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Janet Evanovich

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Title: Janet Evanovich  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
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Subject: One for the Money (film), Hard Eight (novel), Hot Six, Stephanie Plum, Four to Score
Collection: 1943 Births, 20Th-Century American Novelists, 20Th-Century Women Writers, 21St-Century American Novelists, 21St-Century Women Writers, American Graphic Novelists, American Mystery Writers, American Romantic Fiction Writers, American Women Novelists, American Women Writers, Dilys Award Winners, Living People, People from South River, New Jersey, Quill Award Winners, Rutgers University Alumni, Women Mystery Writers, Women Romantic Fiction Writers, Writers from New Jersey, Writers of Books About Writing Fiction
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Janet Evanovich

Janet Evanovich
Born Janet Schneider
(1943-04-22) April 22, 1943
South River, New Jersey, U.S.
Pen name Steffie Hall,
Janet Evanovich
Occupation Novelist
Nationality American
Period 1987–present
Genre Romance, suspense, mystery

Janet Evanovich (born Janet Schneider; April 22, 1943) is an American writer. She began her career writing short contemporary romance novels under the pen name Steffie Hall, but gained fame authoring a series of contemporary mysteries featuring Stephanie Plum, a former lingerie seller from Trenton, New Jersey, who becomes a bounty hunter to make ends meet after losing her job. The novels in this series have been on the New York Times and Amazon bestseller lists.


  • Early years 1
  • Romance novels 2
    • Stephanie Plum Series 2.1
    • Wicked Series 2.2
    • Fox and O'Hare Series 2.3
    • Other novels 2.4
  • Personal life 3
  • Bibliography 4
    • Single romance novels 4.1
    • Elsie Hawkins Series 4.2
    • Stephanie Plum Series 4.3
    • Other Stephanie Plum 4.4
    • Wicked Series 4.5
    • The Barnaby Series 4.6
    • Full Series with Charlotte Hughes 4.7
    • Hot Series with Leanne Banks 4.8
    • With Dorien Kelly 4.9
    • Fox & O'Hare Series With Lee Goldberg 4.10
    • Non-fiction 4.11
  • References 5
  • External links 6

Early years

Evanovich is a second-generation American[1] born in South River, New Jersey to a machinist and housewife.[2] After attending South River High School,[3] she became the first in her family to attend college when she enrolled at Douglass College, part of Rutgers University, to study art.[1][4]

When Evanovich had children, she chose to become a housewife like her mother. In her thirties, she began writing novels.[2] To learn the art of writing dialog, Evanovich took lessons in improv acting.[4] For ten years, she attempted to write the Great American Novel, finishing three manuscripts that she was unable to sell. After someone suggested she try writing romance novels, Evanovich read several romances and discovered that she enjoyed the genre. She wrote two romances and submitted them for publishing.[5] Still unable to find a publisher, Evanovich stopped writing and signed with a temporary employment agency. Several months after beginning work for them, she received an offer to buy her second romance manuscript for $2,000, which she considered an "astounding sum."[4]

Romance novels

That novel, Hero at Large, was published in 1987 in the Second Chance Love category line under the pseudonym Steffie Hall.[2] The following year she began writing for Bantam Loveswept under her own name.[5] For the next five years she continued to write category romances for Loveswept.[4] Her work within the romance novel genre helped her learn to create likable characters and attractive leading men.[6] In this time, Evanovich also became known for the humor that filled her novels. She believes that "it's very important to take a comic approach. If we can laugh at something, we can face it."[7]

After finishing her twelfth romance, however, Evanovich realized that she was more interested in writing the action sequences in her novels rather than the sex scenes. Her editors were not interested in her change of heart, so Evanovich took the next eighteen months to formulate a plan for what she actually wanted to write.[2]

Stephanie Plum Series

She quickly decided that she wanted to write romantic adventure novels.[8] Unlike the style of romance novels, her books would be told in first person narrative.[4] Her new type of writing should contain heroes and heroines, as well as "a sense of family and community."[2] In that vein, she intended her new style of writing to be based on the TV sitcom model. Like Seinfeld, her new books would have a central character that the rest of the cast of characters revolve around.[8]

