That’s how attorney and best-selling author Scott Turow described “Presumed Innocent,” the first of 11 works of fiction he’s had published.
Turow is scheduled to present a public lecture at 7 p.m. Nov. 7 at the Herbert University Center on the campus at the University of North Florida. With the topic “A Lawyer Goes to Hollywood,” Turow will share the experience of turning his novels into motion pictures and television series.
A practicing attorney, Turow’s first interest was writing. After graduating from Amherst College in 1970, he was the Edith Mirrielees Fellow at Stanford University Creative Writing Center from 1970-72. From 1972-75, he taught creative writing at Stanford as the E. H. Jones lecturer.
Turow said while he was teaching, it occurred to him that he should be writing, which led to a first effort that he was unable to sell to a publisher. Writing the book, however, led to his other career.
“I learned about the legal profession while researching the book,” Turow said.
In 1975, he entered Harvard Law School and graduated with honors in 1978.
“My colleagues at Stanford weren’t terribly happy with me. They thought I was abandoning them for the ruling class,” said Turow.
He has published 11 novels and a work of non-fiction, “One L,” which details what it’s like to endure the first year of law school. Turow has sold more than 30 million books in his career.
His first published novel, “Presumed Innocent” became a 1990 motion picture starring Harrison Ford, Raul Julia and Greta Scacchi.
In 1992, “Burden of Proof” was produced for television starring Hector Elizondo, Brian Dennehy and Mel Harris.
Turow’s “Reversible Errors” was produced for television starring Tom Selleck and William H. Macy and broadcast in 2004.
When he began his career as an author, Turow said he was 25 percent writer and 75 percent lawyer. That has switched to 25 percent lawyer and 75 percent author, but the relationship has been constant and personal.
“The law has given me what every writer needs — something to write about,” Turow said. “The subject matter of the law matches what I struggle with as a person — how do you tell right from wrong and how do you use power?”
Martin Edwards, senior instructor and pre-law adviser at UNF, said Turow’s “One L” is recommended reading for students in the pre-law program.
Tickets for the public lecture are required, but free. Visit unf.edu/lectures for details.
“It will be a frank discussion of what it’s like to deal with Hollywood,” Turow said.