There has been a lot of chatter over the years about Patterson not writing his own books anymore and that he is selling his name. This is usually expressed with the same vehemence as if he were selling his soul.
All jealousy aside, lots of people profit by selling their names—no physical presence required. Have you witnessed Don Shula serving meals in an establishment bearing his name? Or have you found Martha Stewart in a set of sheets or a can of paint? Or maybe Beyonce in a dress on the rack at your favorite store?
Patterson said that he has 51 projects laid out in his office. He writes 80 page long outlines for each book he co-authors, then supervises the writing, getting a progress report every three weeks or so. That way he can pull the book back on track if needed. I'm not sure that I'd want to write books that way, but I'd love to have the choice. He has that choice, and I dare say he earned it.
We were told to expect him to talk about ten minutes and then spend the remainder of his time signing books. I also learned that his contract from the publicist specified no pictures.
Patterson spoke for over thirty minutes and graciously took questions. He was an animated, expressive, and entertaining speaker.
While signing books, he posed with each person who wanted a picture, asking them to wait until he finished his signature so he could pose with each person. He took his time and chatted with his fans.
Then he posed with those working the event and took individual pictures with us as well.