Inspired by the Robert De Niro movie Midnight Run, Evanovich decided that her heroine would be a bounty hunter.[2] This occupation provided more freedom for Evanovich as a writer, as bounty hunters do not have a set work schedule and are not forced to wear a uniform. The profession is also "romanticised to some extent."[7] To become acquainted with the demands of the career, Evanovich spent a great deal of time shadowing bond enforcement agents. She also researched more about the city of Trenton, where she wanted her books to be set.[2]

In 1994, her initial romantic adventure, One for the Money, was published to good reviews.[2] This was the first of a light-hearted series of mysteries starring barely competent bounty hunter Stephanie Plum. One for the Money was named a New York Times notable book, a Publishers Weekly Best Book of 1994 and a USAToday Best Bet.[9]

Evanovich has continued to write romantic adventures starring Stephanie Plum. The sixth book in the series, Hot Six, was the first of her novels to reach Number 1 on the New York Times Best Seller List.[1] Her subsequent Plum novels have each debuted at Number 1.[10] All About Romance has described her as the "rare breed of romance author who has left the genre and yet not alienated her many romance fans."[5]

The Plum novels have taken many attributes from Evanovich's own life. Evanovich shares many commonalities with her character Stephanie Plum. Both are from New Jersey, both devour Cheetos, both had owned a hamster, and both have shared "similar embarrassing experiences."[4] The character Grandma Mazur is loosely based on Evanovich's "Grandma Fanny" and "Aunt Lena." Evanovich claims the spirited elderly lady is "who I want to be when I grow up."[6]

Shortly before One for the Money was released, Evanovich sold the movie rights to Columbia Tristar for $1 million.[1] Lions Gate Entertainment released One for the Money on January 27, 2012. The film stars Katherine Heigl as Stephanie Plum, Sherri Shepherd from The View as Lula, Debbie Reynolds as Grandma Mazur, Jason O'Mara as Joe Morelli, and Daniel Sunjata as Ranger. It was directed by Julie Anne Robinson.[11]

Her next Stephanie Plum novel, Tricky Twenty-Two, is scheduled to be released, November 17, 2015.[12]

Wicked Series

In 2010 Evanovich published Wicked Appetite, spinning off the character Diesel from the between-the-numbers Plum books. The heroine of Wicked Appetite is sweet cupcake baker Lizzie Tucker, who, unlike Stephanie Plum, can cook. The "Wicked" series is set in Salem, Massachusetts. In the series, Diesel & Lizzie search for the seven stones of power, each representing a different deadly sin. Lizzie & Diesel are "Unmentionables", humans with additional powers. Their rivals for the stones are Diesel's dark cousin, Gerwulf "Wulf" Grimoire, introduced in Plum Spooky and his medieval-esque minion Hatcher. Lizzie's animal companions are one-eyed Cat 7143 and Carl the Monkey, from Fearless Fourteen and Plum Spooky. Her friends include Glo, a "Questionable", and Clara Dazzle, an "Unmentionable" who lost her powers after congress with another "Unmentionable". In Wicked Appetite, the stone sought is that incarnating the sin of gluttony.

In 2012 Evanovich published Wicked Business, the second in the series. In Wicked Business, the stone embodies the sin of lust. A new villain is introduced, deranged candy heiress Deirdre Early, or Anarchy. Lizzie, through a selfless act and exchange of body fluids with Wulf, converts the lust stone into the "icky true love stone", implying that in the right circumstances, the stones of sin can be converted into stones of virtue.

In 2015 Evanovich teamed up with Phoef Sutton for the third novel in the series, Wicked Charms. The Stone of Avarice(Greed) is the focus of this installment.[13]

Fox and O'Hare Series

In June 2013, Evanovich published the novella "Pros & Cons" and the novel The Heist, the first two works in a new series co-written with Lee Goldberg.

