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Oh My God! I Just Met James Patterson!!!!

December 27, 2014
He actually has more than this one facial expression.  (image via Wikimedia)

He actually has more than this one facial expression. (image via Wikimedia)

I can’t believe this just happened to me!  My family and I were at the airport (I probably shouldn’t say which one) switching planes, and we were running/jogging to the terminal when I saw this guy who looked just like James Patterson (at least he looked like the guy on the back of all the James Patterson novels).

“Hey!” I shouted out before I could contain myself.  “You’re James Patterson!”

Now I’m kind of a critic of James Patterson on this blog.  I’ve called him a hack (in a nice way) and a literary fraud (well, there’s probably no nice way of saying that), Even though I’m not wild about how Patterson brags about how many bestsellers he has while his coauthors probably do most of the work, I’ve never thought of what I’d say to him if we met face to face.  I’m too polite to call somebody a hack or a literary fraud to his face.  That’s what blogs are for.

Instead I said, “Nice to meet you.  I’m a huge fan of yours,” and I heard my wife snort.

Patterson looked like he wanted to move on, but he seemed gracious and said, “Thank you.”

I wasn’t sure what to do next.  Here I had a chance to speak to a prolific author, and saying “Nice to meet you” didn’t seem adequate.  I couldn’t just leave it at that.  But I was mentally/emotionally unprepared for this situation.

“Your Alan Cross series, it’s great.  It speaks to me,” I continued.

Patterson gave me a quizzical look.  My oldest daughter next to me started coughing something that sounded like “Alex.”

“And… and… all that money you’re giving to indie booksellers, I really really admire that kind of philanthropy,” I said.

My daughters were giggling.  I knew I was an embarrassment.  I could feel my face turning red.  I was causing a scene, but I couldn’t control myself.  I knew that James Patterson had every right to call security on me, but I couldn’t stop talking.

“I… I… I’ve read every single book you’ve ever written,” I stammered.

“Just stop right there,” James Patterson said with sudden authority.  “Now you’re going too far.  Even I haven’t read every single book I’ve ever written.”


Okay, okay.  Just so you know… this didn’t really happen.  But something like this could happen, you know.  And in an alternate reality, maybe it has.


Have you ever met a celebrity you didn’t approve of?  Would you be rude or polite to the celebrity you didn’t like?  How many James Patterson books have you read?  When you read a James Patterson book, do you have somebody else read it for you and then say that you’ve read it? Have you ever made up a story about meeting a famous person?


Okay, my story about James Patterson wasn’t true, but The Writing Prompt is.

I had to write a story, read it in front of the class, and then… a bunch of weird stuff happened.

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  1. Hell, Tom Clancy is still churning books out after his sad, unfortunate passing. So is Robert Ludlum. In those cases, a new author takes the reins, using the world the novelist created. For example, if I’m deceased Robert Ludlum, looking down from Heaven, and a new author writes a Jason Bourne book, I would definitely want my name on the cover. Similarly, James Patterson created the world of Private, so if he hooks up with other authors, well, what the hell.

  2. I love your icon!

  3. So far I’ve been with you on your Anti-James-Patterson-ism. But I think that maybe, just maybe — I mean if it’s possible to go too far in this, which I’m not sure it is– maybe today you’ve gone just a bit too far. I’m not judging. I’m just saying I thought you were serious at first in this one.

    • Maybe I went too far. I do feel a little guilty misleading people about this. I’m not a good liar in my personal life. This must be what James Frey felt like when he went on Oprah. I like that term you came up, “Anti-James-Patterson-ism” (but it’s difficult for me to type).

  4. I knew it wasn’t really him because you didn’t describe him as in the act of writing.

  5. I was reading this with an open mind, but I wasn’t surprised when you said it didn’t happen, since that would be pretty coincidental if you, of all people, met James Patterson. 🙂 I don’t know what I’d do if I met someone famous I didn’t like, but I probably would try to get away as soon as possible.

  6. Well, you had me wondering what the punchline was going to be. At least it didn’t end in bloodshed.

    • Bloodshed? I’m not a violent person (I might be a little dishonest, but I’m not violent). I’m not so sure about James Patterson, though. I’ve heard some of his books get out of control.

  7. You sucked me right in. I had no clue up until you said “Okay, okay.”
    Anyway, I would be polite to someone I disapproved of, because I would other people to be polite to me, even if they disapprove of me.

  8. I don’t care much about people as a rule (famous or not) I fear them.
    I’ve met Simon and Garfunkel once, Bryan Adams and Britney Spears. Oh, Sarah Brightman as well and the guitarist of Rolling Stones (I forget his name) What amazed me seeing celebrities is they look like ordinary people. Nothing like the demi-Gods we saw on TV or movies.

