James Patterson and Me

Facebook apparently knows I am interested in learning more about the writer’s craft. Maybe it’s time to clear out my browser history, or delete cookies or something.

Anyway, an ad for the James Patterson MasterClass kept popping up over on the right side. I was intrigued: What writer wouldn’t want to learn from a man who knows how to sell so many books?

I Googled for a review, and found this from author Joyce Maynard.

Short version: She said it was a good way to spend $90, and I agree. 

This time around,  there is frosting on the cake: Mr. Patterson is running a writing contest. Or, by the time you read this, WAS running a writing contest.

The theme is “Write a book with James”. And  no, I don’t expect to be a finalist. Not that I don’t think I’m any good, it’s just not very likely.

Which is fine. The assignment made me stretch, and it was fun. Genre is Mystery or Thriller, and one must write in a style compatible with Patterson’s body of work.  I picked Mystery and chose to write in  first person. Genre and voice were both new for me. The contest also asks for a synopsis up front. Again, not something I have done that early.

And then, what the heck, why not outline the book, as per his practice, which is another habit I had yet to embrace.

Thus far, I have thumbnailed sixteen chapters. The title is “The Dressmaker’s Apprentice” and I am going to write it, no matter what happens with the contest.

The course is highly recommended.




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