Penguin Speakers Bureau

John Lescroart

New York Times-Bestselling Novelist

Photo by Will Mosgrove


The year was 1989, and John Lescroart needed a break. His clerical “day job” with a law firm kept him in a Los Angeles office fourteen hours a day, typing legal briefs—this after he’d devoted two early morning hours to his novel-in-progress. So Lescroart went bodysurfing at Seal Beach.

The next day he lay in a Pasadena hospital. From the contaminated seawater where he’d surfed, he’d contracted spinal meningitis and wasn’t expected to live.

Now a New York Times-bestselling author whose legal and urban thrillers are in print in sixteen languages and more than seventy-five countries, Lescroart looks back on his eleven-day battle with death as a turning point in his career. He quit his day job to write full time, with intense focus and dedication. His resulting books found a devoted readership and propelled Lescroart to bestseller status.

“This is the message I try to get out to everybody,” said Lescroart. “This is the only life you have. Get out there and live it. It’s not dress rehearsal. If you have a dream, and you’re going for something you truly believe in, the only way is to pursue it in spite of all the other excuses you can find. As soon as I defined myself as a writer, everything fell into place.”

Since that epiphany, Lescroart has delivered a succession of riveting page-turners: Dead Irish (1989), The Vig (1990), Hard Evidence (1993), The 13th Juror (1994), A Certain Justice (1995), Guilt (1997), The Mercy Rule (1998), Nothing But the Truth (2000), The Hearing (2001), The Oath (2002), The First Law (2003), The Second Chair (2005), The Hunt Club (2006), The Suspect (2007), Betrayal (2008), Sunburn (2009), A Plague of Secrets (2009), and Treasure Hunt (2010).

John Lescroart’s successful writing career has allowed him to return to one of his first loves—music. He recently started his own record label, CrowArt Records ( The label’s first project was a CD of original piano solos, the melodies written by Lescroart and performed by master pianist Antonio Castillo de la Gala, titled Date Night. Fans of his character Dismas Hardy will know that he and his wife set aside every Wednesday night as their “date night.”

Lescroart devotes seven hours a day to his work-in-progress, then heads home for family pursuits. An evening with his wife and their two children, a dinner he enjoys cooking. Later the Lescroarts pile in the car for one of the children’s many activities. Weekends find him entertaining friends, maybe coaching Little League, playing softball, golf, perhaps fishing.

Speaking Topics

  • Twenty Years to Overnight Success
  • Six Tips on Writing a Bestselling Novel
  • The Creative Process
  • The Development of Character
See More Topics

More About This Speaker

Featured Book

The Hunter

"Lescroart continues to write thrillers that hit it out of the park. Hunt is a great character, and the personal insight into what makes him tick makes The Hunter not only the best Wyatt Hunt novel yet, but also one of Lescroart's best."

The Associated Press

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