Besides being an art, writing can also be a business. While some writers focus on the purpose of their stories, others concentrate on giving the world more than just their story. Thriller author James Patterson may have been criticized many times for turning his art into a business, but this doesn’t stop him from giving back to a deserving community.
James Patterson is not just an extraordinary writer—he was also an extraordinary academic. He graduated summa cum laude in both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in English at Manhattan College and Vanderbilt University. He was a PhD candidate but decided to go ahead and jump into the corporate world. He was an advertising executive at J. Walter Thompson up until 1996, after which he focused on writing.
Patterson is best known for his created character Alex Cross. A forensic psychologist, Cross dabbled in private consultancy after working for the FBI and the Washington DC Metropolitan Police. The first Alex Cross novel was published in 1976. There are more than twenty Alex Cross novels. They are currently the best-selling detective series in the United States.
Patterson holds the Guinness World Record for “Most #1 New York Times Best Sellers by a Single Author” (sixty-seven). He has also won several awards, including the Edgar Award and the BCA Mystery Guild’s Thriller of the Year.
Stephen King has criticized Patterson, saying that he “isn’t a good writer but is very successful.” Some have also criticized him for being more of a writer for business rather than for art. Patterson also cowrote plenty of his novels, for which he has also been criticized.
Regardless, Patterson has made a name for himself in the thriller genre. He founded the James Patterson PageTurner Awards and donates over a hundred thousand dollars a year. The awards support people and institutions who spread the love for book reading. He also founded ReadKiddoRead.com, a social networking site that allows parents, teachers, and librarians to find books for children. He has also set up several scholarship programs.
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