Acclaimed Author to Kick Off Given Campaign
James Patterson, the prolific, award-winning author, is bringing his passion for reading to Pinehurst in April to help kick off a capital fundraising campaign for the Given Memorial Library and Tufts Archives.
Patterson is scheduled to speak at 7 p.m. April 5 at Owens Auditorium on the campus of Sandhills Community College.
His appearance, "An Evening with James Patterson," is the kickoff event for the Cultural Center at Given Memorial Library and Tufts Archives, "Great Expectations."
"We are very excited about having this event," said Mike Sanders, president of the Given Memorial Library and Tufts Archives board. "This will be a great way to raise visibility for the capital campaign. It's a great chance for community leaders to be there and interact with him, and talk about the new cultural center."
VIP ticket packages go on sale at The Country Bookshop in Southern Pines on Friday. Packages are $250 and include two tickets to the speaking engagement, a copy of Patterson's latest book, "Merry Christmas Alex Cross," and two tickets to a book signing and reception afterward.
The library board is trying to raise $8 million to renovate and expand its current location in the Pinehurst village center. The plan includes four elements that are planned to create a community hub and serve the public for years to come. Included in the plan is an expanded children's section in Given Memorial Library, a Tufts Museum, the Donald Ross Golf Architectural Research Center and Archives, and Community Hall for meetings, concerts and cultural events. The expansion will occur on the library's current site and will occur solely on its property.
"This is a great way to launch the (fundraising) effort," said Pat Corso, vice president of the library board. "When you are trying to raise $8 million, you have to engage the community, and this fits like a hand in a glove."
Patterson's appearance is due in large part to the effort of Mary Robosson, a friend of the Patterson family.
Robosson said it was an easy sell to get Patterson, an avid golfer and ardent supporter of reading and libraries, to come to Pinehurst.
"He said yes right away," Robosson said. "With no hesitation."
Patterson said he is excited to come to Pinehurst and speak. In a brief phone interview, the award-winning author of 97 novels stressed the importance of reading, especially for children.
"My passion right now is getting kids reading," he said. "A lot of good things happen from reading. It is not an overstatement to say everything in life starts with reading."
Robosson said Patterson likely will also speak to a younger audience during his trip to the area. Plans for that event have not been firmed up yet, she said. She also said a tiered ticket pricing for the event at Owens Auditorium is being worked out and will be unveiled at a later date.
Patterson's titles are widely popular with children and adults. In the past three years, he has sold more books than any other author, according to Bookscan. In total, his books have sold an estimated 260 million copies worldwide.
Among his creations are the top-selling detective series featuring Alex Cross, the Women's Murder Club and the Maximum Ride series for children.
At the Given Library, Patterson's 83 distinct titles are the most popular checked-out items, said Audrey Moriarty executive director of the library and archives.
"If you can't find something to read by James Patterson, you are not looking hard enough," Moriarty said.
Since 2006, one out of every 17 hardcover fiction books sold was a Patterson title.
He is the first author to have No. 1 new titles simultaneously on The New York Times adult and children's best-sellers lists and is the only author to have five new hardcover novels debut at No. 1 on the list in one year-a record-breaking feat he's accomplished every year since 2005.
To date, Patterson has had 19 consecutive No. 1 New York Times best-selling novels, and he holds the New York Times record for the most hardcover fiction best-selling titles by a single author (76 total).
Patterson has won numerous awards for his writing, including the Edgar, the BCA Mystery Guild's Thriller of the Year, the International Thriller of the Year award, and the Reader's Digest Reader's Choice award. He has also won a Children's Choice Book Council's Children's Choice Awards "Author of the Year" award (2010).
He even appeared on an episode of the long-running animated television comedy "The Simpsons" in 2007.
Patterson attributes his success to a colloquial storytelling style that focuses on great story-telling that "turns on the movie projector in your head."
"There aren't a lot of show-off sentences, but the stories are hopefully good ones," Patterson said. "I try to pretend there is somebody sitting across from me and I don't want then to get up until I'm done."
Contact Tom Embrey at (910) 693-2484 or email@example.com.
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