Author Biographies and Other Books
James Patterson Biography
The Most Addictive Novels in the World
In the days when paperback novels reigned supreme, it was impossible to hop on an airplane without seeing several noses buried into the latest James Patterson thrillers. Indeed, the prolific author cranked out a multitude of magnificent novels that appealed to the general masses. These days, his works are still read by young adults and basically all other demographics — but you're more likely to catch sight of one of his attractive covers on a Kindle.
An Unremarkable Upbringing That Yielded One of the World's Most Beloved Authors
Born in New York state to parents who taught and sold insurance, Patterson's early life did not necessarily portend the wild twists and turns that would later take place in his thrillers. In fact, his home was rather religious, with his Roman Catholic priests and nuns often showing up to see his devout mother. His Irish-American parents were certainly not wealthy or connected. Patterson, who had a great thirst for knowledge, would end up at Manhattan College majoring in English. He would graduate with his Bachelor of Arts and go on to attend Vanderbilt University for his Masters's degree.
Over 100 Novels on The New York Times Bestsellers' List
After a brief stint as an advertising exec, Patterson completed his first fiction novel. As of this date, he has now written over 200 novels. It's a stunning number, but demand for Patterson's books has been historically high. This is reflected in his vast net worth, which is reputed to be anywhere been $500 to $800 million. Over the years, his creative efforts have also been honored by the community at large. Having been presented with the Edgar Award and many other tributes to his talent, Patterson has become a household name with fans all over the world.
A Massive Appetite for Philanthropy
James Patterson is not the type of rich person who keeps all of their profits to themselves. In fact, giving to charity has become one of the great passions of his life. He has given a quarter of a million copies of his books to public schools and sent over a half million to American soldiers. Alongside his wife, Sue, Patterson has also donated a great deal to education. Funding hundreds of teaching scholarships at several universities and colleges — many of which are HBCUs — Patterson indeed puts his money where his mouth is.
A Unique Approach to Writing
For Patterson, successful writing starts with "being there" with the characters. He believes that a writer should attempt to actually feel what their characters are going through in a given scenario, lending credibility, and empathy to their writing. James Patterson's ultimate goal, after all, is to write bestsellers. Because he is so incredibly prolific, it comes as no surprise that other writers have dismissed him at times. Referring to Patterson as a "hack" or questioning who writes his books, they attempt to chip away at the writer every day. Author Stephen King event went as far as to refer to Patterson as a "terrible" writer, a remark that Patterson responded to with diplomacy. Just like anyone else at the top of their business, Patterson is not immune to criticism. And his writing style does differ greatly from King's. While King wrote a book instructing other authors how to write, Patterson does not believe in set rules. He simply goes where the story takes him, allowing his characters and entertaining plots to take readers for a ride.
Some Unusual Partnerships
There is no doubt that Patterson's singular status as "the" thriller novelist has led to an incredible wealth of opportunities. Not many thriller authors, after all, get to work with former presidents. But when Patterson teamed up with Bill Clinton to pen The President Is Missing, the public got a great taste of what it is like to be at the top of the totem pole. Highlighting the unique pressures of the position, the book explored what it would be like if the POTUS were to go completely missing for the day. Of course, the novel drew upon Bill Clinton's eight years in the White House — and his extensive knowledge of Secret Service protocol. Patterson and Clinton's collaboration ended up becoming quite a hit. Although some of the critics' reviews were a bit harsh, the general public seemed to enjoy the book. It even led to a follow-up for Patterson and Clinton. The President's Daughter became their next book. Released in June of 2021, the book also sold a great deal and maintains a very attractive average of 4.6 stars on Amazon. Even when he decides to branch out, it would appear that everything James Patterson touches, turns to gold eventually.See more books by James Patterson