James B. Patterson (born March 22, 1947) is an American author of thriller novels, largely known for his series about fictional psychologist Alex Cross, the Alex Cross series. Patterson also wrote the Michael Bennett, Women's Murder Club, Maximum Ride, Daniel X, and Witch and Wizard series, as well as many stand-alone thrillers, nonfiction and romance novels. His books have sold more than 270 million copies.
Early life and education
After Patterson retired from advertising in 1996, he devoted his time to writing. James Patterson published his first novel in 1976 called The Thomas Berryman Number. The novels featuring his character Alex Cross, a forensic psychologist formerly of the Washington D.C. Metropolitan Police and Federal Bureau of Investigation who now works as a private psychologist and government consultant, are his most popular and the top-selling U.S. detective series in the past ten years. Patterson has written 95 novels since 1976. He has had 19 consecutive #1 New York Times bestselling novels, and holds The New York Times record for most bestselling hardcover fiction titles by a single author, a total of 76, which is also a Guinness World Record. His novels account for one in 17 of all hardcover 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. His books have sold approximately 260 million copies worldwide.
Patterson's awards include 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 appeared on the FoxTVshow The Simpsons (in the episode "Yokel Chords") and in various episodes of Castle as himself.
Patterson works with a variety of co-authors, such as Maxine Paetro, Andrew Gross, and Peter De Jonge and has often said that collaborating with others brings new and interesting ideas to his stories.
In September 2009, Patterson signed a deal to write or co-write 11 books for adults and 6 for young adults by the end of 2012. Forbes reported the deal was worth at least $150 million, but according to Patterson the estimate was inaccurate.
Patterson founded the James Patterson PageTurner Awards in 2005 to donate over US$100,000 that year to people, companies, schools, and other institutions that 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 best books for their children. The social networking site for ReadKiddoRead is hosted by Ning. Patterson has also set up the James Patterson Teacher Education Scholarship in the schools of education at Appalachian State, Michigan State, and Florida Atlantic University. Patterson also runs the College Book Bucks scholarship program.
In an interview for USA Weekend, Stephen King referred to Patterson as "a terrible writer [but he's] very successful". Patterson said of King in a Wall Street Journal Interview, "he’s taken shots at me for years. It’s fine, but my approach is to do the opposite with him—to heap praise."
Legal thriller writer Lisa Scottoline said in a review of Patterson's Kill Alex Cross, "They used to say that 50 million Elvis Presley fans couldn’t be wrong, and James Patterson makes 50 million fans look like a good start. He has sold more than 230 million books, and his fans aren’t wrong, either."
James Patterson drew varied reactions when he took out ads titled “Who Will Save Our Books? Our Bookstores? Our Libraries?” in Publishers Weekly and the New York Times Books Review. The ads have the text, “If there are no bookstores, no libraries, no serious publishers with passionate, dedicated, idealistic editors, what will happen to our literature? Who will discover and mentor new writers? Who will publish our important books? What will happen if there are no more books like these?” and then proceeds to list 38 works of American literature. Patterson called the ads an attempt to “stir the pot a little bit.” Digital Book World called the ads, “refreshing, really. And brave.” Maureen Sullivan, president of the American Library Association, told the Tampa Bay Times that she was in the process of writing James Patterson a thank-you letter. Others criticized the move, including self publishing advocate Joe Konrath.
Patterson currently lives in Palm Beach, Florida, with his wife, Susan, and son, Jack.
