James Patterson

James Patterson

Update: 2024-06-061


James Patterson, the best-selling author, joins the Armchair Expert podcast to discuss his new book "Eruption." The conversation then shifts to a humorous debate between Dax Shepard and Monica Padman about the differences between rats and mice, with Dax arguing that they are essentially the same. This leads to a discussion about the nature of hotness, coolness, and funniness, with Dax and Monica trying to categorize themselves and others based on these qualities. They ultimately agree that Dax is funny, hot, and cool, while Monica is funny, cool, and hot, but in a different order. The conversation concludes with a discussion about the importance of being funny in a long-term relationship and the novelty of being seen as hot.



This Chapter introduces the podcast, "Armchair Expert," and its hosts, Dax Shepard and Monica Padman. They welcome James Patterson, a renowned author, as their guest.

James Patterson's Writing Career

This Chapter delves into James Patterson's writing career, highlighting his prolific output and his numerous best-selling books. He discusses his writing process, his collaboration with other authors, and his unique approach to storytelling.

James Patterson's Early Life and Influences

This Chapter explores James Patterson's early life and the influences that shaped his writing career. He shares stories about his upbringing, his family, and his experiences in school. Patterson also discusses his early interest in writing and the challenges he faced in pursuing his passion.

James Patterson's Career in Advertising

This Chapter focuses on James Patterson's career in advertising, where he worked for 25 years and rose to become CEO of North America for a major agency. He shares anecdotes about his experiences in the industry, including his early days as a copywriter and his rise to leadership.

Success and Envy in the Literary World

This Chapter explores the complexities of success and envy in the literary world. James Patterson discusses the challenges of dealing with criticism from peers and the importance of staying true to one's own voice.

Collaboration in Writing

This Chapter delves into the topic of collaboration in writing, highlighting James Patterson's experiences working with other authors. He discusses the benefits of collaboration and the importance of finding the right partners.

Reflections on Success and Dreams

This Chapter concludes the podcast with James Patterson reflecting on his journey to success and the importance of pursuing one's dreams. He shares his thoughts on the role of money in his life and the joy he finds in writing.

Rats vs. Mice

This Chapter begins with a humorous debate between Dax Shepard and Monica Padman about the differences between rats and mice, with Dax arguing that they are essentially the same. This leads to a discussion about the nature of hotness, coolness, and funniness, with Dax and Monica trying to categorize themselves and others based on these qualities.

James Taylor and Mental Health

This Chapter delves into James Taylor's personal struggles with mental health, including his experience with depression and anxiety, and his family's history of mental illness.


James Patterson
James Patterson is an American author known for his prolific output of mystery, thriller, and suspense novels. He is one of the world's best-selling authors, with over 400 million books sold. His most popular series include the Alex Cross series, the Women's Murder Club series, and the Michael Bennett series. Patterson is also known for his collaborations with other authors, including Bill Clinton, Dolly Parton, and Michael Lupica.

Eruption is a new novel by James Patterson, co-authored with Michael Crichton's widow, Sherry Crichton. The book is a thriller set in Hawaii, centered around a massive volcanic eruption and a military secret that is threatened to be exposed. The novel is a continuation of a project that Michael Crichton had begun before his death in 2008.

Michael Crichton
Michael Crichton was an American author, screenwriter, director, and producer. He was known for his science fiction and thriller novels, including Jurassic Park, Westworld, and The Andromeda Strain. Crichton's work often explored themes of science, technology, and the potential dangers of human ambition. He died in 2008, leaving behind a legacy of popular and influential works.

Sherry Crichton
Sherry Crichton is the widow of Michael Crichton. She is a writer and producer, and has been involved in several of her late husband's projects. Crichton entrusted James Patterson to finish a manuscript that Michael had begun before his death, resulting in the novel "Eruption."

Armchair Expert
Armchair Expert is a popular podcast hosted by Dax Shepard and Monica Padman. The show features interviews with a wide range of guests, from actors and musicians to authors and entrepreneurs. The podcast is known for its candid and insightful conversations, often exploring personal stories and career journeys.

Writing Process
The writing process refers to the steps involved in creating a written work, from generating ideas to revising and editing. Different writers have different approaches to the writing process, but common elements include brainstorming, outlining, drafting, revising, and editing. The writing process can be a solitary or collaborative endeavor, and it often involves a significant amount of time and effort.

