Patterson and Bowen’s J. Walter Reunion

Those who read yesterday’s USA Today cover story on James Patterson (known in his former industry, as Jim), may have noticed that the beginning of the piece unwittingly depicts a J. Walter Reunion. The first person quoted isn’t former top JWT exec Patterson but Steve Bowen, who was president of JWT USA in the 1980s. Bowen is now president of James Patterson Entertainment, “aimed at turning more of Patterson’s ideas not just into books but also into movies, TV series and video games.” (Full disclosure: I worked at JWT for about a year and a half in the late ’80s.) The point of the story is that Patterson is bringing undiscovered authors in to co-write with him. However, it doesn’t mention that one of those collaborators is Maxine Paetro, the former creative recruiter best known to industry types as the author of How to Put Your Book Together and Get a Job in Advertising. (More disclosure: I worked with Maxine at DFS during the years it was slowly morphing into Saatchi & Saatchi.) Their latest collaboration, The 6th Target, comes out in May, though Patterson’s name appears to be several dozen point sizes bigger on the cover. Well, that’s marketing, folks.

—Posted by Catharine P. Taylor