|Novel Adapted||Year of Adaptation||Film / TV||Extra Information|
|Child of Darkness, Child of Light||1991||TV||Child of Darkness, Child of Light was adapted from the novel Cradle & All.|
|Kiss the Girls||1997||Film||Forensic detective/author Alex Cross investigates the disappearance of his niece from her North Carolina campus, and learns seven other women are also missing.|
|Miracle on the 17th Green||1999||TV||A 50 year old adman (Robert Urich) loses his job. Rather than facing trying to find a new job, he decides to try to make it on the senior golf tour. This causes him to neglect who dies his wife (Meredith Baxter) and family.|
|Along Came a Spider||2001||Film||Washington, D.C. homicide detective Alex Cross is through playing mind games with criminals—that is until a methodical predator, Gary Soneji kidnaps the young son of a United States senator and the daughter of a famous actress from an elite school and lures Cross into the case. Soneji's not out for ransom, he wants something much bigger—a place in the history books. His every move is planned with the precision of a spider spinning his web, and Cross and secret service agent Jezzie Flannigan are in a race against time to stop him.|
|1st to Die||2003||TV||Based on James Patterson's bestseller, this three-hour thriller is about a homicide inspector—Lindsay Boxer (Tracy Pollan) -- who teams with three other professional women to catch an ingenious serial killer targeting newlyweds on their wedding nights. But while Boxer is trying to solve the biggest case of her career, she is also falling in love with her partner (Gil Bellows) -- and privately waging her own battle with a life-threatening illness.|
|Suzanne's Diary for Nicholas||2005||TV|
|Women's Murder Club||2007||TV||Based on James Patterson's Women's Murder Club series. This TV series revolved around San Francisco homicide Inspector Lindsay Boxer (Angie Harmon) and her three friends: Assistant District Attorney Jill Bernhardt, Medical Examiner Claire Washburn, and reporter Cindy Thomas.|
|James Patterson's Sundays at Tiffany's||2010||TV||Alyssa Milano stars as a successful businesswoman who, as a young girl, would accompany her mother Vivian (Stockard Channing) to Tiffany’s in New York every Sunday and bring along an imaginary friend, Michael. She is set to marry her handsome fiancé (Ivan Sergei), until her childhood imaginary friend (Eric Winter) reappears to warn her about the path her life is on. Initially shocked and in disbelief, she slowly realizes he may be her one true love. Based on the best-selling book.|
|Alex Cross||2012||Film||James Patterson confirmed in an online newsletter from his website that this will be the 3rd Alex Cross movie. It will be based on the book Cross. It was distributed by Summit Entertainment and was directed by Rob Cohen. It stars Tyler Perry in the title role of Alex Cross, and was released on October 19, 2012.|
|Maximum Ride||2013||Film||A planned movie based on the first book, Maximum Ride: The Angel Experiment. It has been currently put on hold after the producers have ran into trouble.|
- Mahler, Jonathan (January 20, 2010). "James Patterson Inc.". The New York Times Magazine. Retrieved May 6, 2012.
- Gaby Wood (2009-04-05). "The Guardian". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 2011-09-14.
- "James Patterson - The official web site".
- "JamesPatterson.com". JamesPatterson.com. Retrieved 2011-09-14.
- Jonathan Mahler, "James Patterson Inc." The New York Times, January 20, 2010
- "James Patterson". Savannah Book Festival. Retrieved October 23, 2012.
- McGrath, Charles (May 5, 2009). "An Author's Collaborator Goes It Alone". The New York Times. Retrieved May 5, 2010.
- Donahue, Deirdre; Wilson, Craig; Minzesheimer, Bob (September 16, 2009). "Book Buzz: What's new on the list and in publishing". USA Today. Retrieved May 5, 2010.
- James Patterson's Pageturner Awards[dead link]
- "Author James Patterson creates scholarship at Appalachian for future teachers". Appalachian State University News. June 11, 2012. Retrieved October 8, 2012.
- "James Patterson funds MSU scholarships for future teachers". Michigan State University News. June 5, 2012. Retrieved October 8, 2012.
- "FAU College of Education Receives Gift from Author James Patterson". Florida Atlantic University. August 14, 2012. Retrieved October 8, 2012.
- Stephen King rubbishes Twilight author Stephenie Meyer | Books | guardian.co.uk
- "James Patterson Explains Why His Books Sell Like Crazy". Wall Street Journal. March 30, 2012. Retrieved May 24, 2013.
- "Patterson's 'Kill Alex Cross' is thriller with family at its heart". The Washington Post. November 12, 2011. Retrieved March 14, 2013.
- "James Patterson Speaks Out About His Aggressive "Book Industry Bailout" Ads". Salon.com. April 24, 2013. Retrieved May 6, 2013.
- "Patterson Sees Ads as a Wake Up Call". Publisher's Weekly. April 24, 2013. Retrieved May 6, 2013.
- "An Open Letter to James Patterson on Bravery, Optimism, and the Future of Books". Digital Book World. April 26, 2013. Retrieved May 6, 2013.
- "Author James Patterson campaigns to save books". Tampa Bay Times. April 26, 2013. Retrieved May 6, 2013.
- "Konrath on Patterson". A Newbie's Guide to Publishing. April 25, 2013. Retrieved May 6, 2013.
- "''Kiss the Girls'' synopsis". Movies.yahoo.com. 1997-10-03. Retrieved 2011-09-14.
- Miracle on the 17th Green synopsis' at the Internet Movie Database
- "''Along Came a Spider'' synopsis". Movies.yahoo.com. 2001-04-06. Retrieved 2011-09-14.
- 1st to Die synopsis' at the Internet Movie Database
- "Sundays at Tiffany's official movie site on Lifetime". Mylifetime.com. Retrieved 2011-09-14.
- Official James Patterson US web site
- Official James Patterson UK web site
- James Patterson at the Internet Speculative Fiction Database
- James Patterson at the Internet Book List
- James Patterson at the Internet Movie Database
- 2010 Time Magazine's 10 Questions for James Patterson
- Works by or about James Patterson in libraries (WorldCat catalog)