As the old cliché goes, “write what you know.” Former lawyer James Grippando has certainly taken this bit of wisdom to heart with his mega-successful courtroom thrillers starring defense attorney Jack Swyteck. In Swyteck novels such as Beyond Suspicion and Hear No Evil, and non-series books like Under Cover of Darkness, Grippando proves that he not only knows the law but he knows how to conjure an expertly paced tale of suspense.
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James Grippando at Barnes & Noble.
Coral Gables, Florida
Date of Birth:
January 27, 1958
Place of Birth:
B.A. with High Honors, University of Florida, 1980; J.D. with Honors, University of Florida, 1982
Distinguished Author Award, Scranton University, 2005
James Grippando's official web site
|For Young Adults|
Grippando ventures into new territory with Leapholes, a novel that shows young adults ways to learn that lawyers help people, and that legal precedents come from real situations involving real people trying to resolve real problems. In it, a troubled young man is befriended by a clever older lawyer with a magical law library -- and through the use of a leaphole, the two are transported from the into exciting scenarios that become memorialized in Supreme Court decisions.
|A Writer's Rituals|
|"I live in south Florida, so I write in my backyard," Grippando explains in our interview. "My outdoor office has these essentials: a patio table and chair, a big shade umbrella, a laptop computer, a hammock, a hot tub, and a swimming pool. The cell phone is optional. For me a 'normal' workday means putting on my oldest pair of shorts and favorite T-shirt, visiting the refrigerator every half hour, and explaining to my two-year-old daughter that she can’t bang on the keyboard while daddy is trying to write a book."|
In our interview, we asked Grippando to tell us about some of his favorite books, and Dennis Lehane's Mystic River made his list. "As I read it, I couldn’t stop thinking 'I wish I’d written this,' and when it ended, I couldn’t stop thinking about the characters," he explains.
|The Bonfire of the Vanities|
Grippando also listed Tom Wolfe's modern classic as a favorite. "At the time I read it, I was a young lawyer with 'Masters of the Universe' as clients. Wolfe so nailed the spirit of the eighties," he reflects. Read our interview to learn about more of Grippando's best-loved books, including: