I was extremely honored to get an interview with Janet Evanovich, who is not only one of the most successful writers of our time, but also one of my personal favorites.
Janet Evanovich is the author of sixty-four novels (as of 2021), including twenty-six New York Times top ten best sellers. Her book One For The Money was turned into a major motion picture starring Katherine Heigel. Her books have been translated into more than thirty languages, with well over 50 million copies in print. Her yearly writing revenue is consistently reported in excess of twenty million per year.
Evanovich has won the John Creasey Memorial Award, the British Crime Writers’ Association Award multiple times, the Dily Award, the Independent Mystery Booksellers’ Association Award, the Last Laugh Award, the Silver Dagger award, the Lefty award, the Left Coast Crime Award, and has created what Bill Ott, of Booklist, has said is, “The single hottest and most interesting character in crime fiction at the moment.”
|DC:||The twenty-second numbered Stephanie Plum book is releasing. When you add that to the between-the-numbers novels, that’s twenty-six novels and over two decades of Stephanie and the gang. (Obviously audiences love them.) How does it feel to be in such a long-term relationship with Stephanie, Morelli, Ranger, Lula, etc.? How do you keep each new book interesting and still work with the basic bounty hunter with more luck than skills theme?|
|JE:||I love these characters, which is good because I’ve spent a lot of time with them over the years. I think there’s continued interest in the fish-out-of-water character, Stephanie, because most readers can relate to situations in their daily lives that take them way out of their comfort zones. We all know what it’s like to feel out of our element—sometimes it’s funny; other times, it’s scary. I simply try to make those situations for Stephanie as outrageous as possible.|
|DC:||You’re a master at making characters likable and memorable, and using humor. Does this come naturally to you? Do you work consciously to add humor and likeability to each book? If so, how?|
|JE:||Thanks. I suppose, since I see the humor in most situations, this sort of comes naturally to me.|
|DC:||If you were encouraging a discussion among writing peers, what would you want to hear them talking about?|
|JE:||I’d be up for hearing how they plot. I have a much easier time with character and dialog. Plotting, for me, is the hard part.|
|DC:||If you were creating a Master’s program in fiction writing, what would you include? What resources would you tap?|
|JE:||My area of expertise is mystery, humor, and romance. I’d have students read writers like Nora Roberts, Harlan Coben, Robert Crais, and the late Robert B. Parker. They are all terrific and worth studying.|
|DC:||What is your best marketing tip?|
|JE:||Take advantage of all the marketing tools that writers now have at their disposal— create a website and make use of social media like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. I find that my readers are really tuned into those.|
|DC:||Is there anything you wish interviewers had asked you, and how would you answer?|
|JE:||Some do ask this. The question is how do you get good at writing? My answer is this— like playing the piano, or bowling or baking, it’s important to do it regularly and be serious about it. A writer must “practice” the craft of writing every day.|