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James Patterson

James Patterson was born on March 22, 1947. His parents, Charles and Isabelle Patterson, raised him in Newburg, New York. Charles was an insurance broker and Isabelle was a schoolteacher. James doesn’t talk about his childhood very much, but it was found that he grew up in a house full of girls. He lived with his mother, grandmother, three sisters, and two female cats in a local poorhouse. James's father had a difficult childhood and never knew his own father, so he really didn’t know how to be one to his children. When James’s family moved to a suburb of Boston, James worked at McLean Hospital in Belmont. It was there that he found his passion for books since he had nothing to do but read while on the nightshift. James went to Manhattan College where he graduated Summa Cum Laude with a Bachelors Degree in English and then went to Vanderbilt University for a teaching major, but he dropped out after one year. He knew he wanted to become a writer and teaching would not let him do that.

While James was working as a junior copywriter at J. Walter Thompson advertising agency, he wrote his first novel: The Thomas Berryman Number. It was rejected twenty-six times until Little, Brown accepted it in exchange for $8,500. Later, it won the award for the best first mystery novel. James is best known for the Alex Cross detective series and the Women’s Murder Club series. Other novels of his include When the Wind Blows, Suzanne’s Diary for Nicholas, and 7th Heaven. James has won many awards for his novels, such as the Edgar, the BCA Mystery Guild’s Thriller of the Year, the International Thriller of the Year Award, and the Reader’s Digest Reader’s Choice Award. He has also made the New York Times bestselling novels list at number one nineteen consecutive times and holds the Guinness World Record for the most Hardcover Fiction bestselling titles by a single author.

With an estimated 170 million copies of his novels sold worldwide, James can easily be considered one of the most successful thriller authors ever. You would think that other famous authors would praise James for his success and consider him as a role model. However, that does not seem to be the case. The well known Stephen King had once referred to James’s novels as “dopey thrillers.” If that type of criticism happened to anybody else, they might falter or second guess their ideas, but that’s not how James took it. He understands that there are people that love his work, and people that hate it and you can’t always give everybody what they want. Although, he does try to appeal to as many different age groups as he can. James loves the idea of getting children interested in reading at an early age. That desire probably comes from himself not becoming interested in books until he graduated from high school, which is a later age than most famous authors. Jack Patterson, James’s son, did not like reading at first either. Thus, James Patterson’s ReadKiddoRead foundation was created. It is a website that parents, teachers, aunts, uncles, and pretty much anybody can use to help children get a love for reading. Besides helping children to become active readers, James also wanted to give the blind a chance to read. He gave The Perkins Braille & Talking Book Library a James Patterson Page Turner award. The library got copies of books by James that are recorded cassette, brailled, and large printed. Having all of this power and publicity would get to most people’s heads, but that is definitely not James’s case. He enjoys spending time with his wife, Sue, and his son, at their home in Palm Beach, Florida. When he isn’t busy writing, James likes to play golf and basketball. An interesting thing about James is that he does not find entertainment in plopping himself in front of the television for hours at a time. He would much rather be writing down ideas for a new book or finishing another. James also has friends that he has known since the first grade which shows he does not let fame get to his head. A motto that best represents how James lives is, “assume nothing, question everything” (people.urb.com). Without his open mind and desire to learn, James Patterson would not be the author that millions know and love to this day.

Works Cited
"About James." James Patterson. Hachette Book Group. Web. 21 Feb.2010.

Brainy Quote. BrainyMedia.com, 2010. Web. 21 Feb. 2010.

"James Patterson Biography." Bookstove. Bookstove, 26 Feb. 2009. Web. 21 Feb. 2010.

"James Patterson Inc." Interview by Jonathan Mahler.Http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/24/patterson-t.html?pagewanted=all.
The New York Times Company, 20 Jan. 2010. Web. 21 Feb. 2010

"James Patterson Pageturners." James Patterson's ReadKiddoRead.com. Hachette Book Group, Inc, 2010. Web. 21 Feb. 2010.

Marshal, Jacob "James Patterson- His Story." James Patterson- His Story. 5 Nov. 2007 EzineArticles.com. 20 Feb. 2010

Schnuer, Jenna. "The Hardest- working Man in Publishing." American Way. American Airlines, Inc., 1 Sept. 2008. Web. 21 Feb. 2010.