I’m not a big fan of James Patterson’s books, but I’m a fan of James Patterson. He seems real to me; he knows who he is and what he’s doing. Of course, I often wish writers like him didn’t exist. They hoard the limited resources of the publishing industry, making it even harder for a new author to get published – and harder still for him to sell any books. But publishing is a business; I get that. If your job was to deliver consistent financial results to your shareholders, would you rather put a billion bucks into a machine guaranteed to return $1.1 billion, or would you rather throw dollars at a roulette wheel?
Patterson considers himself an entertainer first, and unlike many “literary authors” who write for themselves or the critics, he writes for one group: the readers. In the NYT article, the interviewer is surprised that JP would consider rewriting a book to appease readers. He explains: “If you’re writing ‘Crime and Punishment’ or ‘Remembrance of Things Past,’ then you can sit back and go: ‘This is it, this is the book. This is high art. I’m the man, you’re not. The end.’ But I’m not the man, and this is not high art.”