James Patterson: a life in writing | Books | The Guardian
Jan 27, The prolific, best-selling author James Patterson talks pacy plots, being In about , when Patterson was 32, his girlfriend Jane, who was. My Family Life: James Patterson Courtesy of Susan Solie Patterson. Did you ever imagine your How often are you and Sue able to get away for date nights?. Jul 13, Net worth, Birthday, Height, Weight, Girlfriend, Dating, Affair, Married, Ethnicity, Nationality, Fact & Career. Going to his early life, the writer was born James Brendan Patterson in Newburgh, New York, on March 22, James Patterson is the single most selling author of
But everyone who comes to my office eventually says: He has said that money was not plentiful when growing up, but a greater poverty came from the emotional detachment of his father. Food arrived on the table. But eventually you see that parts of it were not optimal and you try to deal with that. It turned out the brothers had never actually sent off my applications.
James Patterson interview
Actually Manhattan College was fine and was where Rudy Giuliani went. And not commercial fiction. Stuff that really stretched me: And it had an artistic tradition: There was a tradition of wonderful craziness. But after receiving a "lucky" high number in the Vietnam draft lottery, in he took a job in advertising at J Walter Thompson.
James Patterson interview - Telegraph
But throughout this time he also wrote. I hadn't read much commercial fiction, but I liked these and thought I maybe could do books that people turn the pages of. I told them the date was difficult and eventually they had to break protocol and say: His early productivity as a novelist was unremarkable and over the next 15 years he published five novels.
Cross was a compelling character, but the book became Patterson's breakthrough because of his insistence, against all received opinion in publishing, that it should be advertised on TV.Rude Jude Show Thur 2-8-18 John's Outfit Poll + James Patterson
The ads went on, the book jumped onto the bestseller list, and then the bestseller list becomes your advertising. Not that this has restricted criticism: Stephen King once described him as "a terrible writer" — a fact that didn't stop Patterson including King's Different Seasons in his Publishers Weekly ad of 38 American books that would be missed — to which one of Patterson's stock lines in response is to point out that while "thousands of people hate my stuff, millions of people like it".
He acknowledges that The Thomas Berryman Number had better sentences than most of his work since, "but it didn't have a better story. Everyone has a handful of anecdotes they know people will like when they tell them. But if you wrote them out you'd see that you don't tell them in good sentences. And I became much more interested in telling those colloquial stories than I was in style.
Here's the opening of the most recent Alex Cross novel: Don't get me wrong — with twenty years of law enforcement under my belt, it's happened. Just not that often.
There was a bright but empty look in her eyes that said ecstasy to me, and I could smell weed from inside. The music was thumping, too, the kind of relentless techno that would make me want to slit my wrists if I had to listen to it for long. And you need to put something on, right now.
To pay his college tuition, he took a job as an orderly working night shifts in nearby Belmont, at McLean, the renowned psychiatric hospital where Sylvia Plath, Ray Charles and, later, James Taylor were all treated.
At McLean, Patterson met the poet Robert Lowell and with the great deal of free time he had during the long nights, he read: At the age of 23, he had finally discovered bestselling fiction, reading and enjoying both The Exorcist and The Day of the Jackal.
His first novel, The Thomas Berryman Number, a thriller about a southern hit man hired to assassinate an ambitious black mayor, took him a little more than a year.
Published init sold respectably and won the Edgar award, for the best first mystery novel of the year. Patterson would never write another book like it.
In aboutwhen Patterson was 32, his girlfriend Jane, who was three years his senior, developed a brain tumour; she died two and a half years later. He stopped being able to write and would not produce another book for years. Instead, he spent all his time working at JWT, and as a result, rose with great speed.
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Within two years, he was creative director of the company. By the time he returned to writing, with what would become the thriller The Midnight Club, Patterson had developed a method by which he would first write an initial draft, outlining the main events of the story; once this was complete, he would improve the language and flesh it out with detail and description. But in the middle of work on The Midnight Club, he read his plot framework and liked it as it was: It doesn't have too much detail.
It just tells the story. The result — writing so spare it is nothing but plot and a narrative that develops in a series of breathless hairpin turns over dozens of chapters, never more than four, but often as few as two, pages in length — was crystallised in the first Alex Cross book, Along Came a Spider, published in He married his wife Sue, who had worked at JWT, in ; they began living in Florida soon afterwards.
Now, Patterson is at his desk by 5. Sometimes there is one idea on a page, but often there are dozens. When he needs to embark on a new project, Patterson will pull out five or six ideas from the folder before choosing one to work on.