Other novels

Evanovich began a collaborative effort with Charlotte Hughes because she wanted to see some of her other ideas on paper but did not have the time to write them. This resulted in the "Full" series. The "Full" series is set in Beaumont, South Carolina and features Jamie Swift and Maximillian Holt, who meet in the second "Full" book, Full Tilt.[6]

The Elsie Hawkins novels are stand alone romances with a supporting character Elsie Hawkins, who is a gun totin' retiree, with tight grey curls, who doesn't take sass from no-one. Elsie drives a 1957 powder blue Cadillac that never seems to sustain damage. In the Stephanie Plum series, Grandma Mazur and Stephanie drive Uncle Sandor's 1953 powder blue Buick,[14] which has similar indestructibility.

In 2004, Evanovich launched another series with Metro Girl. This book debuted at Number 2 on the New York Times Best Seller List.[10] The heroine is Alexandra Barnaby, an auto mechanic. Her love interest is Sam Hooker, a hedonistic NASCAR driver. The "Motor" series is set in the southern U.S. states. Further books in the series include Motor Mouth and Troublemaker 1 & 2 (graphic novels).

Evanovich collaborated with Stephen J. Cannell, noted T.V. writer and producer (A Team, Rockford Files, Baretta, 21 Jump Street), on a book entitled No Chance, which was to be the first book in a new series. It was supposed to be released in October 2007. However, in July 2007, the book was canceled.[15] Stephen J. Cannell died in 2010 of melanoma.

Personal life

During the week, Evanovich works eight hours per day. On weekends she generally works for an additional four hours each day.[4] She generally creates a brief outline before beginning a new book, with one or two sentences about what will happen in each chapter.[6] Upon the release of a new book, Evanovich regularly goes on book tours. Her 2006 book signings attracted 2,000–3,000 people each.[1] Beginning with her third Stephanie Plum book, Three to Get Deadly, and ending with Smokin' Seventeen, all of the titles have been chosen from fan submissions.[10]

Evanovich lives in New Hampshire and Florida with her husband, Pete, whom she married in 1964. Pete is of Serbian ancestry. Members of Evanovich's family are employed by her company, Evanovich Inc, including her husband, Pete, son Peter, daughter Alexandra and son-in-law P.J. Heller.


Single romance novels

(originally written under the name Steffie Hall)

  1. Hero at Large (1987)
  2. Foul Play (1989)
  3. The Grand Finale (1988)
  4. Thanksgiving (1988)
  5. Manhunt (1988)
  6. Ivan Takes a Wife (1988), then republished as Love Overboard (2005)
  7. Naughty Neighbor (1992)

Elsie Hawkins Series

  1. Back to the Bedroom (1989)
  2. Smitten (1990)
  3. Wife for Hire (1990)
  4. Rocky Road to Romance (1991)

Stephanie Plum Series

  1. One for the Money (1994)
  2. Two for the Dough (1996)
  3. Three to Get Deadly (1997)
  4. Four to Score (1998)
  5. High Five (1999)
  6. Hot Six (2000)
  7. Seven Up (2001)
  8. Hard-eight (2002)
  9. To the Nines (2003)
  10. Ten Big Ones (2004)
  11. Eleven on Top (2005)
  12. Twelve Sharp (2006)
  13. Lean Mean Thirteen (2007)
  14. Fearless Fourteen (2008)
  15. Finger Lickin' Fifteen (2009)
  16. Sizzling Sixteen (2010)
  17. Smokin' Seventeen (2011)
  18. Explosive Eighteen (2011)
  19. Notorious Nineteen (2012)
  20. Takedown Twenty (2013)
  21. Top Secret Twenty-One (2014)
  22. Tricky Twenty-Two (November 17, 2015)[12]

Other Stephanie Plum

(aka "Between the Numbers" with Diesel)

  1. Visions of Sugar Plums (2002)
  2. Plum Lovin' (2007)
  3. Plum Lucky (2008)
  4. Plum Spooky (2009)

Wicked Series

(Diesel & Lizzy)

