Today is John Grisham’s birthday. Wikipedia lists him as a “lawyer,” something that he did for 10 years of his life, but he is best known as the “Father of the Legal Thriller.” I’m not sure if he can be credited as writing the first legal thriller, but he is certainly the author who made them popular, and rightly so. He has written more of them than any author I know of.
One of the things that we authors like to do in our work is to work these quotable lines into the story-something profound that just fits. Grisham is a master at that, and his philosophy of writing a story around an issue that needs to be publicized was an inspiration for me, as I never thought I would have the stomach for writing a legal thriller. Turns out I have.
These “Grishamisms” have also inspired me to write my own. It is a joy to pick up a book and read something intelligent instead of just action. Those little tidbits about life like “You live your life today, not tomorrow and certainly not yesterday,” or “If you’re gonna be stupid, you gotta be tough.” And I have a special place in my heart for, “Critics should find meaningful work.” You see, John has gotten a bad rap on some of his latest releases, which I thought were well done, and certainly not deserving of a one star review.
So Happy Birthday John. I will continue to enjoy reading your stories as long as you continue to write them. And thanks for the inspiration!