^^^This “suggested post” has been popping up on my Facebook newsfeed for the past few weeks. As you can see, it’s an advertisement for a writing “MasterClass” taught by one James Patterson, author of some 147 novels, none of which you have read.
Who is James Patterson? Well, I am glad you asked. Surely you’ve seen his slender glossy novels lining the shelves of your favorite big-box superstore and thought: “That right there looks terrible.” And also: “Boy, that guy must be rich as nuts.”
Indeed, according to Wikipedia, “his novels have sold more copies than those of Stephen King, John Grisham and Dan Brown combined.” That’s a lot of duckets!
Whatever bots Mark Zuckerberg has at his disposal have apparently scoured my internet searching habits and, in an attempt to advertise at me, reduced them to my three primary interests: books, vodka, and celebrity culture. Surprisingly accurate! What a world we live in.
Thus, the James Patterson Writing MasterClass. The comments section to the Facebook ad is a veritable who’s-who of internet yahoos. It consists almost entirely of five distinct groups. In descending order of representation, they are:
- People who fucking LOVE James Patterson (overwhelming majority)
- People who can’t scrape together the $90 fee to take the class … but really want to
- People who seem to think they are talking directly to James Patterson (subset of first group)
- Trolls who would like to remind you that James Patterson employs a ghost writer for most, if not all, of his books
- Garden-variety crazies
A sampling of comments:
Should the objective be writing a best seller? How about an imaginative, well constructed, well written, stimulating, well researched, engaging book?
Hey, can we not?
Is it okay if I skip the class and just write purely for the sake of art and not the pursuit of millions in the bank?
That’s the stupidest idea I’ve ever heard.
He is one of the worst writers.
No fucking way I will take your class.
Step one: don’t actually write it yourself
This is my favorite author of all time!
super cool to see this offer. I’m inspired!
^^^This person is inspired to write — just from seeing the offer!
I wish I could express the thoughts/plots in my head on paper.
for some eason, I ws always told i should write i always thought about novels but never cookbooks ,just nrver could decide on what so i didn’t dumb
^^^This person graduated cum laude from the James Patterson Writing MasterClass.
Your awesome James Patterson!!!!!
Five exclamation points.
There isn’t anything I’d like to do any more than this!
Thought about signing up. But I don’t feel comfortable taking classes from someone who doesn’t write his books. I’ve done research and yup … He doesn’t write his books.
Hey there, Internet Inspector Poirot, I’ve got news for you: Not only does James Patterson not write his own books … he probably doesn’t even teach his own fucking class!
James Patterson is financially enlightened.
Can someone take his class in the fall? Does it have a time limit when you can enroll?
It’s a craven money grab, not an accredited college course, dipshit. YOU ARE NOT MATRICULATING.
I appreciate that, Sir, but I got to find my own voice. Thanks, though.
I wish I had the guts to try the course!
You must write the best outlines ever for all those people to help you write those books !
Awesome backhanded compliment. I actually “liked” this comment.
you know i only read your books but i can only read when I’m on a cruise. can you pay for me to go on another three week cruise to whereever so i can read the 4 books i have from you? lol I could read in the car but i always have to drive.
^^^This person is like a breath of Spring blowing up from the south on an otherwise cold winter’s day.
love his books i have almost all of them !
(Personal note: When sending a text message, I often do the same thing with my exclamation points. For some reason, they never quite look right in the iPhone speech bubble, sitting there right next to the last letter of the last word of my poorly socially timed, albeit emphatic declaration, all skinny and creepy and shit. End of side note.)
what’s it cost?
Ninety U.S. dollars.
May I have a scholarship?
Sounds good to me.
I need to take this class! I am living a nightmare of a true crime story that needs to be told. Stalking by twin brother predators, double homicides, wrongful arrest, brain injury, 9 years and still fighting for justice. Florida Politics. I believe the only way I will get help is to write it since media is also controlled! I did create a FB page about it, the murders and wrongful arrest was aired on MSNBC that part of it is on youtube. I understand it is tough to do the true story but wow are there many ‘names’ to this story which is why I am not getting any help despite children who should be protected and predators with a history of violence.
Holy shit, man. Someone get this person a Kickstarter. “Twin brother predators.” “Florida Politics.” BRAIN INJURY. I actually went to this person’s YouTube page. She is not joking. Just … holy shit.
If these are the people one meets upon taking the James Patterson Writing MasterClass, then sign me right the fuck up. These are the people I must reach with my writing. These are My People.
And James Patterson is my high holy messiah. James Patterson has hacked the writing code with black magic and “old man monkey strength.” James Patterson’s pen is a machete he uses to slice through the Amazonian bookselling trade like so much nasty ragweed. Long live James Patterson and his ubiquitous, execrable books. I wish I could give him all of my money.
(Cross-posted at my Kinja blog)