n the international promotion campaign for "The Secret Supper", Javier Sierra was asked many times about the differences between his book and the bestselling novel The Da Vinci Code. Here is a selection of Q&A's about this particular subject:
1. What makes The Secret Supper different from The Da Vinci Code?
A: The Secret Supper is a historical thriller set in 1497. Leonardo da Vinci is then still alive and painting The Last Supper in Milan. In fact, he is one of the main characters in my novel. On the other hand, The Da Vinci Code (DVC) is a contemporary novel, in which Leonardo is simply a dead figure. If you want a taste of the Renaissance, you must read The Secret Supper.
2. Why did you write The Secret Supper? Because of the success of The Da Vinci Code?
A: Absolutely not. The Secret Supper has no debts to DVC. I started the field research of the book in 2001, before the publication of Brown's bestseller. That was good for my work because I was able to consult files and places that today are crowded by readers of the Code.
3. If not the Code, which other books inspired your work?
A: The Secret Supper owes something to Umberto Eco's The Name of the Rose, because it also plays with historical and rare books that were very influential during the Renaissance in Europe, and the action takes place in a convent.
4. You say that your book is full of discoveries. Can you give us some examples?
A: The Secret Supper shows a new and exciting way of looking at The Last Supper. Leonardo painted a group of men, not saints, around a table. For the first time in the history of Art, Jesus is not consecrating the eucharistic. There is no meat on the table (there should have been lamb, because the Last Supper occurred during the Hebrew Passover), and Leonardo himself appears in one of the corners of the table, with his back to Jesus. All these elements, and a few more, are consistent with the Cathar heresy. The Cathars believed that Jesus was just a man and they refused to eat meat because they considered it impure. They rejected the eucharistic sacrament.
5. Why do you say that the readers of your novel will never see The Last Supper in the same way again?
A: It´s easy. The Secret Supper ends with a superb climax. Readers will be surprised by its illuminating interpretation of The Last Supper. But they won't tell others about the end because it's the key to the whole enigma. Each single reader becomes an accomplice to the author's purpose, and as such will share "the secret" forever.