Having read The Summons, the Appeal and Playing for Pizza I thought Iwould doe a post on AmericanLawyer, Politician and Author John Grisham, who was born February 8 1955. Best known for his legal thrillers, he. graduated from Mississippi State University before attending theUniversity of Mississippi School of Law in 1981.Grisham started working for a nursery as a teenager, watering bushes for US$1.00 an hour. He was soon promoted to a fence crew for US$1.50 an hour. He wrote about the job: “there was no future in it.”At 16, Grisham took a job with a plumbing contractor, but says he “never drew inspiration from that miserable work.”Through a contact of his father, he managed to find work on a highway asphalt crew in Mississippi at the age of seventeen. It was during this time that an unfortunate incident got him “serious” about college. A fight had broken out among the crew on a Friday, with gunfire from which Grisham ran to the restroom to escape. He did not come out until after the police had “hauled away rednecks”. He hitchhiked home and started thinking about college.
His next work was in retail, as a salesclerk in a department store men’s underwear section, which he described as “humiliating”. He decided to quit, but stayed when he was offered a raise. He was given another raise after asking to be transferred to toys and then to appliances. A confrontation with a company spy posing as a customer convinced him to leave the store. By this time, Grisham was halfway through college. Planning to become a tax lawyer, he was soon overcome by “the complexity and lunacy” of it. He decided to return to his hometown as a trial lawyer. Grisham practiced law for about a decade and also won election as a Democrat in the Mississippi House of Representatives from 1983 to 1990 at an annual salary of US$8,000.Grisham represented the seventh district, which included DeSoto County. by his second term at the Mississippi state legislature, he was the vice-chairman of the Apportionment and Elections Committee and a member of several other committees
Grisham’s writing career blossomed with the success of his second book, The Firm, and he gave up practicing law, except for returning briefly in 1996 to fight for the family of a railroad worker who was killed on the job. his official site states that “He was honoring a commitment made before he had retired from the law to become a full-time writer. Grisham successfully argued his clients’ case, earning them a jury award of US$683,500 — the biggest verdict of his career.” Grisham said the big case came in 1984, but it was not his case. As he was hanging around the court, he overheard a 10-year-old girl telling the jury what had happened to her. Her story intrigued Grisham and he began watching the trial. He saw how the members of the jury cried as she told them about having been raped and beaten. It was then, Grisham later wrote in The New York Times, that a story was born. musing over “what would have happened if the girl’s father had murdered her assailants”, Grisham began writing his first book ATime to Kill, in1984 and took three years to complete it. Finding a publisher was not easy. The book was rejected by 28 publishers before Wynwood Press, an unknown publisher, agreed to give it a modest 5,000-copy printing. It was published in June 1989. the day after Grisham completed A Time to Kill, he began work on his second novel, the story of an ambitious young attorney “lured to an apparently perfect law firm that was not what it appeared.” the Firm remained on theThe New York Times’ bestseller list for 47 weeks, an became the bestselling novel of 1991 and was later adapted into a film starring Tom Cruise and aTV series in 2012which continues the story of Attorney Mitchell McDeere and his family ten years after the events in the first novel.
Beginning with A Painted House in 2001, the author broadened his focus from law to the more general rural South, but continued to write legal thrillers. He has also written sports fiction and comedy fiction. in 2005, Grisham received the Peggy V. Helmerich Distinguished Author Award. The award is presented annually by the Tulsa Library Trust. In 2010, Grisham started writing a series of legal thrillers for children between 9 and 12 years old. It featured Theodore Boone, a 13-year-old kid who gives his classmates legal advice from rescuing impounded dogs to helping their parents prevent their house from being repossessed. He said, “I’m hoping primarily to entertain and interest kids, but at the same time I’m quietly hoping that the books will inform them, in a subtle way, about law.” he also stated that it was his daughter, Shea, who inspired him to write the Theodore Boone series. “My daughter Shea is a teacher in North Carolina and when she got her fifth grade students to read the book, three or four of them came up afterwards and said they’d like to go into the legal profession. as of 2012, his books had sold over 275 million copies worldwide. a Galaxy British Book Awards winner, Grisham is one of only three authors to sell 2 million copies on a first printing, the others being Tom Clancy and J.K. Rowling And eight of his other novels have also been adapted into films: The Chamber, The Client, A Painted House, The Pelican Brief, Skipping Christmas, The Rainmaker, The Runaway Jury, and A Time to Kill. His books have been translated into 29 languages and published worldwide.