PALM BEACH, Fla. — Literary superstar and Palm Beach resident James Patterson has paired up with a new partner in his latest novel — his wife.
Just out on store shelves, "Things I Wish I Told My Mother," is already a hit. He co-authored the book with his wife, Susan. The couple released it just in time for Mother's Day.
"I've said this before. I'm so happy for her," Patterson said as he sat next to the love of his life in the couple's living room in their Palm Beach mansion. "It's a cool thing because it's unbelievable fun for her, and it's fun for me too."
The couple purchased their home, a 20,000-square-foot remodel, in 2014. At the time of the purchase, it was run down and dilapidated. The floors, they said, were filled with sand.
Their sprawling estate was once owned by John Lennon. Patterson penned a best-selling novel about the rock legend in 2020.
He said he felt a curiosity about Lennon, living in a home that the Beatles member owned many years ago.
Today, the mansion is refurbished and coifed. It's an understated elegance that is all their own.
Patterson's writing room sits upstairs overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. The shelves, our crew noted when we were invited for an unrelated pre-pandemic interview, are overflowing with working novels and screenplays.
Susan said she didn't have a designated space to write her first book. Instead, she found spots all over the house, including the sofa the couple chose for WPTV's sit-down interview about the new book.
"I'm really excited about it," Susan said. "To sort of look at the book, and there it is after working on it for a while. It has been great."
The couple sat chatting and reminiscing about the book's name, "Things I Wish I Told My Mother," and how it developed. It was a lightning-strike moment. They were having dinner not long after Susan's mom passed away.
"We were sitting together, and I said, 'There were so many things I wish I could have told my mother,'" Susan remembers. "Jim sparked to the idea. ... He said, 'You know, that could be a good book, I really like that!'"
While Susan admits writing a book wasn't part of her life plan, when the idea came to the literary pair, she wasn't going to pass it up.
The Pattersons partnered with another writer, Susan DiLallo, to lay out the book.
"I call myself the plus one here," James said. "My big job was getting coffee and donuts."
"He was great," Susan interrupted. "He's not giving himself enough credit."
The novel takes readers on a mother-daughter adventure through chocolate shops and art studios in Paris and on a family adventure through Norway.
"What's so powerful and the cool thing about the book is, the book is even better than the title, and the title is a really good title," Patterson suggests. "Everybody has that … I should have shared more with my mom or I should have shared more with my daughter, and this novel really captures that."
"Things I Wish I Told My Mother" is on store shelves right now.