By Seija Rankin
October 07, 2020 at 03:46 PM EDT
Credit: G.W. Brown; Random House Children's Books

Dan Brown is making a bit of a change. The author, who has become world-famous for novels like The Da Vinci Code and Angels & Demons (and their Tom Hanks-starring big-screen adaptations), is trying his hand at children's literature. Wild Symphony is a picture book that includes a musical accompaniment — Brown worked with a composer to pair classical music with the tome — but that doesn't mean he's pivoting to kid's books forever. Brown is currently at work on another Robert Langdon saga. To celebrate Wild Symphony (and take a break from all things Langdon), he participated in EW's author questionnaire to let us all in on his process.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: What is the first thing — ever — that you remember writing?

DAN BROWN: When I was 5 years old, I dictated a story to my mother, who transcribed it for me. We did a print run of one copy and bound it in cardboard. I titled the book The Giraffe, The Pig, and the Pants on Fire. (A thriller, obviously.)

What is the last book that made you cry?

The Art of Racing in the Rain, by Garth Stein.

Which book is at the top of your current to-read list?

The Holographic Universe, by Michael Talbot.

Where do you write?

Every morning at 4 a.m., I go to the far end of my house to a small writing room that has no phone, no internet, and no distractions.

Which book made you a forever reader?

A Wrinkle in Time, by Madeleine L'Engle.

What is a snack you couldn't write without?

Is coffee a snack?

If you could change one thing about any of your books, what would it be?

In Angels & Demons, I wish Langdon had thought twice before jumping out of a helicopter with only a strip of fabric to slow his fall.

What is your favorite part of Wild Symphony?

The secret codes hidden on every page — as a kid, I would have loved them.

What was your biggest challenge in creating Wild Symphony?

Combining poetry, classical music, and morality tales in a coherent way.

Write a movie poster tagline for your book:

Life is a symphony — GO WILD!

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