Message From The Author
Americas Most Wanted Mysteries:
Janet Evanovich's Hilarious Stephanie Plum Series
by Laurie Davie
Okay, all of you Evanovich fans, heads up!
I know your deepest desire: to find out what happens to Trenton, NJ bounty hunter Stephanie Plum after the final page of High Five, to know exactly which gorgeous guy dangerously attractive bounty hunter, Ranger, or sinfully sexy cop, Joe Morelli, says to Stephanie, "Nice dress. Take it off."
Well, I cant tell you! First of all, it would spoil the surprise; second, Janet warned me, "You give the secret away and I'll send Vinnie and the duck after you." And Janet is not some one you want to cross she, like Stephanie, is a Jersey girl, through and through. Even if she does live in New Hampshire now. "You can take the girl out of Jersey, but you can't take Jersey out of the girl," she laughs.
Her legions of fans are grateful for this. Since 1994s One for
the Money introduced everyone's favorite big-haired, wise-mouthed, spandex-clad fugitive apprehension agent, Stephanie and the rest
of the eccentric Plum family have been bestselling reader favorites. Particularly the irrepressible Grandma Mazur, an octogenarian hot mama who totes a stun gun and loves to attend funeral viewings - acquaintance with the deceased is optional. (Stephanie declines to accompany her: "Next to sticking myself in the eye with a fork my favorite thing in the world was to go visit dead people.")
In Hot Six, Stephanie must investigate Ranger's connection with a mob murder, and has a couple of vicious but, thankfully, incompetent hit men after her, as well as a homicidal fugitive who has her confused with his ex-wife, and a Stephanie has a traumatic pimple. But what's really stressing her out is her new roommate Grandma Mazur, bent on a new, liberated lifestyle.
I couldn't resist asking Janet, "Whats your family like?"
She replied, "My childhood family was a lot like Stephanie's. When I was a kid (and for many years as an adult!) my entire life was ruled by pot roast at six o'clock. And my Aunt Lena used to go to viewings just like Grandma Mazur."
Her present family is eccentric in a different way. "We're a cottage industry with my husband, my adult daughter and son all working for Evanovich Inc. My daughter is my full-time webmaster, my son manages our finances, my husband tries to keep me on time, and of course, I write the books."
As most RT readers know, Janet got her start writing category romances, then turned to mysteries. When asked about the differences between these two forms, Janet replied, "Actually, they're surprisingly similar. They're both character-driven, positive reads. The difference is that in the romance, the relationship is the predominant plot line, and in the mystery, the relationship is subordinate. And I have more freedom of language and attitude in the mystery."
Janet continues, "I think romance and mystery enhance each other. The trick is in finding the balance. In my opinion, I write adventure stories and this puts the emphasis on action rather than romance or mystery. I shoot for a book that reads like Ms. Indiana Jones in Trenton, New Jersey."
The driving action and brilliant comedy of Stephanie's adventures make the books natural fodder for movies, and a film is currently in active pre-production at TriStar. Also, Janet reveals, there's been some talk of taking it to television as a series. This only makes sense, since, to keep the long-running series fresh, Janet says, "My solution was to follow the lead of television sitcom and create a family of characters to take the pressure off my protagonist. By allowing different auxiliary characters to come forward including my all-time favorite, Lula, former ho turned bounty hunter with a wicked sense of style. I can vary the tone of each book and keep things interesting for myself and hopefully for the reader."
Considering the outcry after the cliffhanger ending of High Five, reader interest isn't something Janet has to worry about. Though she wont reveal the big secret of Hot Six, Janet will tell readers this: There's a new male in Stephanies life in this book. Hes got sandy blond hair, big brown eyes and howls when left alone. Steph's mom still wants her to take a safer job at the Personal Products plant. (I tried to visualize Wonder Woman working the line at the Personal Products plant, but the picture wouldn't fine tune.) Our heroine also kills a few more cars in this book, but Big Blue, Uncle Sandor's monster Buick, escapes unscathed.
When I asked Janet for some tantalizing clues about book seven, such as, "Will the course of true love run smoothly for Stephanie and whoever?"
She replied, nothing runs smooth for Stephanie - true love included. And that's why we love her!
Visit Janet's website at www.evanovich.com. You can also write to Janet c/o St. Martins Press, 175 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10010.
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