Porträt: James Patterson

What Patterson writes, he acknowledges, is not high art or literature, per se, but popular entertainment: “I love the idea of writing for audiences that just want to take off for a couple of hours. Put it on my tombstone, I don’t mind: ‘Jim kept a lot of people up late.’”

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Service: James Patterson is top-earning author

Thriller writer James Patterson was the highest-earning author of the past year, according to Forbes magazine. The 65-year-old American earned an estimated $94m (£60.3m) from the 14 new titles he published in 2011-2012.

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Kurzinterview: James Patterson

Patterson was born in New York. He began his career in advertising, then in 1977 he won the Edgar award for his first novel, »The Thomas Berryman Number«. He has gone on to become the world’s bestselling thriller writer, selling more than 220m copies.