched on a couch and with a cigarette and coffee handy. I've got to be puffing and sipping.
The more science I studied, the more I saw that physics becomes metaphysics and numbers become imaginary numbers. The farther you go into science, the mushier the ground gets. You start to say, 'Oh, there is an order and a spiritual aspect to science.'
Faith is a continuum, and we each fall on that line where we may. By attempting to rigidly classify ethereal concepts like faith, we end up debating semantics to the point where we entirely miss the obvious - that is, that we are all trying to decipher life's big mysteries, and we're each following our own paths of enlightenment.
Art historians agree that Da Vinci's paintings contain hidden levels of meaning that go well beneath the surface of the paint. Many scholars believe his work intentionally provides clues to a powerful secret... a secret that remains protected to this day by a clandestine brotherhood of which Da Vinci was a member.
Writing is a solitary existence. Making a movie is controlled chaos - thousands of moving parts and people. Every decision is a compromise. If you're writing and you don't like how your character looks or talks, you just fix it. But in a movie, if there's something you don't like, that's tough.
Well, you know, in any novel you would hope that the hero has someone to push back against, and villains - I find the most interesting villains those who do the right things for the wrong reasons, or the wrong things for the right reasons. Either one is interesting. I love the gray area between right and wrong.
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.
I'm constantly trying to keep people guessing as to what I'm doing, and I will spend enormous amounts of time looking at manuscripts and asking questions, and people will say, 'I know what his next book is about.'
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. And that is, at the end of the day, what writing suspense is all about.
I think I was a shy kid. I grew up without television. I had a dog, and we lived up in the White Mountains in the summer, and I had no friends up there. And I would just go play hide-and-seek with my dog and probably had some imaginary friends.
I have written a lot about the fine arts, but I'd never written about the literary arts, and so on some level Dante really, you know, spoke to me, as new ground but also familiar ground.
I'm fascinated by power, especially veiled power. Shadow power. The National Security Agency. The National Reconnaissance Office. Opus Dei. The idea that everything happens for reasons we're not quite seeing.
It's kind of a catch-22 now because since the 'Da Vinci Code,' I have access to places and people that I didn't have access to before, so that's a lot of fun for somebody like me, but I'm always trying to keep a secret. I don't want people to know what I'm writing about.
The power that religion has is that you think nothing is random: If there's a tragedy in my life, that's God testing me or sending me a message.
If you ask three people what it means to be Christian, you will get three different answers. Some feel being baptized is sufficient. Others feel you must accept the Bible as immutable historical fact. Still others require a belief that all those who do not accept Christ as their personal savior are doomed to hell.
I don't know where I would place myself in the literary landscape. I really just write the book that I would want to read. And I put on the blinders, and I really - it is, for me, that simple.