I cannot imagine a world in which James Patterson’s novels are not in it. Plucking a Patterson work from my bookshelf feels like a spiritual ritual, almost.
The esteemed 70-year-old New York-born author’s accomplished style of narration, and his vibrant, nail-biting prose submerged in alarming twists and turns, is still going strong in the literary circuit after all these years. He still attends several book festivals and takes writing workshops, seminars and lectures around America, ensuring his legacy lives on and will thrive through the ages. From thriller to comedy to children’s books, James Patterson has mastered every angle of literary engineering. He has 19 successive best-selling novels, a Guinness World Record for most hardcover books sold by a single author and a BCA Mystery Guild’s Thriller of the Year, as well as many other awards to his name.
Born in 1947 in Newburgh, New York, Patterson grew up immersed in literature. Through his childhood, he saw so much more creative potential in his English classes at school, than what he was learning.
After leaving college, Patterson gained employment at the advertising agency, J. Walter Thompson and published his first book, The Thomas Berryman Number, which enjoyed great success, won an Edgar Award for Best First Novel by an American and prompted Patterson to write more and more. In 1996, he quit his job and became a professional writer.
His most well-known titles include Along Came a Spider (which was adapted into a film starring Morgan Freeman in 2001), First to Die (adapted to a television film starring Tracy Pollan) and Kiss the Girls. With at least 95 published works to his name and a total of over 350 million books sold in total, Patterson has enjoyed a wealth of success that has seen him reaching the top of the Forbes list as the highest-paid author, pulling in a massive income per novel. Also a passionate philanthropist, in 2015, the writer donated up to US$2.1 million to local libraries, bookshops and bookshop employees.
After many years writing in his Palm Beach home, it seems that even at the age of 70, James Patterson doesn’t look like he’s done just yet. With a new Alex Cross title hitting the shelves in November, and a string of collaborative works aimed for a smooth stream of future releases, Patterson’s excellence in this field oozes a type of class and wisdom that readers – and many writers too – have grown to admire and adore.