The author of The Da Vinci Code has found a lifetime's instruction (and meaning) in old and modern classics.
I published my first book when I was five years old.

Okay, wait. To be more accurate, I could barely write my own name back then. I could, however, make up stories, and I dictated my first one when I was five. I remember my mother's patient hand as she dutifully wrote down every word I uttered. I remember the excitement I felt to see my story expanding across sheet after sheet of white paper. I remember dictating the last words of my grand finale and then (at the suggestion of my selfless mom) emblazoning the book's final page with two hardly legible words—danny brown—in bright red Crayola crayon.

Most of all, though, I remember "publication day": how my mother bound the pages of my story with yellow yarn and then fashioned a book jacket out of two pieces of stiff cardboard.

Print run: one copy. Hardcover. Signed by the author. An exhilarating start.

My masterpiece was titled "The Giraffe, the Pig, and the Pants on Fire," and it was a story about, well, a giraffe, a pig, and a pair of pants on fire. Sadly, because of lack of demand, we never had to go back to press. Nonetheless, my mom encouraged me to keep writing and assured me that someday lots of people would want to read my stories. Having seen The Da Vinci Code on best-seller lists, my mother seems to be sporting a quiet, knowing smile, not unlike a certain Mona Lisa.

The movie rights to Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code were bought by Columbia Pictures.

What's on Dan Brown's Bookshelf? Read more!


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