The Author’s Voice Special Edition- Janet Evanovich

Welcome to another special edition of The Author’s Voice. As you can probably tell from the picture, today I have the pleasure of having interviewed Janet Evanovich. Before I get to that, I have a little story to tell.

It all started last Christmas. I gave my wife, Sue, a Sony E-reader. I know what you are thinking, an e-reader? Aren’t you writer types against that? Well, yes and no, but that is an argument for another time. Suffice it to say, Sue is an electronic gizmo nut.

Well, long story short, after a year of puttering around with the downloadable books, Sue accumulated a fair-sized “library” (And no, I won’t ever call it that. On an e-reader, it’s just a list). Part of that library was a new author, at least new to Sue and I.

Being a member of a large writing community, I have the opportunity to rub elbows with writers ranging from beginners to published veterans. As a result I get to see the writing process from its roots all the way to its leaves. It’s a place I never imagined myself to be and yet here I am.

So, after hearing my wife giggle her way through 18 books, on a whim I contacted the source of my wife’s reading amusement, Janet Evanovich. My idea was to see if Janet had bookmarks I could have her autograph as a Christmas present for Sue. Afterall, the only thing writers like more than writing is talking about writing to other writers.

To my surprise, I got an answer back almost right away. Ok, it wasn’t Janet herself replying, but her assistant Ken. Ken was more than helpful, he was personable and polite. In the end, I had a nice surprise for Sue to go with the actual hard copies of One For the Money and Two for the Show that I ordered from Blue Heron Books.

Wait, it gets better. Ken agreed to pass on a few questions to Janet. After much consideration and some valuable input from Sue and Vicky Graham, I managed to come up with six questions. Janet was kind enough to reply and I got the e-mail yesterday. So after much jumping around and Sue grinning like a maniac, here it is in true The Author`s Voice style.

First off, I can’t thank you enough for taking time out of your busy schedule to do this, Janet. Mind the coffee. The Author’s Voice is currently not a high budget production. Well actually, more of a no budget production, but hopefully that will change the longer we stick around.

Anyways, enough of me, we’re here to talk about you.

Janet, were you the class clown?

No. I was much too shy.  That’s one of the reasons I like Stephanie Plum.  She says all the stuff I wanted to say.

(From my wife Sue and her friend Vicky) Both Joe and Ranger are super sexy males (their words, not mine), are they representative of men that have been in your life?

I wish.  All kidding aside, my husband Pete’s pretty great.

Having your book made into a movie had to have been super exciting, but was it hard when they left parts of the book out of the movie and did you have much input in that process?

It was very exciting to see it on the big screen.  As you may know, I sold the movie rights nearly 20 years ago and had no input at all. Books and movies are totally different animals.  A theatrical movie script is about a hundred pages long and the average novel goes over 300.  If you included every scene from a book, that movie would be over 5 hours long.  They have to cut somewhere. Best you can hope for is that a movie captures the plot and the spirit of the book.  In this case, they did a good job of both.

Ken says you write eight hours a day. Is this something you’ve always done or have you honed your discipline over time and piles of novels?

In the early days, when my kids were young, I had to get the housework done, the meals prepared and the kids schlepped around.  I wrote mostly while the kids were at school.  As soon as they were older, I sort of settled into my seven-day-a-week schedule.  When I’m on deadline, I work a lot longer than eight hours.

As I mentioned earlier, I am part of a large writer’s community in Ontario, the WCDR. Some of the members are published, most not. Do you have any words of encouragement or of caution to help us through the minefield that is modern-day publishing?

Get an agent. Most publishers these days won’t even look at an unsolicited manuscript.  The agent search can be a long, tough haul, but it’s well worth the effort.  Write clear, concise query letters. I have some guidelines for writers on my website.

And finally, is there an actual recipe for the pineapple upside down cake?

Yes:

3 eggs
1 cup of flour
1 cup of sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
4 tablespoons unsweetened pineapple juice
5 tablespoons butter
1 cup brown sugar
Unsweetened pineapple slices

Melt the butter in a nine-inch pie plate. Dump brown sugar into the plate and mash with a fork until it’s all mixed with the melted butter and covers the bottom of the plate. Arrange pineapple slices on bottom of plate in single layer. Mix eggs, flour, sugar, baking powder and pineapple juice by hand in a small bowl until smooth. Pour mixture over pineapple slices. Bake in a 350 degree oven until a pick comes out clean (maybe 30-45 min.) Remove cake from oven and set on rack for a couple of minutes. Put cake plate over the hot cake in the pie plate and CAREFULLY but quickly turn the pie plate upside down. Remove pie plate and let cake cool to room temperature. Pineapple slices should be on top! (If you let the cake cool in the pie plate you’ll NEVER get it out). When cool, spread lots of globs of whipped cream on it…the real stuff, none of that fake stuff in a can!

Eat too much.

