About the book
First Love tells the story of Axi Moore and Oscar Robinson. When Axi decides to take a road trip across the US, Robinson is the only person she wants to go with her but not just because he’s her best friend, she also happens to be secretly in love with him. She’s planned the whole trip out, and all he has to say is yes. Axi has had a tough life: her little sister died young, her mother walked out and her father turned to the bottle for comfort. Her parents escaped their grief in their own ways and this trip will be hers. But life doesn’t always work out as you plan it, and there are some things you just can’t run away from.
The story behind the book
As you get older, the idea of first love becomes more interesting. You like to go back and hang out there for a while and remember how it was. The book is inspired by my own first great love, Jane Blanchard. We were in one of the post offices on Broadway one day when she collapsed. She’d had a seizure. Then we found out that she had a brain tumour and a limited amount of time to live. We all know that we're going to die one day, but in this case, it made it very concrete and we had to deal with it. She went on living for another two years and it was a very special time.
The relationship taught me that men and women can have wonderful relationships, because it was a wonderful relationship. And I think that's a great lesson. I think a lot of men and women, young men and women, don't believe that. I think they get very cynical about it. But it is possible. And I'm very lucky now. I have been married to Sue, and we've been together for, you know, over 17 years. And it's a wonderful relationship. It's a love affair.
A break from the thrillers
Romance is closer to who James Patterson is than the thrillers. I'm not very violent at all. I just found that writing thrillers was a way to make a good living. So there is a softer side. My life is much more family-orientated.