There is an extremely interesting article about James Patterson in the current New York Times magazine - you can find it here or go to www.nytimes.com/magazine. Funnily enough, it mentions Jacqueline Susann too ...
I have never read a James Patterson book but I am, obviously, aware of him. This article is fascinating from a writing and publishing point of view - it will take you a while, but it's worth it. I especially liked this piece of advice that he regularly dispenses:
'If you want to write for yourself, get a diary. If you want to write for a few friends, get a blog. But if you want to write for a lot of people, think about them a little bit. What do they like? What are their needs? A lot of people in this country go through their days numb. They need to be entertained. They need to feel something.'
It's excellent advice. As I'm fond of telling writers who sometimes go too far down the rabbit hole: don't forget that your job is storytelling, not book writing. Fundamentally writers have to tell stories. If there's beautiful writing attached, fantastic, but the story has to come first. Humans are primal creatures - stories are what call us; stories are what move us. It's in our lizard brain. Our first storytellers were oral and they had to captivate audiences or they didn't have a job. It's no different when you're writing a book. It's your job to cajole, seduce, entice and enthrall your reader. It's your decision as to how you do that.