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Grisham Eyes Beefy Political Novel

What John Grisham did for small-town lawyers in his crime novels he's about to do for politicians.

The author of "The Firm," "A Time To Kill" and other best-selling legal thrillers said Monday he took copious notes during bull sessions with fellow lawmakers during his years in the Mississippi House of Representatives in the late 1980s.

One day, they'll appear in a beefy novel set in Ford County, Miss., the same fictitious venue as "A Time to Kill," Grisham said after he addressed the Southern Governors Association's 70th annual conference.

"I have a lot of notes; there will be a lot of layers to it. It'll be a big, thick book and I'm not in the mood to write a big thick book right now," Grisham said in an interview. "It's probably at least five years away."

Grisham practiced law in Southaven, Miss., and represented the Memphis, Tenn., suburb in the legislature for six years, leaving in 1990 to focus full time on writing. He now lives near Charlottesville, Va.

"It's going to have a lot of the humor that I saw in the campaigning and also in the legislature itself. The serious issues I've yet to define," he said.

He said the book probably won't address the frustrations and the tedium he endured from legislative sessions that kept him in Jackson, Miss., for months on end each year.

"My frustration was not unique, but I was in the minority," he said. "Most guys loved the job. They were from small towns across the state and they got to go to Jackson for three months and party."