Credit: Karen Neal/ABC Photo: Castle's Poker Game in Episode 2.24, "A Deadly Game"

On Castle, Richard Castle is a mystery novelist with 26 bestsellers. In real life, “Richard Castle” (whoever that may be) has written one New York Times bestseller Heat Wave, its sequel Naked Heat and will release a third Nikki Heat book, Heat Rises, in September.

But Richard Castle’s real-world novels aren’t the show’s only ties to the real literary world. Castle often gets together with several IRL writer friends to play poker and shoot the breeze. They often chat about their craft, criticize each other’s work (constructively) and swap little writer-y tips. And they make references to real life things! It’s genius, really.

So, let’s take a moment to pay homage to Richard Castle’s real-life writer buddies, whose real-life works you can check out at your real local library, should your heart so desire.

Poker Buddy #1: James Patterson.
This bestselling author is most famous for his works about Alex Cross, an American psychologist, as well as several other series and stand-alone novels. This guy can pretty much do it all.

Poker Buddy #2: Dennis Lehane.
Probably best known for penning both Shutter Island and Mystic River, which was turned into an Academy Award-winning movie, Lehane is the newbie in the circle — and to the field. But that isn’t to say Lehane’s devoid of talent. We’d say those two works alone prove as testament to that.

Poker Buddy #3: Michael Connelly.
Like Castle, Connelly is a real-life crime novelist with a few bestsellers under his belt. Castle is, perhaps, on his way to becoming the American version of his Canadian pal — on the show, that is.

And last but certainly not least, the late, great Stephen J. Cannell. Cannell was an integral part of Castle’s circle, appearing on the show three times playing himself before he passed from complications from melanoma. The show honored the author with a message at the end of the episode in which the Castle cronies return to the writers’ circle for the first time after Cannell’s death.

Of course, other non-famous peeps will pop by once in awhile. (Remember when Castle’s protege, Alex Conrad, was invited to join the fun? Well, he was immediately shot down by his seasoned elders, so if you don’t, we don’t blame you. We tried to block that insanely awkward moment out of our minds, too.)

But for the most part, the aforementioned men make up Castle’s inner circle, and often times provide a much-needed reprieve from the day-to-day detective drama. Yeah, he may save lives and solves crimes on the daily, but Castle is really a writer above all.


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