The Book Catapult

117 Days of James Patterson – Day Eight

Day Eight, Chapter Eight
(One minute, 18 seconds) Three pages of paper, 2 pages worth of words. Why am I still surprised?

I had a co-worker tell me yesterday about an article on James Patterson as a cash product that he had read somewhere recently. So I was checking out jamespatterson.com to see if there was a link anywhere, when the man himself spoke to me. Mind you, this was at 6:30 in the morning – to hear Patterson himself hawking the book sitting on the table next to me sort of felt like a hallucination. Just go to Patterson’s home page to watch the promo – it’s only 15 seconds and uses the word “unputdownable”, you’ll love it.

The article I was searching for was actually a huge story in the New York Times Magazine (“James Patterson Inc.”, January 20, 2010) that is filled with fascinating quotes from the author and tons of insight into the process of creating a Patterson novel. In reference to his current style of writing (as opposed to that of his Edgar Award-winning first novel) he said, “I’m less interested in sentences now and more interested in stories.” Well, that’s a relief! ‘Cause the sentences I’ve read so far are pretty freakin’ awful.

“Look, 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.”

Oh, right, speaking of “not high art”, Chapter 8 – Lindsay bids Yuki farewell and heads to the crime scene. She offers some astounding praise on her way out the door.

“Your closing was outstanding, girlfriend. Don’t quit.”

I’m sure Yuki feels much better about her court case after their heart-to-heart. When she arrives at the crime scene (if you remember, Pete Gordon shoots mom & baby in Chapter 2) she’s greeted by Officer Joe Sorbero, who “looked gray, as if he’d never seen death before.” He tells her, grimly, that her “next nightmare is right over there”, pointing out the RAV4 murder scene.  Honestly, I can’t find anything funny about this scene – it has too many dead babies in it. Wait…

“Are you thinking the baby was collateral damage?”
“No way,” Conklin said. “He was capped on purpose.”

Yeah! See you tomorrow!


I’d just like to quickly thank Angela Carone at KPBS and Aaryn Belfer over at aarynbelfer.com (among other things) for taking the time to plug this project & encourage me to continue in the face of such a daunting task. If you guys can keep reading, I’ll keep writing about it, even if it kills most of my brain. Thanks!
Go to Day Nine.

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9 comments on “117 Days of James Patterson – Day Eight

  1. aaryn b.
    May 6, 2010

    Okay, three is a charm.
    Got an error message the first time around and had to try to duplicate my comment. I'm gonna blame it on your damned word verification. Just delete these last two, please? And then I'll leave you alone.

    Until tomorrow, that is. Because Seth? I just can't quit you. You complete me. You're unputdownable. And frankly, sweetheart, I find your paranoia quite attractive.

  2. themarkness.com
    May 6, 2010

    A friend of mine linked to your James Patterson castigation project through Aaryn Belfer's blog. I'm totally digging it, especially in light of that recent article (I think it was NYT?) about Patterson, Inc. and his “stable of writers” approach to his brand-name corporate publishing endeavors.

  3. Seth Marko
    May 6, 2010

    Aaryn gets a gold star for the day for her use of freakin' awesome James Patterson imagery. The spraying champagne bit still has me laughing!

    Wait, are you trying to show me up? I'm gonna have to blow the doors off this thing in tomorrow's post.

  4. themarkness.com
    May 7, 2010

    Aaaaaaand I totally posted that comment about the Patterson article having only read the book excerpt part of this post, not realizing that you already mentioned the article in this very same entry. That's not a very good first impression! *headdesk*

  5. Seth Marko
    May 7, 2010

    Mark, Mark, Mark. It's OK, just pay attention! We've got a long way to go. 🙂

  6. Naomi Johnson
    May 7, 2010

    I'm ordering a straitjacket for you, Seth, in case you actually get past chapter 100.

  7. Seth Marko
    May 7, 2010

    Naomi, it's too late for me. Save yourself.

  8. aaryn b.
    May 7, 2010

    No, no, Seth. I don't want to steal your thunder or rain on your parade or take the wind out of your sales. I'm just along for the ride, enjoying you take apart this Dale-Chihuly-of-novelists. I'm just letting you know that someone really, really gets you. In effect, I'm saying your project is outstanding, boyfriend. Don't quit.

  9. Seth Marko
    May 7, 2010

    Aw, I was just funnin'.

    There's no going back on this thing, have no fear. I just had a customer tell me that she's been enjoying reading these posts every day. I've never seen her before in my life!

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This entry was posted on May 6, 2010 by in 117 Days of James Patterson.
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