Sunday, November 29, 2009

Plum pleasure (Janet Evanovich)

From Toronto Sun --

Plum pleasure --
Janet Evanovich knows how to play the numbers game

Last Updated: 2nd August 2009 --

There are very few characters that can survive for almost 20 novels.

But Stephanie Plum is one of them. The female bondsman with the wacky family and the two men who keep coming and going into her life, Plum is comfort food for her fans.

Author Janet Evanovich has a new Plum adventure on book shelves -- Finger Lickin' Fifteen.

The strength of Plum is Evanovich's writing and her commitment to the characters. For fans, these characters are like family. They're well drawn.

There might not be a lot of surprises but they're dependable --Ranger, Joe Morelli, Grandma Mazure, the parents and Lula. Throw them into some interesting adventures and you've got a recipe for a good weekend read.

And speaking of adventures, Lulu takes centre stage in this one. She's the only witness to the murder of celebrity chef Stanley Chipotle who travels to Trenton, N.J., to participate in a barbecue cook-off.

Lula, who usually plays sidekick to Plum, convinces Plum to help for find the killers and collect the million dollar reward. That's on top of her day of job of tracking down bail skippers and working at night for Ranger's security outfit.

Finger Lickin' Fifteen is Evanovich at her best and Plum fans won't be disappointed.

Recently, I had a chance to hook up with Evanovich by e-mail.

Q. Fifteen books in the Stephanie Plum series (plus a few non-numbered ones). Congratulations. Does it get more challenging with each novel to keep Plum fresh, a woman you know so well?

A. It's increasingly difficult to maintain the sexual tension between Stephanie and the two men in her life, but it's still great to get up in the morning and go back into the WORLD of PLUM.

Q. One of the things I've always enjoyed about the novels is how unconventional Plum is -- and not just because she's a bounty hunter. But also because she has this sexual/romantic tension with two recurring characters. There have been numerous TV series and movies where it starts with two character that the audience is just waiting to see if they get together. Is there temptation ... to finally resolve Plum's relationship status?

A. No! I hated when Maddie and Dave got together in Moonlighting. It was all downhill from there. The fun is in the chase.

Q. I've often thought Stephanie Plum would make a great movie character as well. Maybe a Sandra Bullock. Any idea when Hollywood might finally make this a reality?

A. If you could see me, you'd know that I'm rolling my eyes and wildly waving my arms in the air in frustration. I have no idea what's taking TriStar so long to make this into a movie.

Q. You've also started a few other series (Alex Barnaby and Full novels). Are those going to continue and what is the attraction to writing about the same characters?

A. I like developing characters and sticking with them as their life rolls along. Alex Barnaby is going to become a graphic novel published by Dark Horse in 2010. The Full novels have ended because it was time for my co-author to set out on her own. She's now publishing terrific books under her own name.

Q. The business of writing is a family affair for you. What's it like to have son, daughter and husband all working full-time for you?

A. It's good. I have a very talented family and we work really well together. We all live within 10 minutes of each other, and not only do we work together but we also frequently eat together.

Q. What's next for Janet Evanovich?

A. I'm currently writing the next full size book featuring Diesel. It will be in stores late summer 2010 and I'm very excited about it. I think Diesel is my most fun hot guy.

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