Au­thor Pat­ter­son do­nates 200,000 books to troops

The Washington Times Daily - - Life -

If James Pat­ter­son thought it were pos­si­ble, he would shake the hand of ev­ery U.S. sol­dier. For now, he’ll let a big bun­dle of his nov­els do the talk­ing.

The pop­u­lar au­thor is do­nat­ing 200,000 copies of his work to the U.S. Armed Forces, con­tin­u­ing a tra­di­tion he started in 2006. Through such char­i­ta­ble or­ga­ni­za­tions as Op­er­a­tion Grat­i­tude and Books for He­roes, 20,000 car­tons of books — 10 books per car­ton — are be­ing shipped and dis­trib­uted world­wide.

Mr. Pat­ter­son, among the world’s most pro­lific and pop­u­lar writ­ers, told the As­so­ci­ated Press he doesn’t think the sol­diers get “the ap­pre­ci­a­tion they de­serve.” His gift to the mil­i­tary will in­clude his books “Tick Tock,” “The Post­card Killers” and other fa­vorites.

“The grat­i­tude you get is un­be­liev­able,” Mr. Pat­ter­son said. “You get it from sol­diers. You get it from fam­i­lies of sol­diers. They’ll tell you that their son or daugh­ter is read­ing my work. That’s re­ally cool. That’s very touch­ing.” Italy over the death of Ms. Knox’s room­mate, and their even­tual re­lease last fall af­ter the con­vic­tions were over­turned.

“Sol­lecito was an un­will­ing par­tic­i­pant in a case that riv­eted the world. The Ital­ian me­dia con­victed the young cou­ple be­fore any ev­i­dence had even been heard,” a re­lease from Gallery said. “Over and over, Sol­lecito came un­der pres­sure to change his tes­ti­mony and get him­self off the hook, but he re­fused to be­tray Amanda and he re­fused to lie.

“In ‘Pre­sumed Guilty,’ Sol­lecito will fi­nally tell his side of the story — from his first meet­ing with Amanda Knox, to his ar­rest, prison time, sub­se­quent re­lease, and cur­rent re­la­tion­ship with the woman he stood by through the worst or­deal of both their lives.”

Fi­nan­cial terms weren’t dis­closed. Last month, Ms. Knox agreed to terms with Harpercollins on a deal worth $4 mil­lion. While nu­mer­ous pub­lish­ers bid on the Knox book, the deal for Mr. Sol­lecito’s mem­oir was reached af­ter Gallery made a “pre-emp­tive” of­fer to lit­er­ary agent Shar­lene Martin.

Gallery spokes­woman Jen­nifer Robin­son said Mr. Sol­lecito would col­lab­o­rate on the book with An­drew Gum­bel, an award-win­ning Bri­tish jour­nal­ist and au­thor whose books in­clude “Steal This Vote” and the up­com­ing “Ok­la­homa City,” about the 1995 bomb­ing.

Ms. Knox and Mr. Sol­lecito orig­i­nally were found guilty for the 2007 mur­der of Mered­ith Kercher, a 21year-old Bri­tish stu­dent who shared an apart­ment with Ms. Knox in the univer­sity town of Peru­gia. They were sen­tenced to 26 years and 25 years in prison, re­spec­tively. An ap­peals court ruled in Oc­to­ber 2011 that the ev­i­dence didn’t hold up. Ms. Knox re­turned home to Seat­tle; Mr. Sol­lecito lives in Italy.

AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

Mick Jag­ger (left) and Keith Richards had a long talk and sorted out their dif­fer­ences as their band, the Rolling Stones, marks its 50th an­niver­sary in 2012.

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