James Patterson has published over 90 books— including Guilty Wives. From his Q & A with Lauren A.E. Schuker at the Wall Street Journal's Speakeasy blog:
Do you think that the literary community dislikes you?--Marshal Zeringue
There’s kind of a misunderstanding. I get a lot of questions like, ‘how do you feel about keeping up-and-coming writers off the bestseller list?’ But I don’t think I’m really doing that. I might knock Tom Clancy off a week earlier. But the reality is, unless your publisher commits to a lot of copies, you’re not going to get on the bestseller list. The chances against you are 500,000 to 1.
What do you like to read when you’re not writing?
I read a lot of weird stuff…like Thomas Merton’s letters. I got hooked on Merton a long time ago. Somebody just sent me his letters. I read a lot of kids’ stuff. I have very catholic taste. It’s really all over the map. Oh, and Stephen King. I read his stuff. I like breaking his balls by saying positive things about him.
Do you ever talk to him?
No, he’s taken shots at me for years. It’s fine, but my approach is to do the opposite with him—to heap praise.
Do you read his books pretty regularly?
Yeah. I like a lot of his earlier stuff better. Although I think his latest book [‘11/22/63’] is pretty good. It’s done well and it’s also closer to what he was writing fifteen years ago. But if he had written it fifteen years ago, the critics would have torn it up, said ‘schlockmeister writes more schlock.’ Instead, they ate it up.
Is that because...[read on]