Dan Brown became a part of my writing few years ago when I read The Da Vinci code for the first time. I was thrilled by the way Brown builds the mystery that's solved in the novel and his talent to create many meanings for simple things. I love complicated mysteries and secrets so the novel captured me at once. The choices Brown makes with the plot are brilliant, and it's easy to see he has enjoyed writing the Da Vinci code. Pure joy fills me every time I read it, and in the next minute the only thought in my head is "I want to write, now!". That's why I read it when I need something to remind me of how good it feels to write something really good. That's a feeling that's always worth going for.
My relationship to Dan Brown's work got stronger after reading the first Langdon novel, Angels and demons. This book affects my writing differently. It makes me think what I'm writing instead of how I'm writing. Angels and demons contains interesting and unusual crimes that are connected to a bigger picture, to a higher goal. These crimes make me think of Young Fighters and the possibilities I have: what kind of crimes the characters could commit, what kind of meaning the crimes could have to a big group of people, how do they differ form other crimes... There are countless questions like these, and Angels and demons constantly makes me think of them. So, reading it is most helpful when I need to think over separate events as parts of a big picture.
Brown's other novels haven't affected my writing process like this because they are not as good as the two I mentioned (The Lost symbol) or because I've read them only once and they haven't had the time to affect me (Deception point, Inferno). I think Inferno might still have something to give, and I'm looking forward what happens in the future.
Also the hard times in the beginning of Dan Brown's career make him interesting. His books didn't sell a lot before the Da Vinci code was published and he had to change the publisher on the way. I admire him because he didn't stop writing (I believe many in his situation would have stopped), and I think he is a great example of that an aspiring writes should never give up.