tv Meet the Author BBC News January 1, 2017 1:45pm-2:01pm GMT
the next news on bbc one is at 6.35pm. bye for now. hello. you're watching the bbc news channel. now it's time for meet the author, in which rebecca jones talks with the world's bestselling writer james patterson. james patterson is the world's biggest—selling author. he is best—known for his thrillers, but he's also written science fiction, novels for young people, romance and nonfiction. to date, he's published over 140 books, which have sold more than 350 million copies around the world. and he's also the most—borrowed author at uk libraries. but that's not enough forjames patterson, he now wants an even bigger audience, by selling books to people he thinks have abandoned reading, and his solution is called bookshots. so, welcomejames patterson.
thank you. what are bookshots? hopefully, they are a revolution in reading and the way we look at books. at the least they are going to be an evolution. they are under 150 pages, relatively inexpensive, and hopefully impossible to put down. it's like one of my regular books on alex cross, except at, like, 145 pages, very tight. with a bookshot, you can get on the train, you can go to work, you get on the train and go home, and you've read one. so you've accomplished something, which is kind of cool. so the slogan is "all thriller, no filler", and is that what makes you think somebody will pick up one of these, rather than a magazine, or go online? bookshots are like reading a movie. i mean, there's no fat, it's just all story, hopefully with good characters.
so if you like alex cross, here's an alex cross you haven't read before, but itjust happened so quickly. here in england we're going to start with six, so it's kind of a category of being alex cross, there will be a zoo, there's one about the royals which is kind of fun, there's one about a big diamond heist. recently i was interviewed in my office and i pulled out these eight very deep drawers, and i have 107 of these bookshots that are either finished now or in process. and of the 107, i would say 80 of them are stories that i created. so it's like, oh my god. in fact, the person interviewing me just went, like, "this is insane, this is crazy." i said, "i agree, this is insane." but i think for readers, this is going to be a real boon, because they're addictive. you've written some of them,
but like your full—length novels, you employ a team of co—writers. just tell us a bit about how that actually works in practice. i wrote last year over 2000 pages of outlines. my outlines are always three or four drafts. so it's an insane amount of writing just that. and usually what i'll do when i co—write a book is i'll write an outline. for these, the outline might be 30—something pages, and itjust goes chapter, by chapter, by chapter. and what i will do with the co—writer is i'll give them the outline, i will say please contribute to the outline, because that's useful, and it gets the co—writer feeling involved in the process. the template for the bookshots is that every single chapter moves both the characterisation and the story forward, and turns on the movie projector in our heads. so if that's not happening,
meaning that you can't see it, you can't feel it, you can't taste it, you can't smell it, if it's not moving forward, if i'm not interested in the character, iwill say, hold it. we've lost something here. now make suggestions. 0ccasionally it's that i didn't figure out the outline correctly, more often it's that the co—writer is, you know... laughter. but we'll course correct. yes. now, i've read... if you look at them, they're smaller, obviously thinner, you know. hopefully on all the trains and the planes you'll see people reading this kind of smaller book. i've read that you work seven days a week, 52 weeks of the year, is that true? do you not even take a day off for christmas day? christmas i would say would be a very light day. but generally it is seven days a week. somebody said, you're lucky if you find something you like to do, and then it's a miracle if somebody will pay you to do it.
and that's my situation. with doing these bookshots, this has been the most fun year of my life. really? because i love to tell stories, and i was kind of blocked with the books that i had, because i had the alex cross series and the women's murder club, and private, and it's like, we don't need any more hardbacks. so there was no place for me to let my imagination go, and now there is. i will have more content than marvel by the end of this year. it's little wonder that you're known as the busiest man in publishing, notjust because of the number of books you're writing, but also because of the time and the money that you spend on championing literacy. why is that so important? for me, the most important thing is getting kids reading. because, if our kids don't become at least competent readers, especially kids who are at risk, how are they going to getjobs, how are they going to go through school? if they get through, if they are 10 or 11 years old and are not competent,
they are going to be a drag on the society, on the city, on all of us, and it's going to make for a much harder life for them. as individuals, i can't do much to solve global warming, or healthcare crisis, or whatever. but as an individual, we can all get the kids in our homes reading, mostly. we can help the local school, we can help the local libraries. libraries are a big issue right now, and how they get funded in england, that's huge. ijust hope that people will stand up and go, our libraries are really important, so we need the money for our libraries. how much does your interest in this stem from the fact that you had a son who was a reluctant reader? jack is a bright guy. when he was eight years old, that summer we said, you're going to read everyday. he said, do i have to? we said, yes, unless you want
to live in the garage. because we read in our house. we said, this is going to be painless, we're going to go out and find books that you'll really like. so we went out and got a dozen books, we got him a perchackson, a wrinkle in time, one of mine. by the end of the summer, jack had read a dozen books, and his reading skills went up dramatically. ultimately, they have sat scores in america, so a perfect score in reading is 800. jack had an 800 in reading. he's going to an ivy league college next year. in terms of what can happen, if you take charge with your children, and make it your responsibility. there's nothing more important than a mother and father, grandparents too, making sure their kids read. it's good you get them out and they get some exercise, that's a positive, but they've got to be able to read. you are hugely successful, a writer of commercial mainstream fiction. do you hanker after writing the great american novel? i have already, they're
just commercial! i love what i do, i think it serves a purpose. on my gravestone, "james kept a lot of people up late at night." and bookshots are going to be one of the reasons. bookshots are a revolution. this is going to change the way people read. james patterson, it's been great to talk to you, thanks so much. hgppy happy new year. there will be contrast in conditions to start the new year with better weather in the north and wintry conditions on the site. there is a blanket of cloud across england and wales. 0utbreaks
of rain, heavy in places. you can see this orange colours which represents the last of the warmer air. the cold northerly wind continues to move southwards. as they cold air begins to dig into the back edge of the rain we could see wintry weather over the high ground in england. the last of the milder air across the south—east, but it will not feel like that because of the rain. the temperature will continue to fall. late brightness pushing them towards north wales and the north midlands. a lovely day in scotland, some showers in the north, but then the temperatures will fall away. this will bring more showers. there may be accumulations of snow
in northern scotland. in this out the rainbow clear and it will be driving the end of the night, although it will stay wet. elsewhere it will be cold with frost and i still watch out for across northern areas. the showers will continue through northern scotland on monday morning with accumulations of snow, but elsewhere it will be a lovely break day. it will be cold and you will need to wrap up as those temperatures will be in mid—to no single figures and with the wind it will feel colder. temperatures below zero a cross will feel colder. temperatures below zero across much of scotland. it will be cold on monday night. clear skies and light winds for england and wales. widespread frost here. there will be more of a breeze. 0n tuesday and wednesday high pressure will dominate. there will be a good deal of sunshine. for scotland and
northern ireland, the clouds will be thicker and towns. that is how it is looking. have a lovely day. this is bbc news. the headlines at 2pm: a manhunt is underway in turkey for the gunman responsible for killing at least 39 people in a packed nightclub in istanbul. this is the scene live outside the club this afternoon. the turkish president has called it a heinous attack. police in 0ldham are looking for a hit—and—run driver who killed 12—year—old helina kotlarova and seriously injured her 11—year—old cousin. they were holding hands together. they were holding hands together. they were holding hands together. they were crossing the road, and the car was, they were crossing the road, and the carwas, like, they were crossing the road, and the car was, like, driving they were crossing the road, and the carwas, like, driving too they were crossing the road, and the car was, like, driving too fast. the royal family have attended a new year's day church service in sandringham, but without the queen, who still has a heavy cold. also in the next hour: