On Writing

Lisa Scottoline

One of the questions people ask Lisa the most is where she gets her ideas. They laugh when she tells them she prays a lot (although it is the truth), but most times her prayers are answered in the simplest, most unexpected ways. She can get an idea while spotting an interaction between people at the supermarket, reading one line from a magazine, or even from the most insignificant to the most significant of her personal experiences.

Lisa is flexible with many things, but not the accuracy of her books. She does tons of research for her novels, and works hard to make things as correct and realistic as possible. So, whether something is going to enhance her entire plot, or add one descriptive sentence, Lisa is relentless in trying to get it just right. Besides, she knows that she has lots of very careful readers with all sorts of various expertise, and if she makes a mistake they will let her know. Which, by the way, Lisa totally appreciates!

Lisa’s research usually starts with reading books (surprised?), searching the internet, and talking to experts. However, many times, second-hand experiences are just not good enough for her. Lisa likes to see, feel, hear and experience the same things her characters will. That has led her down some very interesting paths. She has taken boxing lessons, visited a convent, driven up the front steps of the Art Museum in Philadelphia (the famous Rocky stairs) just to make sure it could be done, stood on the roof of her car in a parking garage to figure out a real-life escape route for one of her characters, visited junkyards, participated in weekly poker games, but her very favorite research by far would have to be the shoe shopping expeditions for Courting Trouble. Of course, she doesn’t have to leave home to write about all the animals that appear in her books. They are usually surrounding her for every strike of the keyboard.

Videos on Writing

Lisa Scottoline: The Writing Life

Where Ideas Come From

Writing From Different Viewpoints

The Importance of Characterization