Janet Evanovich : biography
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 lingerie buyer from Trenton, New Jersey, who becomes a bounty hunter to make ends meet after losing her job. The 19 novels in this series consistently top the New York Times and Amazon bestseller lists, most recently with Notorious Nineteen.
During the week, Evanovich works eight hours per day. On weekends she generally works for an additional four hours each day. She generally creates a brief outline before beginning a new book, with one or two sentences about what will happen in each chapter. Upon the release of a new book, Evanovich regularly goes on book tours. Her 2006 book signings attracted 2,000-3,000 people each. 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.
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.
Evanovich is a second-generation American. She was born and raised in South River, New Jersey to a machinist and housewife. Evanovich attended South River High School.Nussbaum, Debra. , 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." She became the first in her family to attend college when she enrolled at Douglass College, part of Rutgers University, to study art.
When Evanovich had children, she chose to become a housewife like her mother. In her thirties, she began writing novels. To learn the art of writing dialog, Evanovich took lessons in improv acting. 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. 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."
That novel, Hero at Large, was published in 1987 in the Second Chance Love category line under the pseudonym Steffie Hall. The following year she began writing for Bantam Loveswept under her own name. For the next five years she continued to write category romances for Loveswept. Her work within the romance novel genre helped her learn to create likable characters and attractive leading men. 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."
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.
She quickly decided that she wanted to write romantic adventure novels. Unlike the style of romance novels, her books would be told in first person narrative. Her new type of writing should contain heroes and heroines, as well as "a sense of family and community." 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.