James Patterson

James Patterson
James Patterson
Born March 22, 1947 (1947-03-22) (age 64)
Newburgh, New York, United States
Occupation Novelist
Genres Thriller
Notable work(s) Alex Cross series
Maximum Ride series
The Women's Murder Club series
Michael Bennett series
Daniel X series
Witch & Wizard series


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.



After Patterson retired from advertising in 1985, he devoted his time to writing.[1] 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 his most popular and the top-selling U.S. detective series in the past ten years. Patterson has written 71 novels in 33 years.[2] 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 63, which is also a Guinness World Record.[3] As the world's best-selling author, 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.[4]

Patterson's awards include the Edgar Award, the BCA Mystery Guild’s Thriller of the Year, the International Thriller of the Year award,[3] 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.[citation needed] He appeared on the Fox TV show The Simpsons (in the episode "Yokel Chords") and in various episodes of Castle as himself.

Patterson works with different co-authors, such as Maxine Paetro, Andrew Gross, and Peter De Jonge[5] 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 dollars, because Patterson said the estimate is almost exact.[6]

Patterson founded the James Patterson PageTurner Awards in 2005 to donate over US$850,000 to people, companies, schools, and other institutions that find original and effective ways to spread the excitement of books and reading.[7] 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.


Horror novelist Stephen King has dismissed Patterson's bibliography as made up of dopey thrillers, and in one interview called him a terrible writer.[8] 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."[9]

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, criticizing Patterson for absurd plots, facile trickery and dreadful prose.[10]

Patterson also received criticism for his continued work with collaborators. His prolific output is partly owed to his many co-authors, who share authorship credit. 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.[11][dead link] 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."[9]

Education and personal life

Patterson received a bachelor's degree from Manhattan College and a master's degree from Vanderbilt University.

He lives in Briarcliff Manor, New York and Palm Beach, Florida, with his wife, Susan, and son, Jack.


Main article: James Patterson bibliography


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 Virgin.[12]
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.[13]
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 his wife (Meredith Baxter) and family.[14]
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.[15]
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.[16]
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.[17]
I, Alex Cross 2011–2012 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. Although no studio has as yet picked up the treatment, it is being shopped around (Paramount is the only studio that has not been included) and Lloyd Levin has signed on as producer. Tyler Perry has been signed on to play Alex Cross, and Rob Cohen has signed on to direct the film.
Maximum Ride 2013 Film James Patterson has had an "online rally" which has led him to arrange to have a movie based on his best selling teen series; Maximum Ride. The movie will definitely be based on the first three books, but it is unknown whether the later books will also be taken into account.


  1. ^ Gaby Wood. "The Guardian". The Guardian. http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2009/apr/05/james-patterson-author-bestseller. Retrieved 2011-09-14. 
  2. ^ [1][dead link]
  3. ^ a b "JamesPatterson.com". JamesPatterson.com. http://jamespatterson.com/about_biography.php. Retrieved 2011-09-14. 
  4. ^ Jonathan Mahler, "James Patterson Inc." New York Times, January 20, 2010
  5. ^ McGrath, Charles (May 5, 2009). "An Author's Collaborator Goes It Alone". The New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/05/books/05dejo.html. Retrieved May 5, 2010. 
  6. ^ Donahue, Deirdre; Wilson, Craig; Minzesheimer, Bob (September 16, 2009). "Book Buzz: What's new on the list and in publishing". USA Today. http://www.usatoday.com/life/books/news/2009-09-16-book-buzz_N.htm. Retrieved May 5, 2010. 
  7. ^ James Patterson's Pageturner Awards[dead link]
  8. ^ "USA WEEKEND Magazine, part of USA Today Your Life » Exclusive: Stephen King on J.K. Rowling, Stephenie Meyer". Whosnews.usaweekend.com. 2009-02-02. http://whosnews.usaweekend.com/2009/02/exclusive-stephen-king-on-jk-rowling-stephenie-meyer/#more-411. Retrieved 2011-09-14. 
  9. ^ a b "10 Questions - James Patterson". Time (New York City: Time Inc.): p. 8. July 18, 2010. 
  10. ^ Joshi, S. T. Junk Fiction: America's Obsession with Bestsellers (Borgo Press, 2009), pp. 119–141.
  11. ^ [2][dead link]
  12. ^ "''Child of Darkness, Child of Light'' an adaptation of ''Virgin''". Answers.com. http://www.answers.com/topic/james-patterson-children-s-author. Retrieved 2011-09-14. 
  13. ^ "''Kiss the Girls'' synopsis". Movies.yahoo.com. 1997-10-03. http://movies.yahoo.com/movie/1800300427/details. Retrieved 2011-09-14. 
  14. ^ Miracle on the 17th Green synopsis' at the Internet Movie Database
  15. ^ "''Along Came a Spider'' synopsis". Movies.yahoo.com. 2001-04-06. http://movies.yahoo.com/movie/1803453946/details. Retrieved 2011-09-14. 
  16. ^ 1st to Die synopsis' at the Internet Movie Database
  17. ^ "Sundays at Tiffany's official movie site on Lifetime". Mylifetime.com. http://www.mylifetime.com/movies/sundays-at-tiffanys. Retrieved 2011-09-14. 

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