James Brendan Patterson (born March 22, 1947) is a prolific American thriller writer. By "prolific", we mean he releases about one novel per month, and in 2016 he's launching a brand of novellas. Patterson's work is partly known for really short chapters, which were designed to keep the plot moving. Patterson was originally a lesser-known, yet award-winning novelist until he decided to shorten the chapters and focus-test his books. Upon making those changes, he suddenly hit fame.
As for Patterson's prolific output, he pulls this off by maintaining a stable of co-writers to help churn out new installments for some of his franchises. Patterson writes a treatment of 60 to 80 pages containing all the key plot points, and then hands it off to his co-author to flesh out the details, periodically reviewing and providing feedback. This practice is often criticized in literary circles, but Patterson points out that collaboration is common in practically all media. It also doesn't hurt that he donates millions of dollars to school libraries and indie bookshops.
- Alex Cross - A detective in Washington, D.C.. Three novels have been adapted for the big screen- Along Came a Spider, Kiss the Girls (where the character was played by Morgan Freeman) and Alex Cross (based on Cross where he is played by Tyler Perry).
- Women's Murder Club - A detective, an ME, a DA and crime reporter. They Fight Crime! in San Francisco. Was adapted as a TV series in 2007, it lasted one season.
- Michael Bennett - A widowed detective in New York City. With ten kids. Adopted and multi-racial, naturally.
- Maximum Ride - A teen science-fiction series with human-avian hybrids.
- Witch & Wizard - A teen fantasy series about fugitive magic users.
- Daniel X - A teen science-fiction series about a teenage alien bounty hunter.
- ''Middle School'' - Slice of Life part-illustrated novels with surprising depth that also inspired other books. One is called I Funny and stars crippled comedian Jamie Grimm, and another called Middle School: My Brother Is A Big Fat Liar written by Rafe's sister.
Other Works (incomplete):
- Sail (2008) - a tale of black underwear, black deeds and a message in a bottle.
- Swimsuit (2009)
- Filthy Rich (2016) - one of the rare nonfiction books from Patterson, researching the case of depraved billionaire Jeffrey Epstein.
- The President Is Missing (2018) - co-written with Bill Clinton and one of the few times he is the second author credited on the cover.
Also played poker with a fictional crime writer.
Works by this author with their own pages:
- Alex Cross series
- Daniel X series
- House Of Robots
- I Funny
- Jacky Ha Ha
- Katt vs. Dogg
- Maximum Ride series
- Middle School
- Public School Superhero
- Unbelievably Boring Bart
- Witch & Wizard series
- Word of Mouse
Other works by this author provide examples of:
- About the Author: Is found on most, if not all of his hardback books. Typically more serious in his adult novels, but are sometimes a bit humorous for his middle school and teen series.
- Alpha Bitch: Three of them in My Brother Is A Big Fat Liar; collectively known as the Princess Patrol.
- Animals Hate Him: In Zoo, the mysterious animal attacks are found to be a result of pollution-induced pheromones emitted by human beings which are similar to the attack-pheromones of insects. Thus, this trope applies to everyone on the planet.
- Black Bra and Panties: In Sail, it is stated that a lawyer likes it best when his mistress is wearing black underwear.
- Black Widow: Nora Roberts, the main character in Honeymoon. She kills two rich guys a short while after they propose to her with her two piece signature dish: an omelet laced with one poison, and sparkle water mixed with a second poison.
- Crusading Widower: Michael Bennett.
- Disabled Snarker: Jamie Grimm.
- Expy: In Private: London, the lead character is Daniel Carter, a blonde, blue-eyed ladykiller with a military background and dry wit, even in crisis situations. The bad guy even turns out to be a lunatic out to destabilize a region of the world who kidnaps a scientist to that end. In short, he's very similar to James Bond as a Private Detective, though a lot less sanguine about killing.
- False Roulette: In Sail.
- Free-Range Children: In I Funny, then-sixth-grader Jamie Grimm goes to another town by himself for a comedy contest on his own — did we mention he's paraplegic? — and it's strongly implied he wheeled himself home in the middle of the night. (Overlaps with Handicapped Badass in that case)
- Happily Adopted:
- Micheal Bennett's ten children.
- In My Brother Is A Big Fat Liar Rafe's sister, Georgia.
- Hate Plague: Played with in Zoo, in which a Hate Plague that affects all mammals except humans appears to be triggering an escalating global epidemic of animal attacks. It turns out that, while animals' behavior is indeed being altered, it's more of a Hate Me Plague: thanks to pollution plus radiation from cell phones, humans have begun emitting pheromones which incite other mammals to attack them.
- High-Class Call Girl: In Sail.
- Imprinting: The bird kids do this to the heroine of The Lake House.
- Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: Each of the Womens Murder Club series incorporates its corresponding number into its title (First To Die, Second Chance, Third Degree, Fourth of July etc).
- Incongruously Dressed Zombie: In Zoo 2, Jackson's group in Las Vegas is attacked by feral humans, whose clothes clearly peg them as casino employees, tourists, and (inevitably) an Elvis Impersonator.
- Irish Priest: Mike Bennett's grandfather Seamus (he became a priest after he was widowed).
- No Celebrities Were Harmed: The celebrities taken hostage in Step on a Crack, particularly the Britney Spears-clone.
- Pheromones: A major plot point in Zoo involves pheromone signals.
- Post-Rape Taunt: In The Jester, one of the antagonists pulls this on the hero, whose wife was kidnapped while he was participating in the crusades.
- Ridiculously Human Robots: The Hubots in Humans, Bow Down.
- Robotic Spouse: In The Lake House, Dr. Ethan Kane, the head of the hospital where Max and the other children were kept, has a robotic wife that is "honored" to perform oral sex on him at any time and any place and even has a perfectly measured vagina.
- Rule of Cool: His most well-known young adult series — Maximum Ride, Daniel X, and Witch & Wizard — have a tendency to run on this at the expense of logic.
- Shown Their Work: In London, Dan Carter narrates that an actress, whose name he can't recall, in the restaurant he's in is rumoured to be the next Companion on Doctor Who and was "wearing a skirt even shorter than that worn by the current one" (Amy Pond).
- Stealth Pun: At no point in Sail is the phrase "Dunne In" used.
- Too Dumb to Live: Judge and Jury is about the trial of a mob leader who is a powerful sociopath. The judge lets him hear the jury's names during selection. Even after he gets someone to break into her alarmed house, leave the evening paper under her pillow, and all but openly threatens her, she does nothing. By the end of the day, all but one of the jurors is dead. The retrial is locked down like Fort Knox.