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Wednesday, March 22, 2023

'Putting brains to work'

 “One of the nice things about books as opposed to television and movies … is people really do get involved, and they do create, and they do have their own visions of what different characters look like and what should happen.  It’s great.  It means their brains are working.” – James Patterson

Born this date in 1947, Patterson is the most prolific author of all time with his phenomenal success as a mystery and children’s writer.  Intending to become a college professor of English, he was a Ph.D. candidate when he decided to try his hand at advertising and, like everything he tries his hand at, succeeded beyond his wildest dreams.  After rising to a top executive position, he abruptly retired in 1996 to devote his time to writing.  Good move.

His novels featuring African-American detective/psychologist Alex Cross have been the most popular and top-selling U.S. detective series in the past 20 years.  Since 1976, when he first tried his hand at writing, Patterson's books have sold more than 425 million text and over 100 million e-books, most No. 1 books on New York Times bestseller list.


And he is the first author to ever have the Number 1 titles in both adult and children’s categories at the same time.  His awards include the Edgar, the BCA Mystery Guild’s Thriller of the Year, the International Thriller of the Year, and the Literarian Award from the National Book Foundation.  But, he said, the award he most cherishes is Author of the Year from the Children’s Choice Awards.

“This is what I believe is most important:  Getting good books into the hands of kids – books that will make them want to say, ‘Wow, that was great.  Give me another one to read.’”

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