Well, you heard it here first, the infamous Pineapple Upside Down cake. Now if you`ll excuse me, I`m hungry, thanks Janet…

Seriously, what an absolute pleasure it was dealing with Janet. If you are reading this Janet, which I hope you will, I wish you continued success. I know for a fact that as long as Stephanie Plum has adventures, we`ll be there to enjoy them. Although, Sue and Vicky wonder how Stephanie would react to being pregnant…

To find out more about Janet, visit her site www.evanovich.com.

And, of course, buy her books. Explosive Eighteen, being the latest in the Stephanie Plum series.

If you want to catch up, or become a new fan, slip on down to your local bookstore (Blue Heron Books, if you are in Durham region, Ontario) and order them.

This is The Author’s Voice saying good-day, and in the spirit of Grandma Mazur, keep your pen on the page because “the Weather Channel doesn’t have enough action”.

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About Dale Long

Writing ambushed me from the shadows. At first I pushed it aside as nonsense, but luckily my wife and two girls saw the potential. Since then I have had an article published by Metroland, placed as runner-up and in the top ten in humour writing contests and various other contests. The icing on the cake was placing as runner-up in the WCDR's Wicked Words contest (130 entries) and having my entry published in the contests anthology of the same name. My entry was an exerpt from my upcoming novel, Echoes.
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21 Responses to The Author’s Voice Special Edition- Janet Evanovich

  1. sjclarke says:

    Wow, Dale. When you wondered during my interview if I was peeking at your future guest list when I mentioned how much I liked Janet’s books, I thought you were kidding! Good for you for going after the big fish. And Sue and Vicky are right – Joe and Ranger are super sexy! Janet’s a great story teller. When I first discovered her series there were eleven books out. I read them all, back to back.

    Well done, Dale!

  2. sjclarke says:

    I forgot to mention how much I like the contest she has on her website to name each new book. What a novel idea:o). It’s a great marketing tool, keeps readers engaged and also fun!

  3. Dave Jones says:

    Dale, what a great blog! I really enjoyed it and found it informative. Great job. I think you’re onto something here, my son….. : )

    • Dale Long says:

      Thanks dave, I hope so.

      While you’re at it click the Author’s Voice Link next to the completed works link. I keep a list of the author’s I’ve interviewed and include a quote I particularily like from the interview and leave space for future publication info.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Maybe you should skip writing and just interview people. (kidding of course) Excellent interview Dale

  5. Lisa says:

    Wow, Dale. I can’t believe you snagged an interview with Janet Evanovich. I’ve only read the first of her novels, but it was the funniest crime novel I ever read. I will definitely be reading more. Now that you’ve hit the big time, don’t forget all of us little people.

    Can’t wait to see where you go from here. Steven King?

  6. Vicky Graham says:

    Congratulations on interviewing a prolifically funny author. In Janet’s books there is never a dull moment!! This is quite the coup to have such a well published author give you some of her time. Must be your writing skills and charming personality that won her over. Keep it up!!

  7. I am ashamed to say I have yet to read a single one of Janet’s books, something I will remedy immediately (Kindle :p ordering Stephanie #1 as soon as I’m done here). Great interview, and how wonderful and gracious of Janet to participate.

    • Dale Long says:

      That’s the whole point of these interviews. Thanks, Clair.

      I was beyond impressed that she agreed. And absolutely floored when I got the answers back. It just goes to show, the whole pay it forward mentality is alive and kicking in writers.

      • Post script: I was off buying a Janet book and discovered I had read one of her books! One of her older, re-released romances, Naughty Neighbor. Greatly enjoyed that one and have now added One for the Money (though I will have to look at Katherine Heigl whom I do not like but will put up with given what’s inside.)

      • Dale Long says:

        My wife’s copy doesn’t have Katherine on the cover. There must be two versions. Thanks for the heads up on her earlier romance turn!

  8. Great interview, Dale! And I was amazed to see you were talking about ebooks versus paper books in your opening as that is what my post addressed on Tuesday. Great minds, eh?

  9. Dale Long says:

    Thanks Elaine.

    Idon’t know if I have a great mind. Thats why I hang around smart people, maybe I can absorb some of the smarts by osmosis. 😉

  10. Diane Dooley says:

    That was incredibly kind of Janet Evanovich. Am definitely gonna give her a try after this.

  11. sarkajonae says:

    Nice interview. I met Janet at a book signing, and her sister Alex. They were both really cool. I got Janet to sign a copy of Sizzlin’ Sixteen and Motor Mouth. I’m actually giving my autographed copy of Motor Mouth away are part of my blog tour for my novel, Between Boyfriends. It is hard to part with but I am keeping my Sizzlin’ Sixteen 🙂 http://betweenboyfriendsnovel.blogspot.com/2012/10/like-janet-evanovich-or-lauren-alaina.html

    • Dale Long says:

      Wow! I can’t believe I missed this comment. Please accept my apologies, Sarka. Book signings are a great way to put a face behind the words on the page. Hearing them talk about their process is something I could listen to for hours.
      Thanks for stopping by.

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