9 Successful Authors Like James Patterson  

Posted on Mar 15, 2024

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Written by Sarah Rexford

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If you read James Patterson books, you’ll love this list of authors like James Patterson. While Patterson needs no introduction, his massive literary success deserves one. 

Known as the most popular storytellers of our time, James Patterson created many of the series you likely know and love. A couple of these include the Women’s Murder Club and Maximum Ride

However, Patterson does not stop with fiction.

He has authored nonfiction works covering the Kennedys, John Lennon, and Princess Diana. He also writes about the heroes of today: those in the military, police force, and those working in the ER.  

James Patterson writes for both adult audiences as well as for kids. He has received an Edgar Award, ten Emmy Awards, the Literarian Award from the National Book Foundation, and the National Humanities Medal. With this context in mind, let’s discuss nine authors like James Patterson. 

Authors Like James Patterson: What’s Covered 

Who To Read If You Like James Patterson?

Whether you are a devoted fan and have worked through all Patterson’s titles, or simply want to branch out, below is a list of authors like James Patterson. 

1. Dani Pettrey 

Bestselling author Dani Pettrey is first in the list of authors like James Patterson. Like Patterson, Pettrey is a bestselling author and known for her thrillers. 

She has sold nearly 800,000 copies of her books and is particularly known for her series, including: 

  • Alaskan Courage
  • Chesapeake Valor
  • Coastal Guardian

Pettrey incorporates heart-pounding suspense that spans her plots and her romantic subplots. 

2. David Baldacci 

Known for his suspense and legal thrillers, David Baldacci’s past comes as no surprise. Baldacci earned his law degree from the University of Virginia School of Law and went on to practice law in Washington, D.C. His past work uniquely positions him to write novels that sell, including factual details from his work.

3. Frank Peretti 

Frank Peretti made a name for himself and is widely regarded as the most recognized name in Christian fiction. Peretti has over 14 million books in print, many of which fall under the horror genre. 

4. James Scott Bell

Among the list of authors like James Patterson, James Scott Bell must make an entrance. More than just in name, James and James share a love for the same book genre—thriller. James Scott Bell formerly worked as a trial lawyer. Now he is a full-time author and speaker. 

James has spoken all over the world, including: 

  • The United States
  • Canada
  • Great Britain
  • Australia
  • New Zealand

To say he is a successful author is an understatement. 

5. Janet Evanovich

Janet Evanovich belongs in the list of authors like James Patterson for several reasons. First, she is a New York Times bestselling author of many titles. 

Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum series stars a bounty hunter. Due to her compelling characters and plots, Janet Evanovich is regarded as a top crime-fiction writer and has millions of fans.

6. John Grisham

Many of these authors like James Patterson have some type of background in law, and John Grisham is no different. Grisham previously worked as a lawyer. Now he writes legal thrillers with factual details drawn from his real-life experience. 

Forty-seven of his books consecutively hit  #1 bestseller status. In addition, they have been translated into many languages.

Not unlike Patterson, Grisham has won many awards:

  • Two-time winner of the Harper Lee Prize for Legal Fiction
  • Honored with the Library of Congress Creative Achievement Award for Fiction.

Grisham dedicates his free time to exonerating those who have been wrongfully convicted.

7. Lee Child

James Dover Grant, better known by his pen name, Lee Child, went to law school in Sheffield, England. (Are you seeing a theme among authors like James Patterson?) Later, he joined Granada Television in Manchester for eighteen years. 

However, when he was fired in 1995 at the age of forty, he went out and made two purchases: 

  • Paper
  • Pencils 

He then wrote Killing Floor, which became the debut novel in his Jack Reacher series (the character of Jack Reacher has been played by Tom Cruise and Alan Ritchson).

8. Robert Ludlum

If you’re wondering how to turn a book into a movie script, look no further. Perhaps best remembered for the Jason Bourne series (adapted for film and starring Matt Damon), Robert Ludlum authored twenty-seven novels in total. 

Each book earned its place as a New York Times bestseller. With over 225 million books in print, his books still sell today. Robert Ludlum passed in 2001.

9. Steven James

Steven James has authored eighteen novels as well as many nonfiction books. Combined, his books have sold over 1 million copies. Known for his psychological thrillers and storytelling prowess, Steven James is a sought-after keynote speaker. 

With a master’s degree in storytelling, Steven James’ writing has:

  • Won or been shortlisted for dozens of national and international awards
  • Appeared in more than eighty different publications, including the New York Times 

Steven James travels the globe speaking on character arc and various writing rules. If you can’t catch him live, tune in to his weekly podcast, The Story Blender. 

What Genre Is James Patterson?

James Patterson is best known for his thriller and suspense novels. If you’re writing a book for the first time and hope to follow in Patterson’s genre, read a title or two from each of the authors like James Patterson that I listed above.

Remember, effectively writing in a specific genre takes time. James Patterson was rejected by 31 publishers before he landed his first book contract. 

Joining the ranks of authors like James Patterson takes practice and persistence. However, with hard work in the right direction, you can learn how to publish a book that keeps readers on the edge of their seats.

What Style Does James Patterson Write?

Patterson is known for his stripped-down writing style. His novels do not launch into pages of exposition. Instead, he chooses to focus specifically on the plot and writing great dialogue

If you’re looking for a more flowery read, James Patterson is likely not the best author for you. However, if you want a book that will keep you turning pages until the very end, filled with gripping dialogue and edge-of-your-seat plots, this author is worth trying.  

Authors Like James Patterson: Your Next Step

You now have a list of authors like James Patterson that can inspire your own writing. But being creatively inspired is just the first step.

True writers are writers because they write. This may sound obvious, but there is a difference between aspiring writers and writers who become authors.

To help you move into the later category, I include a free Fiction Writing Prompts resource for you. With more than 200 prompts, you’re bound to come up with a new book idea.

Plus, these prompts span eight genres. Whatever genre you write, the chance is high you’ll find a prompt that can start you on your journey to authorship. Use the free Fiction Writing Prompts and start your author journey today!

Save This Resource NOW for Quick Reference Later…

200+ Fiction Writing Prompts In the Most Profitable Genres

Come up with your NEXT great book idea with over 200 unique writing prompts spanning 8 different genres. Use for a story, scene, character inspo, and more!

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