Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Justin Peacock

Justin Peacock received an MFA from Columbia University and a law degree from Yale. Prior to attending law school, he worked as an online producer at the New York Times. His legal experience ranges from death-penalty defense to First Amendment cases.

His novels include A Cure for Night and the recently released Blind Man's Alley.

From his 2009 Q & A with Kashmir Hill at Above the Law:

Kash: You’ve been in Biglaw. You’ve worked in the Brooklyn courts. Were you taking notes along the way knowing you might write about it?

Peacock: It can be a tricky thing how much you draw from your own life and your own direct experiences. I don’t think I could have written a Biglaw law firm book while working and practicing in that area. If I’m writing something too close to my lived experience, it becomes more of a journal exercise than a work for future. I tried to find something where I knew enough about it to not make a complete fool of myself in terms of getting things wrong. But the book isn’t really reflective of my actual legal career.

Kash: Given that, how did you do your research for the book?
Peacock: I had a public defender friend who did a thorough vetting of the book. I got on Lexis and did some actual legal research, and hung out in New York courtrooms. Clerking was a helpful experience in terms of the ambiance of the courtroom. The Brooklyn federal trial courts are a lively and eccentric place.

Kash: Beyond telling a great story, what kind of themes did you hope to tackle in the book?

Peacock: I wanted to tell a more realistic story about criminal law. A lot of legal thrillers are about high-level government conspiracies and some hidden Thomas Jefferson scroll from the 18th century or what have you…

Kash: Any particular authors in mind there?

Peacock: (laughs) Absolutely....[read on]
Visit Justin Peacock's website.

The Page 69 Test: A Cure for Night.

--Marshal Zeringue