This past Saturday, Janet Evanovich came to St. Louis. My husband thoughtfully bought me a ticket, just because she was "some kind of writer-person" and he thought I'd be interested. I wasn't so excited that I got there two hours early to make sure I got in the front row (like I did with Mary Karr and Anne Lamott) because although I've read some of her Stephanie Plum books, she's not an author I collect or get all frothy in the mouth over. However, she's terribly successful, so I figured it would be an entertaining evening.
From the moment she opened her mouth, it was apparent she's a Jersey girl, and a sassy one. Here are some tidbits from the discussion:
- What motivates Evanovich to write? "Greed," she said, and laughed. "You stop giving them books and they stop giving you money. Isn't that a *itch."
- She wrote for 10 years before getting published. (She was an art major in college.) After selling her first book Hero at Large for $2000, she quit her job the next day... and then didn't sell another book for a year.
- After writing some romances, she got out of that market. By the time she'd written the 6th one, the well was dry. She explained, "I love sex as much as the next person... but I'd run out of positions."
- Evanovich took an improv class. "I really sucked at dialogue. I knew my dialogue was wooden." The class taught her how to develop a character through their gestures, the way they walked and the food they ate.
- When she first started writing her Stephanie Plum books, she wanted to be able to write about her characters with accuracy. She had cop friends who invited her out to dinner. One of them told her, "Here, take my glock and shove it into the waistband of your pants." Janet Evanovich told us, "I was afraid I'd shoot off my privates."
The talk was peppered with Evanovich using my favorite "colorful" word several times, a few times she stroked the microphone like she was romancing Ranger (I've read enough to know who she was referring to when she mentioned that character's name with a hint of lust in her voice) and early in the interview she said, "You'd better be careful what you say tonight--you might end up in a book." I doubted that... until I did something unthinkable later on.
On Friday I'll share what I did which was so awful, and why I just might end up in one of Evanovich's book (or a book written by her stylist or hair dresser).
Thankfully, since I just had her sign her book without a name so I could auction it off at a dog rescue trivia night, Evanovich didn't get my name... Perhaps in some future novel she'll just call me CH--"for chihuahua killer."