Michael Ledwidge, James Patterson’s right hand author

The working relationship the two men have developed is fascinating. “The deal is that either one of us, usually Jim, will get the outline, do a first draft -- I’m in contact with him every couple of weeks. Or towards the end I’ll have the first draft and he’ll take it, shine it up and then we’ll do the finished project together.

“He’s sort of like that old eighties cartoon and he’s Godzilla and I’m Godzuki, you know?”

How many books has Ledwidge co-authored with Patterson this year?

“It’s like planes landing at JFK. There’s always a new one hovering around. The next one I co-wrote will be published in January.”

When the writing is good and it’s going well Ledwidge takes the same pride in his workmanship that any writer does, critics be dammed.

He worked hard for many years and he remembers the tough times in the past. “The good thing about my new job is that I’m not a doorman any more and I don’t work for the telephone company either. I really don’t miss popping manholes in the summer heat,” he laughs.

And even though he’s making much more now as a co-author with Patterson, the enjoyment is exactly the same, he says.

“Every time the phone rings and James Patterson’s name comes up on caller I.D. I still think, man this is wild. I think, who’s going to call me next? Stephen King?”

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