John Grisham is lazy?

John Grisham at St Ann's Church in Brooklyn Heights

John Grisham is lazy?

Brooklyn Heights
Carroll Gardens
Cobble Hill

Author John Grisham is one of the world's best selling authors, having written 39 books from The Pelican Brief to his newest, The Rooster Bar. And he can't stop talking about how lazy he is.

The author made a rare book tour appearance at St Ann’s Church in Brooklyn Heights to promote the first day of release of his 39th book, THE ROOSTER BAR, at St Ann’s Church in Brooklyn Heights, sponsored by local independent Carroll Gardens bookseller, Books Are Magic.

THE ROOSTER BAR is John Grisham's latest legal thriller and takes readers inside a law firm on shaky ground; Mark, Todd, and Zola came to law school to change the world, to make it a better place. But now, as third-year students, these close friends realize they have been duped. They all borrowed heavily to attend a third-tier, for-profit law school so mediocre that its graduates rarely pass the bar exam, let alone get good jobs. And when they learn that their school is one of a chain owned by a shady New York hedge-fund operator who also happens to own a bank specializing in student loans, the three know they have been caught up in The Great Law School Scam.

"I sort of felt guilty for not touring," said Grisham. "Because best-selling authors should tour, even though we don't have to."

"My wife read a story about Stephen King's tour and said 'Why don't you get out of the house and go...'"

The event at St Ann's was being recorded for a pod cast and also featured local writers Amor Towles and Books Are Magic's owner Emma Straub.

Amor Towles' first novel, Rules of Civility, published in 2011, was a New York Times bestseller and was named by The Wall Street Journal as one of the best books of 2011. His second novel, A Gentleman in Moscow, published in 2016, was also a New York Times bestseller and was named as one of the best books of 2016 by many publications. Both novels have been translated into more than fifteen languages.

"About a month ago, I finished A GENTLEMAN IN MOSCOW and was really taken with the book," said Grisham. "So I read both books and and I said this is some really good stuff, this is a new talent and a new voice, so I sent him an email and invited him to join me and actually met him at a bar just down the street. He was walking down the street and looked in the bar and there I was!"

"25 years ago when I broke into the business it was before the Internet, before Amazon, and the great conflict back then was Independent versus chains. Now 25 years later, you know, we're pulling for all bookstores to survive. We've lost like 3,000 bookstores in the last twenty years. What's gratifying today is to see the resurgence of Independent booktores."

Emma Straub opened Books Are Magic with her husband in May of 2017, after the beloved local store, Bookcourt, closed its doors. She is the New York Times bestselling author of the novels Modern Lovers, The Vacationers and Laura Lamont’s Life in Pictures, and the short story collection Other People We Married.

Emma Straub of Books Are Magic with John Grisham

The Internet quickly came up and the use of social media for promotions.

"I'm being pushed, and dragged, and kicking and screaming by close friends of mine at Doubleday. They want Instagram, I don't tweet, they maintain a beautiful Facebook page for me that I look at once a year. Yesterday at Doubleday, I did a live Facebook chat that was terrifying, I'm just not going to embrace it because I'm too private to share that much of myself with the world," said Grisham who is 62 years old.

"I had a career, and no one knew I was writing my first novel but my wife," said Grisham. "So I worked on it for three years and it got finished. That was my first novel and it was a flop initially. It didn't go anywhere."

"But after three years, I was in the habit of writing almost every day. I told my wife I'm going to do this one more time and I have an idea that could be more popular and more commercially succesful and if this doesn't work this little career is going to be history. I'm wasting too much time."

"I didn't dream of being a writer."

When The Firm became a bestseller in 1991, he couldn't wait to close his law firm and walk out. He jokingly said he didn't even turn out the lights. He stopped practicing law and was off to the races. The pressure was on to stay busy as a writer, and he proceeded to publish a book a year.

In a casual conversation with a book executive, he was told "The big guys publish every year." That was all it took to get him going.

He wrote his third book, The Pelican Brief, in less than two months.

After 39 books, he doesn't seem ready to stop.


John Grisham and Amor Towles