The back half of the Tallahassee Democrat’s newsroom was packed Monday night as the newspaper and local independent bookstore Midtown Reader teamed up to host James Patterson, the world’s best-selling author, at the North Magnolia Drive location. Patterson has sold more than 350 million books worldwide and writes in multiple genres outside of thriller (for which he is best known), including middle-grade and young-adult fiction.
The event began at 5:30 p.m. and lasted roughly two hours with over 250 fans and avid Patterson readers in attendance.
Mark Hinson, Democrat columnist, chatted with Patterson during a 30 minute Q&A, touching upon lesser-known anecdotes of the prolific writer’s career.
Patterson entertained the crowd with a humorous story about attending Woodstock – it rained, the author slid down a muddy hill in a sleeping bag. He also spoke about his beginnings in the writing world and his next project – a co-authored thriller with former President Bill Clinton.
Patterson visited Tallahassee to promote a literacy initiative devoted to doubling the number of Florida schoolchildren who read at grade level. He was joined by University of Florida educators, and has also partnered with FSU’s Florida Center for Reading Research.
Patterson has contributed $3 million to the Florida Literacy Initiative to ensure Florida third-graders are reading on grade level, with a focus on low-performing schools.
Patterson ended the evening by signing books and taking photos with fans.
It was an honor for Midtown Reader to host such a generous and esteemed writer (who is a vocal supporter of independent bookstores), and we salute his literacy efforts!