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5 Thrilling Facts about James Patterson

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  • A red typewriter and books sit on a table in front of a gray wall

Jessica S., Preston | March 1, 2022

James Patterson is one of the most prolific authors publishing today (perhaps of all time), with hundreds of titles to his name for readers of all ages. This year, in honour of his 75th birthday on March 22nd, pick up a book by James Patterson and enjoy 5 thrilling facts about this bestselling author:

 

1. HE’S BEEN PUBLISHING SINCE 1976

James Patterson’s first book was “The Thomas Berryman Number” (available on Overdrive), about an investigative journalist tracking down the assassin behind the murder of a small-town politician. His first big hit, “Along Came a Spider” (the first Alex Cross book), came out in 1993.

 

2. HE’S A FAN OF STEPHEN KING … BUT THE FEELING ISN’T MUTUAL.

Back in 2009, Stephen King told USA Weekend that James Patterson is “a terrible writer.” A few years later, in the most passive-aggressive form of payback ever, Patterson announced the title of his new book: “The Murder of Stephen King.” Out of respect to King’s family, publication was cancelled in 2016 and the book was never released.

 

3. HE DOESN’T ACTUALLY WRITE MOST OF HIS BOOKS.

With dozens of new releases each year, it would be impossible for Patterson to write them all himself. According to a 2016 profile in the Washington Post, he usually only provides an outline for the actual writers. Patterson’s “co-authors” include Andrew Gross, Candice Fox, J.D. Barker, and Mark Sullivan. He’s also worked with celebrities, such as Bill Clinton and Dolly Parton.

 

4. HE ALSO PUBLISHES NONFICTION.

While he’s best known for popular fiction series, Patterson has also published several nonfiction volumes. Fans of his fictional thrillers will enjoy his true crime Investigation Discovery Series. In recent years, he has also focused on famous figures, including John Lennon and the Kennedy family.

 

5. HE’S AMERICA’S HIGHEST-PAID AUTHOR.

Publishing so many bestselling books really adds up. According to Forbes’ Celebrity 100 list, Patterson earned $80 million dollars in 2020. (In case you were wondering, Stephen King did not make the list).