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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. 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. 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. 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.
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 Fox TV show The Simpsons (in the episode "Yokel Chords") and in various episodes in 'Castle' as himself.
Patterson works with different co-authors, such as Maxine Paetro, Andrew Gross, and Peter DeJonge 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 six for young adults by the end of 2012. Forbes reported the deal was worth at least $150 million, but Patterson said the estimate isn't close.
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. 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. 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."
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.
Patterson also received criticism for his continued work with collaborators. His prolific output is partially 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. 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."
Patterson received a bachelor's degree from Manhattan College and a master's degree from Vanderbilt University. He lives in Palm Beach, Florida, with his wife Susan and son, Jack.Information source: wikipedia