James Patterson is the world’s best-selling author, with more than 300 million copies sold since his first novel in 1977. Patterson has teamed up again with former president Bill Clinton to co-author, “The President’s Daughter: A Thriller,” which includes a terrorist abduction and a national security emergency. Join Washington Post opinions editor-at-large Michael Duffy in conversation with Patterson.


“He really insists that there’s complexity to the character, and sometimes that’s not my strength because I get so caught up in the plot. So the villains tend to be complicated, we tend to understand a bit about how they got to where they are... That’s an important thing that he insists on and I think he’s absolutely right.” (Washington Post Live)
“When I’m writing, I pretend there’s someone sitting across from me and I don’t want them to get up until I’m finished with the story… I don’t know that I always succeed with that, but that’s my hope.” (Washington Post Live)

James Patterson

Provided by James Patterson.

James Patterson is the world’s bestselling author and most trusted storyteller. He has created many enduring fictional characters and series, including Alex Cross, the Women’s Murder Club, Michael Bennett, Maximum Ride, Middle School, and I Funny. Among his notable literary collaborations are The President Is Missing, with President Bill Clinton, and the Max Einstein series, produced in partnership with the Albert Einstein Estate. Patterson’s writing career is characterized by a single mission: to prove that there is no such thing as a person who “doesn’t like to read,” only people who haven’t found the right book. He’s given over three million books to schoolkids and the military, donated more than seventy million dollars to support education, and endowed over five thousand college scholarships for teachers. The National Book Foundation recently presented Patterson with the Literarian Award for Outstanding Service to the American Literary Community, and he is also the recipient of an Edgar Award and six Emmy Awards. He lives in Florida with his family.