Lisa Scottoline: A Life in Books

Lisa Scottoline: A Life in Books

Do you know what my dream book would be?

Mick Jagger’s autobiography.

Mick, write your book!

Why do I say this? Not because I’m a huge Rolling Stones fan, which I am, but mostly because if I were going to name one of my favorite books of the past decade, it would be Life by Keith Richards.

A book couldn’t have a better title, because this book is not only about Keith Richards’s life, but about life in general. It’s about the life of a man who had a passion that drove everything in his life, even as his path was anything but linear.

It’s about a chance meeting, which happened to be with Mick Jagger, that made history.

It’s about the creative process – both playing instruments and writing songs – and that’s fascinating no matter what business you’re in, because in my view, life is creative. So whether you are composing music, writing books, deciding how to answer an email at work, charting your own career path, deciding whether to get a divorce, you’re creating.

All of us create our own lives.

And to see how Keith Richard did it, not only overcoming adversities that were thrown his way, but the many more adversities he created for himself, is simply uplifting. Which one of us hasn’t encountered difficulties? Which one of us hasn’t created many more difficulties for ourselves?

I know I have.

I’m divorced twice, from Thing One and Thing Two.

So there are two mistakes, right there. Not the divorces, the marriages.

And so, in an interesting way, the story of Keith Richards’s life is essentially the story of my life, and yours, too, even though on the surface neither of us has anything in common with an internationally-famous, super-wealthy Rock God.

Every book, whether it’s fiction or not, boils down to a story, and at best, it’s the story of a very human being.

I can say this because I write both fiction and non-fiction, and so I’ve taught myself that there’s no difference between these things, even though they are in different sections of any bookstore.

In fact, as an aside, every single author endeavors to write something true, even when writing fiction. All of us are searching for the emotional truth in our world, and speaking for myself, I know I mine whatever deepest emotions I’m having to spin into the drama that is my fiction and to gird it with an emotional truth.


Is it just therapy for me?

Not at all. It’s not about me, it’s about you.

It’s really because when I write something emotionally true, whether it’s fiction or non-fiction, a reader instinctively recognizes that truth. Truth really does have a ring to it, and it goes directly to the soul.

Truth is glue.

That’s why books connect people, one to the other. They even connect people to themselves.

I love books.

And not only my books, or Keith Richards’, but yours. The one you’re writing with your life.

And that’s why I would love to hear from Mick, because I think he’s had an extraordinary life that probably, if he told it truly, would boil down to a very ordinary life, just like you and me.

But with better cars.

©Lisa Scottoline 2014

Betrayed is available to buy online today as an eBook.