James Patterson has done it again. He is the top-earning author in the world, reaping something like $84 million last year. But that's not really true. Really it is the brand name James Patterson that has done it again. Patterson, the actual living, breathing human being, you see, really does not do all that much actual writing these days. He hires people to do the grunt work for him and he just puts the icing on the cake they hand him.
I suppose seeing this story on The Guardian website is what convinced me that the only way to flush my mind of Patterson's windfall was to make note of it here. I apologize.
Who was King to say that Patterson's co-writers, the ones who actually wrote the outlines, plotted the chapters, did the dialogue that he then ran through with his pencil, were terrible? What had Marshall Karp, Ned Rust, Richard DiLallo, Maxine Paetro, Liza Marklund or any of the others whose names appeared in smaller print on the fronts of his books ever done to cause King pain? Their names were embossed on the covers weren't they? They swung round every airport bookstall carousel, didn't they?[...]
The 64-year-old, a former chief executive of the J Walter Thompson advertising agency, described his modus operandi with collaborators to the Observer in an interview two years ago: "My only rules are that the story has a driving force and that individual chapters are holding my attention. I will at some point sit there and write 'be there' on a lot of pages – if it's supposed to be a romantic scene and I don't feel anything, or if it is a scary scene and I don't feel frightened."OK, I feel better now. I hope I didn't ruin your day. This is sort of like getting a really cheesy song stuck in your head, isn't it?