Collaboration is the act of working together with others to achieve a common goal. In writing, collaboration can take many forms, from co-authoring a book to working with editors and publishers. Collaboration can be beneficial for writers, as it can provide new perspectives, generate fresh ideas, and help to improve the quality of the final product.

Best-Selling Author
A best-selling author is a writer whose books have achieved significant commercial success, typically selling a large number of copies. Best-selling authors often have a loyal following and their books are frequently featured on bestseller lists. The title of "best-selling author" is often associated with fame, fortune, and influence in the literary world.

Advertising is a form of communication used to promote products, services, or ideas. It can take many forms, including print, television, radio, and online advertising. Advertising is a major industry, with companies spending billions of dollars each year to reach consumers. Advertising can be effective in raising awareness, generating leads, and driving sales.

James Taylor
James Taylor is an American singer-songwriter known for his distinctive voice and introspective lyrics. He is a Grammy Award winner and has sold over 40 million albums worldwide. Taylor's music often explores themes of love, loss, and the human condition. He has been open about his struggles with mental health and addiction, and his music has resonated with audiences for its honesty and vulnerability.


  • What is James Patterson's writing process like?

    Patterson doesn't follow a strict word count or schedule. He writes whenever inspiration strikes, often early in the morning or in the afternoon. He doesn't believe in forcing himself to write a certain number of words per day.

  • How did James Patterson transition from a career in advertising to becoming a best-selling author?

    Patterson started writing while still working in advertising. He found time to write during his lunch breaks and eventually left his job to focus on writing full-time. His first big hit was "Along Came a Spider," which launched his successful writing career.

  • What is unique about James Patterson's new book, "Eruption"?

    "Eruption" is a co-authored project with Michael Crichton's widow, Sherry Crichton. Patterson was tasked with finishing a manuscript that Crichton had begun before his death. It's a unique collaboration with a writer who is no longer alive.

  • What are some of the challenges and rewards of being a best-selling author?

    Patterson discusses the challenges of dealing with criticism from peers and the pressure to maintain a high level of success. However, he also highlights the joy of creating something new and the satisfaction of connecting with readers.

  • How does James Patterson view collaboration in writing?

    Patterson is a strong advocate for collaboration, believing it can bring fresh perspectives and improve the quality of work. He has collaborated with numerous authors, including Bill Clinton, Dolly Parton, and Michael Lupica.

  • What are some of the key takeaways from James Patterson's conversation on Armchair Expert?

    Patterson's conversation offers insights into the writing process, the challenges of success, the importance of collaboration, and the joy of pursuing one's passions. He emphasizes the importance of staying true to one's own voice and finding inspiration in unexpected places.

  • What is James Patterson's perspective on success and envy in the literary world?

    Patterson acknowledges that envy is a common emotion in the literary world, but he tries to avoid dwelling on it. He believes that success should be celebrated, not envied, and that writers should focus on creating their best work.

  • How does James Patterson approach the challenge of writing in Michael Crichton's style?

    Patterson emphasizes the importance of staying true to Crichton's vision while also bringing his own unique voice to the project. He researched Crichton's work extensively and sought to understand his writing style and themes.

  • What is James Patterson's advice for aspiring writers?

    Patterson encourages aspiring writers to follow their passions and to never give up on their dreams. He emphasizes the importance of finding inspiration in everyday life and of working hard to develop their craft.

  • What is James Patterson's perspective on the role of money in his life?

    Patterson acknowledges that money has played a role in his success, but he emphasizes that it is not the primary motivator for his writing. He finds greater satisfaction in creating something meaningful and connecting with readers.

Show Notes

James Patterson (Eruption, Alex Cross, Along Came a Spider) is a best-selling author. James joins the Armchair Expert to discuss why he likes fiction more than non-fiction, what it’s like to have a kid later in life, and how difficult it is for him to describe his writing process. James and Dax talk about how much research goes into finishing a Michael Crichton book, his relationship with his father, and how many hole-in-ones he shot in his life. James explains why he left advertising to be an author, which film adaptions of his books he likes most, and why he loves collaborating with his peers to write novels.

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James Patterson

James Patterson

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