In 1984 at the De Soto County courthouse in Hernando, Grisham witnessed the harrowing testimony of a 12-year-old rape victim. According to Grisham's official website, Grisham used his spare time to begin his first novel, which "explored what would have happened if the girl's father had murdered her assailants."  He spent three years on A Time to Kill and finished it in 1987. Grisham has also cited Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird as an influence. This book is set in 1984. Another stated inspiration was the success of Presumed Innocent.
This content is from Wikipedia. GradeSaver is providing this content as a courtesy until we can offer a professionally written study guide by one of our staff editors. We do not consider this content professional or citable. Please use your discretion when relying on it.