Sometimes you just connect with a character. That’s me with Stephanie Plum – of course, I finally married my Jersey boy, but Stephanie and I definitely have the car problems in common. Don’t even get me started on the time I was stranded on a lonely stretch of I-80 in Nebraska with a smoking engine. Not good.
So imagine how excited I was to get to interview Janet Evanovich. Yeah, I squealed and I’m only slightly ashamed to admit. The woman is a writing hero of mine. Reading her books featuring Stephanie Plum, Alex Barnaby and Elizabeth Tucker make me happy. Usually, I tear through them in one sitting carried along by the action, humor and story twists.
“It turns out I’m a really boring workaholic with no hobbies or special interests. My favorite exercise is shopping and my drug of choice is Cheeze Doodles,” Janet writes on her website. “I read comic books and I only watch happy movies. I motivate myself to write by spending my money before I make it. And when I grow up I want to be just like Grandma Mazur.”
Can the world really take a real-life Grandma Mazur? Oh hell yeah. I for one can’t wait for it. But until that happens, grab a cup of coffee – or if you’re like Lulu a plate of ribs – and spend a few minutes with Janet.
Set the scene for us, where are you and what are your three favorite objects within arms reach.
Coffee cup, computer keyboard and my pet bird Ida’s cage. I’m in my office in Naples, FL.
Are you a plotter or a pantser? Why?
I’m both. I start with a brief outline that gives me room to roam.
How often do you write and do you keep a set schedule? Do you ever start to get the shakes if you don’t write? 🙂
Seven days a week — usually eight hours at a clip. I don’t get the shakes, but I do feel the hot breath of the next deadline on my neck.
What is your celebratory treat for finishing a book?
For the sake of this question, your best friend is single, which one of your heroes would you set her up with?
I suppose Ranger. Then she can fill me in on all the details.
Stephanie Plum is such a popular character, do you find it challenging to break out and write non-Plum books? What kind of push back do you receive from your readers?
Yes, it is challenging, but I love the other characters and the worlds they inhabit. With regard to my new Diesel series, the vast majority of feedback is positive.
What was the last non-romance book you read that you’d recommend?
Anthony Bourdain’s Medium Raw.
What are your favorite pair of shoes and how do they reflect your personality?
My canvas tennies. I like to be comfortable.
What kind of support do you have as an author to help you with your website, e-mails, promotion and all the other non-writing parts of being a successful author?
I get great support from my daughter Alex who handles everything electronic and my son Peter who runs the business side of things.
With the increase in e-books, digital publishing, self publishing and all the changes in New York, where do you see the industry going and what are you doing to prepare?
I think we’re going to see more e-book publishing as time goes on. But whether they’re digital or ink on paper, readers will continue to read. I just have to keep writing the best books I can.
Janet, thanks so much for stopping in at the Waterworld Mermaid lagoon! I can’t wait to read Explosive Eighteen. And for those of you who are as big of fans as I am, visit the Avery Flynn website to watch the trailer for One for the Money, which will be out Jan. 27. I think that calls for a Mermaid night out.