    • Was the guitarist from the Rolling Stones the guy who looks like a zombie? He doesn’t look too healthy in pictures or on camera (if it’s the guy that I’m thinking of), so I was wondering if he looked like that in real life. If I ever met him, I wouldn’t know what to say… if it’s the same guy that I’m thinking of.

  9. lol! This made me laugh. James Patterson… I think I would actually recognize him, too, if I ran into him somewhere. I’d be polite and complimentary but not gush.

    I have the most unusual luck running into famous folks. It usually starts off with me making a joke like “ha ha, that looks like Muhammad Ali” and then it really is. (He was such a pleasure to meet!) Sometimes I ignore celebrities when we run into them because I refuse to give them a bigger head than they already have. But I’ve run into Shemar Moore (Criminal Minds) who was the nicest (and FINEST) celeb I’ve ever met.

    • If I met Shemar Moore, they’d have to call security on me because I would immediately lose all couth and ladylike behaviour

      • I’m cracking up reading this! You and every other woman that comes across his presence! I swear to you, he is even MORE handsome and charming in person than even on TV. It’s not even fair that this man is so perfect.

        I met him walking on South Beach about 12 years ago. (I think he was just soap opera famous at that time.) Happened to be walking by and was blinded by a gorgeous smile. I literally froze and ran back to say hello. He was incredibly friendly and we discussed plans to link up at some popular club that night. My butt went straight to that club that night and he actually recognized and chatted and danced with me and my friends. Only problem was that EVERY other tart in the club was loving on him, too! LOL! The moment I turned around to say hi to some friends, this girl grabbed him and started making out with him! Another one started feeling up on him from behind. I just watched from afar with despair, lol! It was very funny and surreal and just a fun night. He is a God amongst mere mortals. I just couldn’t keep up! lol!

        • He showed up? Wow (in an impressed, nonsarcastic way)!!

          When I was younger, if I made plans to link up with somebody I’d just met, the person would never show up and the phone number would turn out to be to a pizza place. But those days are long gone… unless I met Shemar Moore.

          • Lol! I’m sure the fact that it was the hottest club in miami at the time was why he was there!
            Lmao @ your pizza place # comment! 😂

  10. I actually really enjoyed this! It made me chuckle.

  11. Dan Lundgren, a desicable politician from my state, once passed in front of me in a crosswalk. I was very polite. I braked.

  12. I’m so sad this didn’t actually happen. I met a sitting U.S. vice president once and talked to him for about five minutes. I didn’t agree with most of his political positions. But he was cool.

    Hope you had an excellent Christmas, sir.

  13. Who’s James Patterson? Why don’t I know him?

  14. Hahaha. I thought it was real. No, I haven’t. I the imagery though.

  15. You know what I like about this post is the image the author paints of himself and his family. It’s just so painfully real. I could see despising someone, and then coming face to face with them and babbling like an idiot instead of issuing some scathing criticism. I giggled when reading it–that’s worth at least the .$50 of energy I’ve used reading and replying.

  16. It depends
    If I really disliked this famous person? I’d ignore them.
    Just a mild dislike and wanted to acknowledge them, I’d probably spend whatever time I had trying to talk about other things (than what I dislike) probably the incredibly mundane because if they are famous and recognizable they probably get a great deal of the gushing fan nonsense.

    There are some famous people I happen to like, though I happen to disagree with some things they’ve said or written, and if they had the time and disposition to listen, I’d like to talk to them about it.

    James Patterson books are just a waste of pulp to me, but I’ve no idea what he’s like as a person.

  17. I do wonder if I ran into the president if I would have respect for his position and be graceful or loathe the man and punch him in the face.

  18. thethrillerguy permalink

    I thought this was pretty funny. I like to imagine meeting my favorite writers sometimes. That being said, it’s usually my favorite writers I imagine meeting. Not the writers I avoid like the plague. I never liked James Patterson much. Or at all. Now Lee Child on the other hand. That’s a different story.

  19. I have met Tom Hanks. In a dream. I had gone to one of his movies. I stayed seated through the end credits until the lights came up. I see Tom Hanks stand up in the front row he walks towards me. I greet him we shake hands and then I wake up.

  20. Am I the only person – or the only one reading your blog who hasn’t heard of James Patterson?
    At least I hadn’t till our Reading Group last week. The book we’d ordered (we meet at the local library) wasn’t available and our tame librarian knew they had tons James Patterson books on the shelves so we were invited to pick one each…and yes, they all seem to have different co-authors named on the cover.

  21. Ha! Ha! I decided that I would be the only “well read” person on earth that had not read one John Grisham, Anne Tyler, or Danielle Steele novel. So far I have been true to the vow, although I did almost acquiesce when Grisham wrote about Louisiana politics a decade or so ago. Hailing from Louisiana, I wondered if a Mississipian could get it right. I still don’t know. Ahhhh, the air of literary snobbery is so clean and I can see forever from here.

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