Amongst the stacks of Lauinger Library, one can usually expect to find students and professors alike pouring over texts late into the night. However, one library regular is none of the above.

Best-selling novelist of international intrigue and espionage, Daniel Silva, cites the Georgetown University library as a main resource in the extensive research that he dedicates to each of his books.

A local resident of the Georgetown neighborhood, Silva said Lauinger is a convenient place for research, and noted that the library’s extensive special collection of church histories were helpful for the novels he has written about the Vatican and the Catholic Church.

In addition to its resources, Silva enjoys the library for its environment.

“I just love the atmosphere there; it’s very conducive and I find it to be a place where the creative juices flow,” he said. “There’s a spot where I like to hide out and do my research. No one knows I’m there. I look like a graduate student, or maybe an aging professor at this point.”

For an entire summer, Silva used the library to write almost every day when his house was under renovation.

“I in effect wrote a book called `The Messenger,’ sitting in the carrels at the Georgetown library,” he said.

After completing his pre-novel research, Silva compiles a briefing book in preparation for each novel. He also consults experts and visits the locations where his books take place. His most recent novel, “Moscow Rules,” takes place in Russia, London and the south of France, so Silva visited all three locales to familiarize himself with their histories and cultures. He even managed to visit the Lubyanka, the headquarters of the KGB in Moscow.

Silva said in some ways D.C. serves as the backdrop for many of his novels.

“One of the great things about living in Washington is that you have experts on every conceivable subject at your fingertips,” Silva said. “It is the most powerful city in the world, filled with people engaged in one of the oldest pursuits, keeping and maintaining power. It’s a fascinating laboratory in which to work and live.”

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