Hi there! I'm AJ Palladino. I've been called the People's Champion, but I'm really just a single, working mom trying my best to raise my son and help out my community.
Yes, they made a movie about me. No, that wasn't Julia Roberts playing me—that was some other movie.
What do I do for a living? Now, that gets complicated. My partner calls our company a "consumer and environmental advocacy" firm but I don't really have a job title.
My friends say I'm a troubleshooter. My family calls me more of a troublemaker.
Every time I dare to question the status quo, people decide they know what kind of person I am. Don't you hate being judged? I know I do.
I'll ask about the ramifications of bulldozing the top off of a mountain and tossing millions of tons of rock, trees, minerals, and chemicals into the valley where our water supply comes from and suddenly I'm a "tree-hugger."
I mean, all I'm trying to do is protect my son's health and make sure he grows up with water to drink and land to play on that isn't going to make him sick.
Isn't that what every parent wants for their kids?
I'm just trying to get answers. Why the rush to destroy a mountaintop that's been there a million years? Shouldn't we know what we're getting ourselves into before we do something we can't take back and might regret?
Or take my new job, helping a nuclear plant in South Carolina. I know, I know, after what happened in Japan, we all think nuclear anything must inherently be evil, so what the heck is a consumer advocate doing working for a nuclear company?
Well, this plant produces medical isotopes, radioactive particles that doctors use to save lives. You can be against nuclear energy but you can't really be against saving lives, can you?
I don't like coloring in the lines, never have. I don't play by the rules and I sure as heck don't like anyone else telling me how to think.
To me there is no such thing as black and white—my life is lived in the grey zone between two extremes, working to understand all the issues and bringing the hidden (some might say intentionally buried, but see, there are those pesky judgments again) facts to light.
I don't care what political persuasion you are, we all need is the truth.
Hmmm….maybe I'll start using that as my job title: truth-seeker.
I like that. Even though we all know I'll still be making tons of trouble along the way!
Thanks for reading,
AJ Palladino is the main character of the new suspense series written by Erin Brockovich and CJ Lyons. ROCK BOTTOM is available now and the sequel, HOT WATER, will be released October, 2011. For more information about AJ and her adventures, go to www.cjlyons.net
About CJ Lyons:
As a pediatric ER doctor, CJ Lyons has lived the life she writes about in her cutting edge thrillers. In addition to being an award-winning, bestselling author, CJ is a nationally known presenter and keynote speaker.
CJ has been called a "master within the genre" (Pittsburgh Magazine) and her work has been praised as "breathtakingly fast-paced" and "riveting" (Publishers Weekly) with "characters with beating hearts and three dimensions" (Newsday).
Her award-winning, critically acclaimed Angels of Mercy series (LIFELINES, WARNING SIGNS, URGENT CARE and CRITICAL CONDITION) is available now. Her newest project is as co-author of a new suspense series with Erin Brockovich. You can learn more at http://www.cjlyons.net