Kimmery Interviews The World's Bestselling Author
Hi book nerds! Today I have the honor of interviewing literary king James Patterson and the celebrated co-author of his latest novel, Mike Lupica. Read on to discover who they consider to be "the best character we've ever created", which three televison shows/films influenced their latest book, and, finally, a monumentally startling detail of JP's writing process, which I promise will leave you staggered, especially if you are Gen Z or Millennial.
Patterson needs no introduction but I'll attempt one anyway: he's sold more books than any other living human (425 million+ according to the interwebs), holds more #1 New York Times bestselling titles than any other author (67!!) and writes across a wide variety of genres, including thrillers, series books, nonfiction, young adult and middle-grade, and even romance. He is particularly beloved for his endeavors to support literacy, boost access to books, and champion the careers of other authors. Co-authors have included such luminaries as Bill Clinton and, my personal idol, Dolly Parton.
When it comes to accolades, Mike Lupica is not too shabby either. The most prominent sports writers in America, about whom The New York Times opined "Mike Lupica will win a Pulitzer for his sportswriting one day." He has written a number of autobiographies, articles, adult and young-adult novels, and is a regular contributor on many television shows.
Together, they've written an exciting sports-themed thriller, THE HOUSE OF WOLVES. Charlotte-area readers: you can meet them in-person during a signing at the Barnes & Noble Arboretum on January 11 (more details HERE)
Let's get to it!
KM: My first question is about the co-writing process. How did this partnership come about between the two of you and how do the logistics work? Does one of you have ultimate editing power or is everything negotiated? (James, I met you a few years back when you were touring with Bill Clinton and I seem to remember hearing the first draft of that book was written in pencil! Was this one?)
JP: I still write every first draft in number two pencil! For Mike, it’s old-fashioned Cross rollerball pens. We go back and forth on pretty much everything. We both do our best writing in the morning and think best with a pencil or pen in hand.
KM: Regarding THE HOUSE OF WOLVES, the plot centers around a family with dynamics as dramatic and intense as those of the Roys of Succession, the Duttons of Yellowstone, and possibly—if recent news accounts are accurate—the real-life Windsors. What was the genesis of this storyline?
JP: Mike and I went back and watched every episode of Succession and Yellowstone and the two Godfather movies to get a feeling of the warmth and love among family members.
KM: Both of you write in a variety of genres and on a variety of cross-generational topics. What are your favorite of the books you’ve written and which ones have been the most difficult to write?
JP: We find that we can write a story about pretty much any topic. Last year we published our first book together, THE HORSEWOMAN, about a family of rival Olympians. Now we’re on tour for our second, THE HOUSE OF WOLVES, a murder mystery about a powerful yet dysfunctional media dynasty. This fall, we’ll introduce the best character we’ve ever created in Jane Effing Smith, a legal thriller set in the Hamptons. The Patterson-Lupica line of books is just getting started!
KM: Looking back on your careers, if you had to name one highlight, what would it be?
JP: Talking to kids who are interested in reading and writing. When we talk to school groups, we tell them, “Every one of you has a story worth telling. There’s a story in every one of you, so go home and write it. And when you do it, you’re a writer.”
KM: As an author myself, I am curious about the habits of massively successful, household-name-type writers. Was much research required for THE HOUSE OF WOLVES? Did anything particularly interesting crop up as you were drafting the manuscript?
JP: Sports have a beginning, a middle, and an end. So do novels. We both have the same answer to the question, “Why do you write novels?” We like to say, because in novels, things come out the way we want them to. And, most of the time, the good guys triumph and the bad guys get what they deserve. Owners of the thirty-two professional football teams will do absolutely anything to hold on to them. Our hero, Jenny Wolf, high school football coach, NFL team owner, and her tough, brilliant father’s daughter, is one of the good ones.
more about ... T H E H O U S E O F W O L V E S
Jenny Wolf’s murdered father has left her in charge of a multi-billion-dollar empire—a newspaper, a football team, a holding company . . . and a family that makes Succession's Roys and Yellowstone’s Duttons seem tame.
The Wolfs, the most powerful family in California, have a new head–thirty-six- year-old former high school teacher Jenny Wolf. That means Jenny now runs the prestigious San Francisco Tribune.She also controls the legendary pro football team, the Wolves. And she hopes to solve her father’s murder. The most suspenseful family story since Succession or Yellowstone.