A writing career worth celebrating
James Patterson commemorates The Women's Murder Club
Arguably one of the best-known authors in the world, James Patterson shows no signs of slowing down. This spring, Patterson will release the latest two volumes in his wildly popular Women’s Murder Club series. The 9th Judgment is on sale in trade paperback in April, followed by 10th Anniversary, a new hardcover on sale in May. Taking the time to speak with BookPage, Patterson tells us where he finds his inspiration and what’s next for the ladies of the Women’s Murder Club.
You hold the Guinness World Record for bestsellers, with 63 New York Times best-selling titles and counting! After so many years and so many books, how do you keep coming up with fresh and exciting ideas?
Yeah, I guess writer’s block has never been a problem for me. I suppose that I am addicted to telling stories. In fact, I’m always trying to come up with new scenarios and plots. I’m actually running a bit behind schedule—I have at least a dozen concepts I haven’t begun to outline yet.
The Women’s Murder Club series started in 2001 with the publication of 1st to Die. Where did you get your inspiration for the series?
It seemed to me it was high time there was a female detective hero who works in the way most women, refreshingly, do work—as a team. Thriller fiction is full of lone-dog male (and a few female) protagonists who don’t play nice with others. Lindsay and company took shape out of that realization that there are other ways to solve problems, and catch criminals. There’s nothing quite like the Women’s Murder Club elsewhere in detective or thriller fiction.
What do you think it is about the Women’s Murder Club series that has resonated so strongly with readers?
Probably part of it is the collaborative group dynamic. Also, I think Lindsay, Claire, Jill and Yuki are pretty cool people. And they’re definitely great friends—the kind we all want to have. The plot twists aren’t bad, either . . . of course, I suppose I might be a little biased.
Can you choose a favorite character from the Women’s Murder Club? Or is that like asking a parent to pick a favorite child?
You must have read one of my prior interviews. I’m a good author that way. As a parent, I have no problem picking my favorite child. His name’s Jack and he’s my one and only.
10th Anniversary, the 10th entry in the Women’s Murder Club series, goes on sale in May. What can you tell us about this book?It’s the 10th anniversary of the entire series so, in celebration, I may have pulled out even a few more stops than usual. The plot’s definitely one of the twistier ones that I’ve come up with. Without giving too much away: A teenage girl’s newborn infant is stolen from the hotel room where she just delivered; a surgeon is accused of murdering her husband; and Lindsay is trying to balance being a very good detective as well as a wife.
Can we look forward to more books in the Women’s Murder Club series?
All right, here’s your exclusive (though I may have told my editor): the next is probably going to be called 11th Hour.