Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

I'd like to take a moment on this Thanksgiving to give thanks to...John Grisham?

So why in the world am I taking up space in the blogosphere to single out the king of the legal thriller, when I should be giving thanks for family, friends & supporters (you're the best!), eating food I would normally never eat (yams? really?), and watching bad football (I'm talking to you, Detroit Lions)?

I read Grisham's book The Firm when I was in college, and it had the biggest impact on my writing life, especially in two major ways:

  1. By the time I finished, I had caught the writing bug, and at that point decided I would write a fiction novel one day (even if it took me another decade to put pen to paper)
  2. The book made me realize that I wanted no part of going to law school. And in retrospect, I think the US justice system is much better for it.
I hadn't read a Grisham novel in many years, but recently I received a copy of his latest publication called Ford County Stories. I haven't read this one either, but I was struck by the book's dedication. It read:

When a Time to Kill was published twenty years ago, I soon learned the painful lesson that selling books was far more difficult than writing them. I bought a thousand copies and had trouble giving them away. I hauled them in the trunk of my car and peddled them at libraries, grocery stores, coffee shops, and a handful of bookstores. Often, I was assisted by my friend Bobby Moak.

I don't know if I'll ever end up selling a gazillion books like John Grisham, but I can imagine one day writing similar words in a book dedication. The only difference being, I would replace Time to Kill with Painless, and replace Bobby Moak with your name.

But I figure - why wait twenty years to thank you for the incredible support, belief, and assistance you've given me and the book. Thank you - I appreciate it!

Happy Thanksgiving!