Clinton and Patterson released a first mystery-thriller book together, The President is Missing, in 2018, and released The President's Daughter this week.
On Jimmy Kimmel Live!, Clinton and Patterson said they first connected through their agent, Bob Barnett.
"We have the same lawyer-agent, and the president reads everything. He also reads a lot of mysteries," Patterson said.
"My agent -- ours -- Bob Barnett, he's a wonderful guy, said, 'You know, you've written all these non-fiction books. You're out of politics and need to have fun, why don't you write a mystery, a thriller? You've read thousands and thousands of them.' And I have, I've been an ardent reader of those books probably since the early '80s. 'So why don't you do one with James Patterson?'" Clinton added.
Clinton and Patterson said they work well together when writing and defer to each other's knowledge and expertise.
"If there was a disagreement, and there really hasn't been -- look, the whole key for us is mutual admiration in terms of our skill set and we listen. If there was a disagreement, we'd go with the president," Patterson said.
"If it was about how the president or former president would say something or what they would do, and I knew what the facts were, then he would defer to me," Clinton added. "But if it was about how best to say something that drives the plot and heightens the drama, I would defer to him, because I've been like a schoolboy these last two books. I love it."
In an interview with The Guardian published Friday, Clinton said he "always wanted to be a writer, but doubted" his ability to do so. He named thriller books as his comfort read.
"I find comfort in thrillers with interesting characters and good stories," Clinton said.