  1. Wicked Appetite (2010)
  2. Wicked Business (2012)
  3. Wicked Charms (co-written with Phoef Sutton) (2015)[13]

The Barnaby Series

  1. Metro Girl (2004)
  2. Motor Mouth (2006)
  3. Troublemaker 1, Troublemaker 2 (2010)

Full Series with Charlotte Hughes

(Max Holt)

  1. Full House (1989) (re-issued in December 2012)
  2. Full Tilt (2003) (re-issued in June 2013)
  3. Full Speed (2003) (re-issued in October 2013)
  4. Full Blast (2004) (re-issued in January 2014)
  5. Full Bloom (2005) (re-issued in July 2014)
  6. Full Scoop (2006) (re-issued in December 2014)

Hot Series with Leanne Banks

(Cate Madigan)

  1. Hot Stuff (2007)

With Dorien Kelly

  1. Love in a Nutshell (2012)
  2. The Husband List (2013)

Fox & O'Hare Series With Lee Goldberg

  1. Pros and Cons (2013) - ebook
  2. The Heist (2013)
  3. The Chase (2014)
  4. The Job (2014)
  5. The Scam (2015)
  6. The Shell Game (2015)- ebook


  1. How I Write (2006)


  1. ^ a b c d e MacDonald, Jay (October 24, 2006). "Fame and Fortune: Author Janet Evanovich". Retrieved 2007-08-14. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h Cochran, Tracy (June 30, 2003). "Jersey Janet Takes on the World".  
  3. ^ Nussbaum, Debra. "IN PERSON; Imagine Trenton. One Author Did.", The New York Times, November 3, 2002. Accessed March 20, 2011. "She graduated from South River High School, married her high school sweetheart and attended Douglass College.... If there is a typical career path for novelists, Mrs. Evanovich is certain that she has not followed it. After growing up in South River, she followed her husband, who was in the Navy, as he moved around the country, stayed at home and raised their two children and then, when she was in her 30's, decided that she wanted to write."
  4. ^ a b c d e f g White, Claire E. (January 1999). "A Conversation with Janet Evanovich". The Internet Writing Journal. Retrieved 2007-08-13. 
  5. ^ a b c Jean, Lorna (September 18, 1998). "Quickie with Janet Evanovich on her Stephanie Plum Series". All About Romance. Retrieved 2007-08-14. 
  6. ^ a b c d Ward, Jean Marie (2004). "Author Interview: Janet Evanovich: Delivering a Plum Good Read". Crescent Blues. Retrieved 2007-08-14. 
  7. ^ a b Jakeman, Jane (October 21, 2000). "The Books Interview:Janet Evanovich – Plum jobs for a woman of parts". The (London) Independent. Archived from the original on February 11, 2008. Retrieved 2007-08-14. 
  8. ^ a b Tierney, Bruce (July 2000). "Janet Evanovich: Mystery maven keeps readers coming back for more". BookPage. Retrieved 2007-08-14. 
  9. ^ Hayward, Mike (2006). "Interview: Janet Evanovich discusses Twelve Sharp and much else, with Mike Hayward". BookBrowse. Retrieved 2007-08-14. 
  10. ^ a b c Cruz, Gilbert (June 2, 2006). "How Janet Evanovich broke through".  
  11. ^ Rottenberg, Josh (March 23, 2011). "Katherine Heigl comedy thriller 'One for the Money' moves to January 2012". Retrieved 2011-12-30. 
  12. ^ a b "Tricky Twenty-Two". Retrieved March 1, 2015. 
  13. ^ a b "Wicked Charms". Retrieved March 1, 2015. 
  14. ^ Evanovich, Janet. Three To Get Deadly. p. 7. 
  15. ^ No Chance of Evanovich/Cannell Collaboration

External links

  • Janet Evanovich Homepage
  • Works by or about Janet Evanovich in libraries (WorldCat catalog)
  • Interview with Janet Evanovich at Veronika Asks
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