Wait, what did I just say? Hehe. I’ll explain.
What do you think of when you think of James Patterson? I think of several things. Alex Cross. Michael Bennett. Young adult. Ghostwriting. Ridiculous criticism. MILLIONS. And also, “all the books.” If you know anything about James Patterson, then you should understand why I think of those things. Pretty straightforward. The difference between myself and others is that I have no issue with the way he does things. He’s figured out how to make book publishing an overly profitable business for A LOT of people. He now publishes his young adult series under his own imprint. But I’ve learned something during my 4+ months working in a bookstore. He’s not the only one, he just does it better than everyone else.
John Grisham. David Baldacci. J.K. Rowling. Rick Riordan.
What do all of these authors have in common besides being major bestsellers? They’ve all written/write young adult and adult fiction. And this is certainly not an exhaustive list. Now I bet you’re thinking, “But that isn’t why I criticize Patterson, I criticize him because he doesn’t write his own books.” Right. Except you only know that because he’s allows you to know it. What you don’t know is how many authors don’t. Right? You can’t sit there and say with any amount of certainty which authors do and don’t write their own books. You can guess and you can assume, but you can’t really know for sure because you’re not in the room when those books are being written. So the ghostwriting criticism is flat out dumb. And there can’t be too much criticism about publishing for teens and for adults because there are SO many other authors doing the same.
Patterson doesn’t need me to defend his work or methods, but I’ll continue to do so for as long as he keeps entertaining me with his Alex Cross novels. Because they’ll never be the greatest books written, but they’re more entertaining than so many other series I’ve read. That’s gotta count for something.
PS: His various young adult books can’t be kept in stock at my store. Too many people coming in for them. So while so many people criticize him he’ll just keep on writing books that entertain readers of all ages.
What do you think of authors writing in different genres and not doing so under a pen name? I have no issue with any author who’s able to do it well, because it can’t be as easy as they make it seem.