We had a great time at the Philadel-
phia Public Relations Associa-
tion Gold Medal Luncheon honoring best-selling author Lisa Scottoline.
It was great to see Lisa again and to chat with her about her life, her career and her many interests.
Lisa Scottoline is now a worldwide phenomenon. Indeed, she has sold 20 million books and her 15 novels have been translated into dozens of languages.
All of Lisa's novels are set in Philadelphia and feature gutsy and resilient female characters and Lisa has thrilled and entertained readers with page-turning action and her trademark wit and humor. USA Today hails her writing as "sharp, intelligent, funny, and hip" and says that she "gives fans of thrillers a good, twisty plot, lively characters, and an all-around fun read."
This Philadelphia lawyer told us that her stories and her characters come from real life and she never knows when another idea for a novel is going to arrive in the form of a person, place or event - sometimes a combination of all three.
Having known Lisa for quite some time I can attest to the fact that her keen eye is always on the lookout for vivid characters and memorable events. As a creative person she sees the bigger moments and the drama in everyday life.
But here is the important message that Lisa conveyed to the public relations community today:
First, as a wordsmith she feels a common bond with PR people. She respects us and admires our work and finds that both novelists and PR people are in the business of selling stories and ideas. She feels this is an honorable -- indeed, a noble business because ideas are powerful things. If you can tell a good story and/or sell an idea you can inspire others and you can really change the world.
And second, Lisa said she feels that instead of bailing out General Motors and other big business enterprises, maybe we ought to be bailing out the written word. She's worried about the future of the written word. She's worried that newspapers and publishing houses are in trouble. And she feels we should be worried as well. She feels we need to honor and support the written word.
"There's a reason why the First Amendment is in the Constitution; and why it's first," Lisa said. "It's because thoughts and words and ideas are important. Free speech is important."
Lisa also told of her love for Philadelphia and related family tales and stories of growing up in South Philly. Her tales of her Italian grandparents and the journey that her family has made reflected her pride in her Italian heritage and in America itself.
I'm glad that everyone at the luncheon had the chance to witness what I've always known: Success hasn't changed Lisa Scottoline. She's a genuine, funny, smart and winning personality. She hasn't forgotten where she came from; she understands who she is and she certainly knows where she's going.