Award-Winning Series Popular Black Market Item in China
To say Pattison is well-traveled is to understate the case. After logging a million miles, he stopped keeping track. Today he avoids well-trodden paths whenever possible, in favor of wilderness, lesser known historical venues, and encounters with indigenous peoples.
Pattison visited China for the first time in 1980. During many return visits and excursion to neighboring countries, he developed an intense curiosity about the rich history and culture of the region. In the late 1990's he decided to combine his concerns for the people of Tibet with his interest in fiction by writing The Skull Mantra, which launched the Inspector Shan series (now translated into over twenty languages). Pattison weaves significant social and political themes into the plots of each novel. Indeed, as soon as the books were released they became popular black market items in China for the way they highlight issues long hidden by Beijing.
When asked to explain his ongoing fascination with Tibet, Pattison says (on his web site): "I write about Tibet because after traveling a million miles around the planet I know of no more perfect lens for examining ourselves and the world we have created. I write about Tibet because in a war between an army of monks bearing prayer beads and an army of soldiers bearing machine guns I will side with the monks every time."
Pattison's longtime interest in another faraway place--the 18th century American wilderness and its woodland Indians--led to the creation of the Bone Rattler series, which quickly won critical acclaim for its poignant presentation of Scottish outcasts and Indians during the upheaval of the French and Indian War. In Pattison's words, "this was an extraordinary time that bred the extraordinary people who gave birth to America," and the lessons offered by the human drama in that long-ago wilderness remain fresh and compelling today.
In April 2011, Pattison published a new novel, Ashes of the Earth, set in the most faraway place of all: post-apocalyptic America.
A former resident of Boston and Washington, Pattison now lives on an 18th century farm in Pennsylvania with his wife, three children, and an ever-expanding menagerie of animals.