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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) - James Patterson is the world's best-selling author and is in Louisville pushing his biggest platform, getting kids to read.
He also talked to WDRB about his ties to Kentucky, including basketball and horses.
It might be the last avenue you'd expect James Patterson to go down.
But if he can get millions of adults glued to his thrilling books, why not write for a younger generation.
"For kids, I just want kids to read one of my books and go, 'give me more books.'"
In Louisville for the National Family Literacy Conference, he's speaking to about a thousand people about the importance of family involvement. "We're talking about the world's best selling author coming to Louisville, so it's clearly a feather in this community's cap and clearly NCFL's," said Emily Kirkpatrick, Vice President of NCFL.
The world-famous author is donating his time to speak, a testament to his passion to get kids reading, which he says starts at home. "In a way, it's like giving your kids a handicap if you don't get them reading," said the author.
It does not matter what they read, as long as they like it. "If they read comic books, okay, if they read manga, okay, if they read sports statistics books, okay, just get them in that habit of reading, reading, reading," Patterson hammered.
He says parents and children either thrive or struggle. "People come up to me all the time and two things, they'll say one of two things, 'you got my kid reading,' and a lot of times they'll have tears in their eyes. Or, 'I can't get my kids reading.' And to those people I go, 'you get them to the dinner table don't you?' Same thing, you gotta get them reading."
His name packs influence, but he is hoping political powers can join the effort to get children reading. "I sure would love to see some senators and the President stand up and go, 'we gotta get our kids reading.' And I'd love for them to say it every day."
He explains that reading can catapult kids to a successful path in life.
"They'll do better in school, they'll enjoy school more, they'll be better citizens, they'll be better human beings, they'll be better spouses, because reading just opens up the world for you," said Patterson.
His silly children's books are a far stretch from his thrillers.
His page-turning books leave you with chills, gasping and wondering..."How does he come up with this stuff?" Which he answered sarcastically, "Where's the crazy stuff come from? That's my wife, she's responsible, I do the love stories and the sort of charming children's stories. She does the bad, the evil stuff. She creates the villains for me."
This is not his first time in Louisville. A few months ago, he cheered for the Cardinals against UK.
He also has a horse named after him and a character from one of his book series.
He also has a horse named after him and a character from one of his book series. "A friend of ours they have horses here, and they just named a horse Patterson Cross, a thoroughbred race horse. So I'm hoping three years from now at the Derby, Patterson Cross will be 'crossing' the finish line first."
He says his success comes from a little luck, a lot of passion, and what do you know, family.
"(My) grandmother in particular saying 'you can get anything done if you work hard enough at it.'"
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