James Patterson is an hugely popular and extremely prolific writer. He’s personally one of my favorites. I’ve read every Alex Cross novel, Women’s Murder Club plus countless other books authored by him. I love seeing his cameos on the TV show Castle.
Did you know he also writes books for middle schoolers? Did you know he is launching a campaign to help underfunded school libraries? While I feel like I know everything about Alex Cross, there are some things about James Patterson that I didn’t know but I wanted to find out.
I was lucky enough to get Mr. Patterson to answer a few questions (and you’ll love him even more after you read his responses):
MM: We are huge fans of your Alex Cross books and also Women’s Murder Club. How do you come up with so many murder scenarios?
JP: Practical experience, of course. Kidding. I guess I just have a big imagination. I also spent some time working night shifts at a hospital when I was in college. Since it was usually pretty quiet, I spent the time devouring book after book. That time opened my mind to all sorts of stories, characters, and worlds.
MM: What inspired you to write for children, and in particular, write Public School Superhero?
JP: What really sparked my interest was when my son, Jack, was younger. My wife and I were trying to find books for him to read, and I thought I should give it a shot. I love doing it. I think I get show off my funny side in a way I don’t get to do in my adult books. Public School Superhero was important to me because I wanted kids from all walks of life to see themselves in my stories. I think it has a great message, but more importantly, I think kids are going to love Kenny Wright and his superhero alter-ego, Stainlezz Steel
MM: Tell us a little about your grant program for school libraries.
JP: Kids need access to books. Lots and lots of books of all kinds. Unfortunately most state governments don’t fund our schools, and especially school libraries, with adequate budgets, so I decided to help. All you have to do to apply for the grant is fill out some information about yourself and the school, and then tell me in 300 words or less how your school library could benefit from some extra money
MM: We love seeing your guest appearances on the fabulous show Castle – is Nathan Fillion as funny in real life as he is on the show?
He’s funnier and dreamier than you could imagine.
About Public School Superhero:
In this story about a good kid with a great imagination struggling in a less-than-ideal world, James Patterson brings his bestselling “Middle School”-style humor and sensibility to an urban setting.
Kenny Wright is a kid with a secret identity. In his mind, he’s Stainlezz Steel, super-powered defender of the weak. In reality, he’s a chess club devotee known as a “Grandma’s Boy,” a label that makes him an easy target for bullies. Kenny wants to bring a little more Steel to the real world, but the question is: can he recognize his own true strength before peer pressure forces him to make the worst choice of his life?
James Patterson’s newest illustrated novel is a genuinely funny yet poignant look at middle school in a challenging urban setting, where a kid’s life can depend on the everyday decisions he makes.
In 2015, James Patterson will donate 100,000 copies of PUBLIC SCHOOL SUPERHERO to some of the most neglected and underfunded schools in America, and he will launch a major campaign to support school libraries.
The books will be distributed through First Book, a nonprofit social enterprise that provides new books for kids in need. First Book is a nonprofit social enterprise that has distributed more than 125 million books and educational resources to programs and schools serving children from low-income families in the United States and Canada. For more information visit firstbook.org or join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter.