More Thoughts on Co-Authorship


Swimsuit, published by James Patterson (and Maxine Paetro) in 2009, is a thriller I would have picked up even if “and Maxine Paetro” hadn’t been printed in a way that made it barely legible, squeezed in between the much larger James Patterson credit and the title and blending into the background color of the book’s cover.  I have realized by now that the two professionals who cooperate on thrillers know how to do it seamlessly, so that the product is no worse than what the better known author writes by himself.  Or more likely, they’re seamless because the whole thing is written by the secondary author with the more famous name appearing due to a business arrangement aimed at increasing sales and making him some easy money.

Either way, I’m beginning to think that the system has some pitfalls, and character development may be one of them.  This is the second co-authored book in which a major character has seemed unusually poorly imagined.  In this case the character in question is the psychopathic villain who films his murders.  I suppose that he’s described about as well as anyone could describe such a person, but in addition to being a psychopath, is he so crazy that all his memories of his life are false?  This is a weird proposition that is thrown in toward the end of the story and never explored.




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