Author On the Bookcase: Lisa Scottoline, author of Save Me
Author On the Bookcase
So thrilled to welcome Lisa Scottoline, author of Save Me, Think Twice, Look Again, and 13 other novels! Save Me is the story of a woman who tries to save her child, tries to save another, and finally, ends up saving herself. Lisa's new book will have readers wondering just how far they would go to save the ones they love.
Lisa chats with us about her books, life, love, and the mother-child bond. "It is inborn, and cultivated, both, and it powers most of my thoughts and hopes, worries and fears."
People say you should write what you know, and while I agree, I think that doesn't go far enough.
I think you should write what you feel.
Don’t feel bad if you didn’t know this, because it’s taken me almost twenty years and twenty books to figure it out.
Call me slow on the uptake.
Let me explain what I mean by write what you feel. I’m what’s known as a people person. I love people, and so it’s no surprise that characterization and relationships between people are the strongest part of my novels.
That’s where my heart is.
That’s what I feel.
Relationships between girlfriends, women and men, and family members populate every page of mine, and I like it that way. I try to write an entertaining story with a fast-moving plot, but what I want you to remember, when you close the book, is the people between the covers. Not to get too English major-y on you, but the fact is that characterization and plot are the same thing.
We are what we do, after all.
So to stay on point, it occurred to me that when I look at my life, the most important relationship to me, and the one that abides time and even space, is my relationship to my daughter, Francesca.
In other words, it’s all about the mother-child relationship.
I love her more than I can say, and I’m in the words business, so I should be fired. And as she’s grown up and moved out, I’ve gained a new perspective on her that makes me want to write more and more about that relationship.
Paradoxically, now that she’s moved out, I think about her more. I see us with new eyes. And our relationship has changed and grown to one between two adults, I still remain her parent, no matter how old she gets.
Motherhood has no expiration date.
I used to think that I felt our relationship so intensely because I’m a single mother an she’s an only child. In fact, I remember that she came home from grade school one day and asked this priceless question:
“Mom, if I’m an only child, does that mean you’re an only mom?”
But now that I’m a new empty nester, and comparing notes with all of my girlfriends, I’ve come to the conclusion that the intensity of the mother-child bond doesn’t turn on how many children you have, or if you have a hubby or not. It’s inborn, and cultivated, both, and it powers most of my thoughts and hopes, worries and fears.
(As the kids say.)
So it makes sense that later in my life, which is now, I’d turn to writing more and more about the mother-child relationship.
I’d written about it in Final Appeal, which won an Edgar, but hadn’t returned to it often in the past, for one very practical reason – in a suspense novel, you need a mom getting herself in trouble, and if she did that with a kid, you wouldn’t like her much.
Neither would I.
I needed a fictional sitter, and you know how hard those are to come by.
I returned to moms and children in Look Again, and I think the strength of the bond between a mother and her child gave the story an enormous force and emotional power.
If I don’t say so myself.
And I think the same is true of Save Me.
It’s intense, the story of a woman who tries to save her child, tries to save another, and finally, ends up saving herself. I think any mother will find themselves in this book, and wonder what they’d do if they were in its heroine’s shoes.
And if you’re a mother, you could be in her shoes.
Tomorrow, or the next day.
We never know where life will lead us, but we mothers know we can cope, and lead, and nurture, and love.
Because that’s our job, to me, sometimes I feel as if I were put on earth to be a mother.
I feel it.
And when you read Save Me, I bet you’ll feel the same way.
So open the book.
Thanks so much, Lisa, for sharing your thoughts of mothering and reminding us that, no matter what, "we can cope, and lead, and nurture, and love."
"Are you a good mother if you save your child from disaster? What if it means sacrificing another's child? In Save Me, Lisa Scottoline walks readers into this charged moral dilemma and then takes them on an intense, breathless ride. You won't be able to put this one down." --Jodi Picoult, NY Times bestselling author of Sing You Home and House Rules
Lisa Scottoline is the New York Times bestselling and Edgar® Award-winning author of sixteen novels. She has twenty-five million copies of her books in print in the United States, and she has been published in twenty-five countries. She teaches a course called Justice & Fiction at the University of Pennsylvania Law School, her alma mater. She lives in Philadelphia with an array of disobedient pets.
Learn more about Lisa.