"I grew up in a house full of women: my mother, grandmother, three sisters, and two female cats. And I still have the buzz of their conversations in my head. As an adult, I have more female friends than male ones: I just love the way that women talk." -- James Patterson
James B. Patterson (born March 22, 1947) is an American author of thriller novels, largely known for his series about American psychologist Alex Cross. Patterson also wrote the Michael Bennett, Women's Murder Club, Maximum Ride, Daniel X, and Witch & Wizard series, as well as many stand-alone thrillers, nonfiction and romance novels.
"Always expect the unexpected. Right around Thanksgiving, when the new Alex Cross will be out. It's called Four Blind Mice and it's a pretty amazing story about several murders inside the military.""For many years I had heard about an underworld consisting of people who act out a vampire fantasy while I was living in New York. Fortunately for me there are also several books on the phenomena.""I did know that the book would end with a mind-boggling trial, but I didn't know exactly how it would turn out. I like a little suspense when I am writing, too.""I read some, and then visited with people involved in this curious, exciting and somewhat misunderstood sub-culture. I met with a fang maker, who offered to fit me for an exquisite pair.""Other than my hundreds of arrests I really don't have that much experience with the law. While the majority of people aren't corrupt, there certainly is an awful lot of corruption in this country.""The vampire underworld is much larger than most people could imagine. It exists in all the cities mentioned in the book, but also in many, many more. Teenagers, especially, seem to like to act out vampire fantasies.""This summer, I'll be bringing out a mystery that involves a young lawyer and a court scene the likes of which I don't think you've ever seen. Hollywood said this is James Patterson meets John Grisham."
He retired from advertising in 1996 and devoted his time to being a writer. The novels featuring his character, Alex Cross, a forensic psychologist formerly of the Washington D.C. Police Department and Federal Bureau of Investigation who now works as a private psychologist and government consultant, are the most popular books among Patterson readers and the top selling US Detective series in the past ten years. Patterson has written 65 novels over his 33 years as an author. To date, James Patterson has had nineteen consecutive #1 New York Times bestselling novels, and holds the New York Times record for most Hardcover Fiction bestselling titles by a single author (56 total), which is also a Guinness World Record. The world's best-selling author, his novels account for one in seventeen of all hard-cover novels sold in the United States; in recent years his novels have sold more copies than those of Stephen King, John Grisham and Dan Brown combined..
He has won awards including the Edgar Award, the BCA Mystery Guild’s Thriller of the Year, the International Thriller of the Year award, and the Children's Choice Book Award for Author of the Year. He is the first author to have #1 new titles simultaneously on The New York Times adult and children’s bestsellers lists, and to have two books on NovelTracker’s top-ten list at the same time. He holds the New York Times bestsellers list record with 56 New York Times bestselling titles overall. He appeared on the Fox TV show The Simpsons (in the episode "Yokel Chords") as himself.
Patterson is also well known for sharing the spotlight with different co-authors such as Maxine Paetro, Andrew Gross, and Peter DeJonge and has often said that collaborating with others brings new and interesting ideas to his stories.He is currently collaborating with Swedish mystery writer Liza Marklund on a book called The Postcard Killers and set to be released in August 2010. The story is set in Stockholm, Sweden, and tracks the investigation of young couples' murders across Europe. The book will be released first in Sweden (January 2010) and the US version will arrive in bookstores in August 2010. In September 2009, Patterson signed a book deal to write or co-write 11 books for adults and six for young adults by the end of 2012. Forbes reported the deal was worth at least $150 million, but Patterson said the estimate "isn't close."
He also founded the James Patterson PageTurner Awards in 2005 to personally give away over $850,000 to reward “people, companies, schools, and other institutions who find original and effective ways to spread the excitement of books and reading.” The PageTurner Awards were put on hold in 2008 to focus on Patterson's new initiative, ReadKiddoRead.com, which helps parents, teachers, and librarians find the very best children’s books for their kids. There is also a social networking site for ReadKiddoRead, hosted by Ning.
Horror novelist Stephen King has dismissed Patterson's bibliography as being made up of "dopey thrillers," and in one interview called him a "terrible writer". In a "10 Questions" interview in the July 5, 2010 issue of Time magazine, Patterson was asked: "What do you say to critics like author Stephen King who say you're not a great prose stylist?" Patterson responded: "I am not a great prose stylist. I'm a storyteller. There are thousands of people who don't like what I do. Fortunately, there are millions who do."
In his 2009 book Junk Fiction: America's Obsession with Bestsellers, critic S. T. Joshi analyzes The Lake House, Honeymoon and The Big Bad Wolf and criticizes Patterson for absurd plotting, facile trickery and prose that is "simply dreadful" (italics in original).
Patterson has also received criticism for his continued work with collaborators. His prolific output is partially owed to the relationship he has with his many co-authors who share an authorship credit on the cover. The authors, in their agreement with Patterson, have agreed not to disclose the terms of their working relationship, including how much involvement Patterson has on each co-authored book. In the same Time magazine "10 Questions" interview, he responded to a question about his collaborations: "If I'm working with a co-writer, they'll usually write the first draft. And then I write subsequent drafts."