She began her career in 1995 in St. Petersburg, Russia, writing articles for The Moscow Times and USA Today. Upon returning to the United States in 1996, she worked with renowned tech journalist Kara Swisher on her first book, AOL.COM. From that collaboration, Lisa launched a career as a ghostwriter and book collaborator.
Over the next two decades, Lisa worked with high-profile clients such as Jill Biden, Patrick Swayze, Gavin Newsom, Cissy Houston, Herbie Hancock, Tammy Duckworth, Sheila Johnson and Whitewater partner Susan McDougal. Her collaborations have spanned a vast array of topics, from politics to business to entertainment to international relations.
Lisa is also the author of Bears in the Streets: Three Journeys Across a Changing Russia, published by St. Martin’s Press in 2017. Called “brilliant, real and readable” by Madeleine Albright, the book describes Lisa’s 20 years of in-depth interviews with the same Russians between 1995-2015. Kirkus Reviews called it a “spirited account… that reveals true Russian personality.”
Lisa is an accomplished storyteller on stage, appearing at live events such as the the Moth Grand Slam, Don’t Tell My Mother, and Drunk on Stage at Akbar. She is also a credited writer on the award-winning documentary film Letter to Anita, and a contributor to Audible’s Coming Out Party.
Prior to her writing career, Lisa worked as a Russian translator and, for nine glorious months, as a lounge singer in Japan. A 1988 graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a B.A. in Russian Language and Literature, she lives with her wife, the TV and film writer Randi Barnes, in Los Angeles and Washington, D.C.
Selected acknowledgments from authors:
George Stephanopoulos, The Situation Room:
“Lisa Dickey is the Platonic ideal of a co- writer. Curious, diligent, always upbeat. She has a quick pen, a clear mind and an open heart. I couldn’t—and wouldn’t—have written this book without her.”
Tammy Duckworth, Every Day is a Gift:
“There’s no way this book would have gotten written were it not for my collaborator, Lisa Dickey, who devoted so much energy to learning my voice… No one else could’ve made this book speak the way you have. Thank you.”
Jill Biden, Where the Light Enters:
“Thank you to Lisa Dickey, who listened to my stories for hours and hours and hours. She skillfully shaped the framework for all of my stories, providing invaluable perspective. Lisa is a master of her craft. Ultimately, she offered friendship, and for that I am grateful.”
Patrick Swayze and Lisa Niemi, The Time of My Life:
“It took a lot of work to bring this book together, and it wouldn’t be what it is without the help of Lisa Dickey. Her focus, suggestions, and skill at helping shape a story are fantastic. She is a joy to work with, and we’d work with her again in a heartbeat.”
Cissy Houston, Remembering Whitney:
“Lisa Dickey – thank you for giving yourself to this book just when we needed you. I appreciate your tireless efforts more than I can say.”
Gavin Newsom, Citizenville:
“I had the joy and delight of working and collaborating with Lisa Dickey – I could not have asked for a better partner throughout this project.”
Roberta Kaplan, Then Comes Marriage:
“This book would never have happened had Lisa Dickey not come to me a year ago and proposed to help me chronicle our journey on the Windsor case. I am so grateful to her for creating order out of disorder and for helping me to find my voice.”
Cathie Black, Basic Black:
“Lisa Dickey, my collaborator, was the perfect choice. She sat with me for dozens of hours, attended speeches and meetings, and talked to friends and colleagues, all the while pulling stories and ideas from the far reaches of my mind, some of which were cobwebbed over. But she was always there with a ready laugh or a shake of the head, and she always told me when something didn’t make sense or when there wasn’t enough of a lesson in the story. She kept an even keel throughout it all and somehow managed to deliver the book on time, despite a move to Los Angeles during the final editing.”
Bob Baer, The Devil We Know:
“This book could not have been written without Lisa Dickey, editor, book doctor, skeptic, and invaluable scold. Every morning I turned on my computer to find an email from her challenging one thing or another. “Why should the reader care?” she’d ask. Lisa made sure that irrelevant trivia, which so often find their way into books written by people who spend their lives in the Middle East, stayed out, and she put everything neatly in order.”