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John Grisham Jr. was born on February 8, 1955 in Jonesboro, Arkansas. The second-oldest of five siblings, he developed a love for books early on. Grisham and his family moved around for a while, due to job opportunities for his father, who worked in construction, eventually settling in Southaven, Mississippi.
Initially thinking of a pro baseball career and working a variety of jobs before college, Grisham went on to study accounting at Mississippi State University and then law at the University of Mississippi, graduating in 1981.
We have compiled a list of John Grisham quotes for you to read.
John Grisham Quotes
I seriously doubt I would ever have written the first story had I not been a lawyer. I never dreamed of being a writer. I wrote only after witnessing a trial.
My mum was never too keen on TV, so we kids all went to the library and got books out. Right from the start, I loved the works of Mark Twain.
Every time I read about Tom Sawyer, I’d go out and do something low-
level naughty, just like him.
Nobody wants to read about the honest lawyer down the street who does real estate loans and wills. If you want to sell books, you have to write about the interesting lawyers – the guys who steal all the money and take off. That’s the fun stuff.
Prisons are fascinating places, especially when the inmates are educated
I’m not in favor of the death penalty. But I’m in favor of locking these people away in maximum security units where they can never get out.
They can never escape. They can never be paroled. Lock the bad ones away. But you gotta rethink everybody else.
There’s always such a rush to judgment. It makes a fair trial hard to get.
I earned my first steady paycheck watering rose bushes at a nursery for a dollar an hour.
Still, something about writing made me spend large hours of my free time at my desk.
I give off rather mixed messages about the law. On the one hand, I can honestly say I don’t miss working in a law office. On the other hand I do enjoy watching the law and while the profession may have its problems, I have sold zillions of books out of magnifying them.
I have learned not to read reviews. Period. And I hate reviewers. All of them, or at least all but two or three. Life is much simpler ignoring reviews and the nasty people who write them. Critics should find meaningful work.
I don’t want to force my politics on my readers.
Right from the start, I loved the works of Mark Twain. Every time I read about Tom Sawyer, I’d go out and do something low-level naughty, just like him.
One thing you really have to watch as a writer is getting on a soapbox or pulpit about anything. You don’t want to alienate readers.
When you work at street level you never know who’s going to walk through your door.
Most criminal defendants do not get adequate representation because there are not enough public defenders to represent them. There is a lot that is wrong.
I grew up in a very small, close-knit, Southern Baptist family, where everything was off-limits. So I couldn’t wait to get to college and have some fun. And I did for the first two years. And I regret a lot of it, because my grades were in terrible shape. I never got in serious trouble, except for my grades.
I’m a Christian, and those beliefs occasionally come out in the books.
I was a lawyer for 10 years – a short time, but it molded me into who I am. My clients were little people fighting big corporations, so it was a natural thing to not only represent the little guy but also to pull for him – it’s the American way.
My name became a brand, and I’d love to say that was the plan from the start. But the only plan was to keep writing books. And I’ve stuck to that ever since.
Quite often I can be in a bookshop, standing beneath a great big picture of myself and paying for a book with a credit card clearly marked John Grisham, yet no one recognizes me. I often say I’m a famous author in a country where no one reads.
I always try to tell a good story, one with a compelling plot that will keep the pages turning. That is my first and primary goal. Sometimes I can tackle an issue-homelessness, tobacco litigation, insurance fraud, the death penalty-and wrap a good story around it.
I was a lawyer for 10 years, and several of my clients had the misfortune, through no fault of my own, of going to prison. I visited them occasionally.
I always do book signings with the same blue pen. That way, if I add a personalized message to a book I’ve already signed, it’ll be in the same color as my signature.
Sometimes I can tackle an issue -homelessness, tobacco litigation, insurance fraud, the death penalty – and wrap a good story around it.
These are the best books, the ones with a story and a message.
It’s hard to read good fiction when I am writing, because if it is really good I catch myself sort of inadvertently imitating a great writer.
More than 100 people have been sent to death row who were later exonerated because they weren’t guilty or fairly tried. Most criminal defendants do not get adequate representation because there are not enough public defenders to represent them. There is a lot that is wrong.
Writing was not a childhood dream of mine. I do not recall longing to write as a student. I wasn’t sure how to start.
Writing’s still the most difficult job I’ve ever had – but it’s worth it.
Every morning I wake at 6am or 6.30am, champing at the bit.
Twenty years on, the books are still fun to write and I’ve still got lots of stories I want to tell, mainly about social injustice and people chewed up by the system.
Keeping a guy in prison costs 50,000 bucks a year. Executing one costs a couple million.
We’ve sent 130 men to death row to be executed in this country, at least 130 that we know of, who have later have been exonerated because they were either innocent, or they were not fairly tried. That’s 130 people that we’ve locked down on death row. And they’ve spent years there.
Wrongful convictions happen every week in every state in this country.
And they happen for all the same reasons. Sloppy police work. Eyewitness identification is the most – is the worst type almost. Because it’s wrong about half the time. Think about that.
We have the crime of the century every six months. So for people like me who enjoy, you know, taking these stories and writing about them, the material is endless.
After I’d been a lawyer for about five or six years, I started playing around
I can’t change overnight into a serious literary author. You can’t compare apples to oranges. William Faulkner was a great literary genius. I am not.
I learned that lesson a long time ago. When you write popular fiction you’re going to get bashed by critics.
And that’s the mission of The Innocence Project in New York, is to exonerate people who have been wrongfully convicted, and also work from a policy angle with Congress and state legislatures to prevent future wrongful convictions.
I’ve had nine of my books adapted to film, and almost all were enjoyable. I’ve been very lucky with Hollywood, and look forward to more movies being adapted. But I don’t get involved in that process. I know nothing about making movies and I stay away from it and hope for the best.
I’m not itching to sue Amazon or Wal-Mart… they sell a lot of books. But the future is very uncertain with books.
We are extremely private, and we really got sort of ambushed by the notoriety.
The Deep South has the friendliest people in the world. They will do anything for you. They also want to know what’s going on and won’t hesitate to ask questions.
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