I must admit he's a smart man because whilst other authors are getting out one book a year if they are lucky, he's churning out bestseller after bestseller - children's fiction, young adult fiction, Alex Cross novels and romance books all in one year. It used to blow my mind before I learned about how he writes them.
Patterson is the ideas man, he comes up with an idea and writes out a basic 80 or so page draft. It will detail characters and key plot points and where the story should go. This is then given to a ghost writing who writes the novel and usually gets put on the book as a "James Patterson with blah-de-blah". So they are on there but their name is smaller and they get a smaller cut. He has never really discussed how much of his books are written by him and how much is the ghost writer. He doesn't discuss how much they get paid. He does write some of his books completely by himself, or at least I believe so. But most of the time he just gives notes and things.
Does it bother you if an author doesn't write all of their books themselves? Does it make you less of a fan of their work? Maybe I am being silly but this is something that bothers me and puts me off reading his work.
It's also like V. C. Andrews, I read Flowers in the Attic when I was younger because I had seen and enjoyed the film. But when I went to find more of her books I realised that she is actually dead. All the books after 1990 were written solely by ghost writer Andrew Neiderman - but again the covers bare her name. It shouldn't annoy me, but it did and I never read any more other than that one series written by her.
How do you feel about fiction authors using ghost writers? Does it bother you?