Inside James Patterson's Black Lotus Ninja Dojo
Every discipline needs an identifiable villain in order to grow and develop in opposition, and James Patterson has been fiction's Hitler ever since Admiral Lafayette Hubbard died. Patterson is a man who works tirelessly to turn the process of writing books into a mechanical act without honor or humanity, into a factory product where he is the ruthless quality-control inspector who rubber stamps his authorized creations, letting the world know that "yes, he has approved these products for sale" and "yes, now you can buy them."

Who knows if he even writes anything himself? He will live and die, and the hundreds of non-disclosure agreements he has drafted with his ghostwriters will remain secret until the ghostwriters age and question their lives, and end up saying too much in the dingy back rooms of New York bars.

The art world has to deal with Thomas Kinkade single-handedly destroying the spirit of their calling. We have to deal with fucking Patterson.

James Patterson's Palm Beach home and Black Lotus Ninja Dojo

The only way to deal with the paintings of Thomas Kinkade is to imagine that the buildings are on fire

In this fluff piece for the Guardian, we enter Patterson's home in Florida and see the man at work. He is the patron saint of the middle-aged amateur, the kind of wealthy, avuncular person who -- after a successful career in a morally-difficult executive position -- takes their hobby, buys it, and tries to justify their life by claiming it was their real passion all along.

Patterson is a one-man vanity press: not only does he buy his own commercials for his own books, he doesn't even write them, and hasn't since 1996. We have to take his word that he wrote his own books before 1996, but isn't it interesting how much he knows about killing people and getting away with it? Is he a thriller writer and a detective fiction genius? Or is he a man who befriends lonely, struggling writers, slits their throats, steals their stories, strikes a line through their name, and replaces it with his own?

Are his books clues for us? Is the guilt tearing him apart? Does he want to be caught? Does he want one last chance to explain himself before he is led away in chains to the gas chamber?

All we know for certain is that these days he is famous enough to flaunt his "writing process" in our faces.

"We are sitting on a deep, comfy sofa, the sea at our backs, and Patterson is wearing a navy mariner's sweater."

"How does he do it? Well, ever since 1996, when he published a novel called "Miracle on the 17th Green" with a golfing buddy, he has done it by finding collaborators to help him fill in the blanks. He comes up with the plot, they write the sentences, he reviews draft after draft."

"When I ask Patterson about his co-writers, he lists seven or eight of them, none of whom lives nearby (it's all done remotely), all of whom have different strengths - and, he adds with a little roll of his eyes, different levels of dependability. He speaks of them almost as if they were his occasionally wayward children."

Patterson used to be a head executive at a New York marketing agency before he discovered that he was a genius who didn't even have to write books to make millions as an author. In fact, sometimes he doesn't have to do anything at all.

"Once, he went for a meeting with a studio exec who had commissioned a script based on one of Patterson's books. The screenplay, Patterson noted on his way to the meeting, contained not a single thing that resembled his book. The exec said he didn't want it. Patterson told him the story of his book in 10 seconds, whereupon the exec jumped up and down with glee and gave him $250,000 - for nothing. They already owned the rights."

If you have reached this article because you "work for" Patterson and are part of his PR department, if your job is to scan the internet twenty-four hours a day and search for people who are saying bad things about your Master, please, get help, don't let him control your life.

Get to a newspaper. It doesn't matter how much money he gave you to shut you up. Tell them where he touched you. Break the cycle of abuse.

Posted by miracle on Mon, 06 Apr 2009 15:09:09 -0400 -- permanent link

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