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Video: Author: Next Alex Cross film will be great

Deborah Feingold
James Patterson
TODAY books
updated 11/16/2011 11:25:14 AM ET 2011-11-16T16:25:14

The Guinness Book of World Records claims that American novelist James Patterson has had more New York Times bestsellers than any other author. He’s a wildly prolific and versatile storyteller who is as adept a writing children’s books as taut adult thrillers. Patterson has just released his latest work, “Kill Alex Cross” and is also preparing for the release of “The Fire,” the latest installment in his Witch & Wizard series. The author will be on TODAY on Wednesday morning, November 16th, to discuss these books, but we thought it would be interesting to reach out to him to pick his brain about his own reading and writing habits.

1. What was the latest book(s) you were really excited about?

Some recent favorites have been: "The Paris Wife" by Paula McLain, "Unbroken" by Laura Hillenbrand, "The Imperfectionists" by Tom Rachman, and on the kids’ side, "The Book Thief" by Markus Zusack. "Guys Read: Thriller" is a fun compilation that I took part of recently. I’m excited to see what Martin Scorsese makes of "Hugo Cabret," which is also a favorite children’s book.

2. Who is your all-time favorite author(s)?

James Joyce, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Evan S. Connell, and John Fowles are all up there.

3. What book(s) would you consider the ultimate guilty pleasure?

If you’re reading a book and you’re loving it, that’s fine by me. Why feel guilty about being engaged in a good solid story?

4. You’re amazingly prolific, what is your writing routine?

I’m lucky enough to have avoided writer’s block. If I’m writing a chapter and find it’s not working, I go on and skip to the next one. If I re-read a page and feel nothing, no emotion, no edge-of-your-seat thrills, it gets scrapped.

5. Which book would recommend as the perfect gift?

Everyone seems to find something to love about Alex Cross, whether it’s the action that follows him around DC and beyond, or the way he’s able to be such a good father and husband even with such a demanding job. "Kill Alex Cross" is one of my favorites of the series: the President’s son and daughter are kidnapped, while Alex is also dealing with the city’s contaminated water system.

And for the kids — choosing books for your kids, having a hand in your kids’ reading, is really important. When you get involved and choose books you know your kids will like, they’re going to be a hundred percent more engaged. You’ll be helping them learn how to read for fun. High schoolers will like the third book in my Witch & Wizard series, "The Fire," which comes out on December 5th, and those who are a little younger have found "Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life" to be a favorite. And please give my website, ReadKiddoRead.com a spin. There are some great crowd-pleasers on that site, from many different authors, all of which would make great gifts.

Tune in to TODAY Wednesday to watch author James Patterson discuss his new books.

© 2012 MSNBC Interactive

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