GLENN: James Patterson is in studio. He's got a new book and it is surprising that it is not fiction. I mean, you have --
GLENN: This is the first nonfiction you've ever done?
PATTERSON: First narrative. I did a couple of research books but this is the first story.
GLENN: How many books have you written?
PATTERSON: I don't know. 50. How many, Michelle? 50.
GLENN: That's unbelievable. This is number 50?
PATTERSON: I don't know. 50, 51, somewhere in there. A lot of books.
PATTERSON: But this is the one, Glenn, that I've gotten the most emotional and positive responses.
GLENN: This is an amazing book. It is called Against the Medical Advice and I mean, this has so many ramifications on everything that everybody is working -- everybody, everybody has a medical horror story. Everybody just trusts your doctor. I mean, I did it. They almost killed me. I did it.
PATTERSON: Be careful now because my wife's in the studio and she's being operated on tomorrow.
GLENN: They are great, they are fantastic. My daughter has cerebral palsy. I didn't know what to do. I mean, you are not an expert and so you listen to people. You were approached by someone -- well, tell Cory's story.
PATTERSON: A very good friend of mine, worked with him, Hal Friedman for many, many years, and his son Cory at 5 years old woke up shaking and terrified and this condition which was a combination of OCD, Tourette's and a couple of other complications, and it went on from 5 until he was a teenager, 17, 18 years old.
GLENN: Explain. Because most people think that Tourette's is you shout out an obscenity. I don't know. Do you know Richard Paul Evans?
PATTERSON: I do, yeah.
GLENN: He has Tourette's and, you know, we become friends and every time I see him, he has to -- I could tell he's restraining himself.
GLENN: He actually has the urge to spit on celebrities. And I keep trying to convince him, I ain't a celebrity; you shouldn't want to spit on me. You should spit on me for other reasons. But it's not just --
PATTERSON: It's generally not cursing.
PATTERSON: The cursing I think is about 10% of people with Tourette's or something like, maybe a little less than that. But it is severe ticks, discomfort. I mean, hopping, in Cory's case, a lot of hopping, jumping around. What I tried to do with this book is I wanted to write -- I think a lot of nonfiction is really tedious and impossible to read. I hoped to write a nonfiction book that was as riveting as the mysteries that I write. And so everything is an anecdote in the book, and this is when Cory was in little league. This was the high point of his youth, really a difficult growing up period because of so much teasing and difficulties in school and whatever. Anyway, when he was in little league and he's feeling great, he's pitching and he's doing well and he still has the ticks. I mean, the ticks, the other team started making fun of his ticks, including the coaches.
GLENN: Oh, my gosh.
PATTERSON: If you can believe. And so here it is. And to make people feel that in the chapter, make readers feel it, that was my job with Hal, to make sure that every single -- it was another thing when he was playing football, same thing.
GLENN: How did the parents deal with this?
PATTERSON: Well, from my point of view, I mean, you work with people and let's say you know that there's a problem in the family. I worked with Hal right through this period. And having now know the whole story, I don't know how he came in to work in the morning. I don't know how he did it. But people do it. And that's one of the things out there. I mean, as you said, just about everybody who's listening has had some experience with this where you go in and the doctors can't figure it out.
PATTERSON: And I'm not knocking doctors.
GLENN: Yeah, I know. Okay. So the doctors, how much medication was Cory on at one point?
PATTERSON: I think in the course of the thing, he went through over 40 different drug treatments and a comparable number of doctors. So it was a lot of doctors in a real long period of time. And the great thing about this family -- and this is, if you knew the family, they are just the kind of family -- and Cory as a kid, they just don't give up. The great thing with Cory, we talked about telling a story. And this took about five years to write this book. And Cory said, "Okay," because he got the notion that, he said, "In my story can help other people with what I went through, can help other people, one, it's going to bring more meaning to my life." And it will. And the thing that has him floating right now is he's getting these responses. I mean, just hundreds and hundreds. This one mother wrote in and she had her two sons, her two kids read the book because they both have Tourette's and the older one said to his mother before he went to school, he said, "If Cory can do it, I can do it." And that's just stunning stuff.
GLENN: Now, this is not a book that you read if you have Tourette's.
PATTERSON: No, no.
GLENN: I mean, this is a more universal story about --
PATTERSON: I mean, when I'm loving once again as I get back to, you know, different -- on my website, whatever, is people just going, "I could not put this thing down and at the end of it, I felt so involved with this family and so uplifted."
GLENN: Right. And it's the story of how the experts don't have the answers.
PATTERSON: A lot of times they don't.
GLENN: And sometimes you've got to say, you know what, I'm going in another direction.
PATTERSON: Absolutely. Look, we got the economic system. Obviously a lot of people made the wrong calls there. The political thing, everybody, you know, whatever.
PATTERSON: Who do you listen to. That's the big problem in life, always has been. Always will be.
GLENN: And here's the great answer: Yourself. You listen to you, you know? And that's hard to do sometimes.
PATTERSON: Yeah, yeah. Well, that's what this family did. They kept using their own common sense and they would go, no, let's go here, let's do this. And ultimately it worked out. I mean, there's a couple of things at the end of the book that are just so stunning. One is an intervention where they took this -- or where Cory went to a wilderness camp and had to, for several weeks, just be his own person and, you know, deal with climbing in the snow for three weeks and whatever. And then what happened with his mother and Cory at school to ensure that he graduated the year that he wanted to graduate.
GLENN: I tell you, it is a story of struggle, it is a story of personal strength, it is a story of perseverance, it is a story of hope. It is a story that a lot of Americans face. It is a story of America in many ways.
PATTERSON: Well, and we all are looking for a little good news right now.
GLENN: Yeah, I know. That's why I really like it, James, is because it has that -- you know, we're all facing problems. One thing or another, doesn't have to be a medical problem. We're all facing something that we're just like, this is too big for me to even handle, I don't know how to handle it. And it just empowers you to look inside yourself and say, trust your gut. You know right and wrong. Just trust your gut and you keep going because you'll make it. You'll make it.
PATTERSON: Right. And concentrate. Focus.
GLENN: Well, that's kind of hard for some of us to do. The name of the book is Against Medical Advice. Very, very hopeful, very different, from James Patterson. Jim, thank you very much.
PATTERSON: You bet.
GLENN: Thank you.