Gravity boots helped Dan Brown write The Da Vinci Code

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The recent proceedings at the High Court offered the first clues as to how Dan Brown produced the publishing sensation that is The Da Vinci Code.

Now the American author has offered a further tantalising glimpse into his working practices, in a talk billed as his only public appearance before the release of the film version of his novel, starring Tom Hanks, next month.

When stuck on points of the plot, Brown would dangle upside down from a pair of "gravity boots" to think it out, he told 850 people at the sell-out event presented by the New Hampshire Public Radio and The Music Hall of Portsmouth on Sunday. It was a habit adopted while figuring out anagrams for his earlier novel, Angels and Demons, he said. The bestselling author had revealed some of his unusual working methods during the recent High Court case where two historians accused him of plagiarism, a claim he successfully rebutted.

"For me, writing is a discipline, much like playing a musical instrument. It requires constant practice and honing of skills," he said.

"If I'm not at my desk by sunrise, I feel like I'm missing my most productive hours. In addition to starting early, I keep an antique hourglass on my desk and every hour break briefly to do push-ups, sit-ups and quick stretches. This helps keep the blood, and ideas, flowing."

According to his personal website, 41-year-old Dan Brown gets up and starts writing each day at four in the morning. He writes with an antique hour glass on his desk and at the end of each 60 minute period he does sit-ups, stretches and push-ups.

He also confesses to wearing gravity boots, saying: "Hanging upside down seems to help me solve plot challenges by shifting my entire perspective."

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