I am trying to recall a short story about a writer who works as a ghostwriter for James Patterson. He eventually discovers that James Patterson has expanded his empire of ghostwriters so far that the only employment available to any writer is to write for James Patterson, and in fact everyone has somehow become James Patterson. The story ends with him confronting James Patterson (I remember him going up the stairs and down a hallway to find him in some kind of small writing room), and I think James Patterson says something like "Why are you so angry at me? You are me." This is when the main character realizes that he, too, has turned into James Patterson.

I read it in English, probably in the 2000s. I'm pretty sure it was written in the first person, or at least without giving the main character a name. I think it was in a small-format print magazine -- I would say Ellery Queen or Alfred Hitchcock, only I don't think of them as carrying stories with fantasy elements like this. If it was one of them, it wasn't necessarily published in the 2000s, since I used to read back issues at my grandfather's house. Overall, it had a very spare feeling -- no names (except for James Patterson), not a lot of descriptive detail, sitting alone in uncarpeted rooms typing on a typewriter, that kind of thing.

I have tried searching online, but all I can find is stuff about actual works by James Patterson (or his ghostwriters), or some articles about his ghostwriting empire as it actually exists.

  • 1
    While not the answer to this question, this reminds me of scifi.stackexchange.com/q/63257/23243
    – FuzzyBoots
    Commented Sep 28, 2021 at 19:48
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    Do you remember if it was James Patterson himself named in the story (a la Being John Malkovich), or if it was a thinly-veiled parody (a la The Astounding Dr. Amizov)?
    – Milo P
    Commented Sep 28, 2021 at 19:50
  • It would have to be in the first person, wouldn't it? Commented Sep 28, 2021 at 23:45
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    @MiloP real James Patterson Commented Sep 29, 2021 at 13:14
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    @InvisibleTrihedron it might have been one of those stories that just jumps in with "he was so tired of writing James Patterson books" or whatever without giving "him" a real name Commented Sep 29, 2021 at 13:15


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