Ask the Author: James Patterson
Answered Questions (11)
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James Patterson Thanks, I like it too. Let’s see, I’ve got the one in Vegas, and then the one in Paris, and then the one where Jack Morgan…oh I probably shouldn’t tell you anything more about that. Let’s just say I have as many ideas for this series as Private Investigations has offices.
I saw that literacy is very important to you. My cousin has dyslexia, but I was surprised that she found your Maximum Ride graphic novel series, and devoured them! What do you think is a good way to get young people that don't enjoy reading, or have trouble reading, to get better at it and enjoy it? I know kids that can't read in 7th grade! :'(
James Patterson Even kids who have trouble reading can usually find something they gobble up – like graphic novels, joke books, or comics. The kind of books teachers used to take away if you read them in class. I’m convinced that kids need to be inundated with books they actually like if they’re ever going to get better at reading. Also, please pass on to your cousin that I’m thrilled she likes Maximum Ride so much.
James Patterson I didn’t begin writing for fun until college, so you’re way ahead of me. Good for you. Here are a few thoughts that might help you. Read as much as you can, read different types of books, but try not to make somebody else’s writing style your writing style. You have to develop a voice of your own. Try to write every single day, even if it’s only a few paragraphs. Building a habit will take you a long way. If you’re passionate about writing, you won’t be able to help yourself. I think that’s the key.
James Patterson Imagine you’re telling the story to someone sitting across from you, and you need to keep them interested. Every time you imagine them looking at their watch, or getting bored, you’re going in the wrong direction. Throw in a twist, do something to shock them. Easier for thriller than memoir, but still the same storytelling basics.
James Patterson I am, it comes out July 21st and it’s called Homeroom Diaries. This one is more realistic than my other YA series, more what real teenagers have to deal with every day. If you read The Fault in Our Stars, you’ll know what I mean. I wanted to take kids who other people see as being on the “fringe” and let them tell their story. This is the closest to the kind of book I wanted to write when I first started writing.
James Patterson I’m actually much more of a basketball fan – Go Badgers! Go Jaspers! Go Commodores! I played in high school and college, and my wife has turned me on to Wisconsin basketball. I do love baseball though - my wife and I try to take our son to at least one major league game every summer.
James Patterson Thanks, I like to think my books are pretty exciting. I look at every scene as if it were happening in a movie. Then I write an outline, scene by scene, omitting any parts that readers would skip over. Short chapters are great for that. I make sure I’m constantly putting in twists, never letting the reader get too comfortable or have too good of an idea what’s going to happen next.
James Patterson The idea started with Daniel’s power – the power of creation. I loved the idea of a hero who doesn’t defeat his enemies by being strong or fast or tough, but by being creative. Imagination is something I think we as a society don’t always properly appreciate, putting other kinds of “intelligence” ahead of it.
James Patterson There are a lot of reasons. One being that a part of me never really grew up - there’s a reason Peter Pan is still one of my all-time favorite stories. And when my son, Jack, was younger, for a while he didn’t read for fun. Neither did a lot of the kids at his school. I wanted to write books that kids wouldn’t be able to put down, where they’d get to the end and say, “That was great. Give me another.”