Twenty-year-old Princeton University student Cara McCollum captured the title of Miss...
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Libraries rock, especially in tough economic times like these. I've always used and loved libraries.
Janet Evanovich is the author of the popular Stephanie Plum contemporary mystery series. Evanovich began her career writing short contemporary romance novels under the pen name Steffie Hall, but gained fame with Plum, a lingerie buyer from Trenton, New Jersey, who becomes a bounty hunter to make ends meet after losing her job. The fifteen novels in this series consistently top the New York Times Best Seller list.
A large part of Evanovich's success comes from the complete support of her family. Her husband, son, and daughter form the marketing powerhouse that is Evanovich Inc. And according to a 2005 article in the New York Times, "they have transformed Ms. Evanovich, 62, from a failing romance writer who once burned a box of rejection letters on her curb into a mini-industry whose success is beginning to emulate the sprawling domains of authorial heavyweights like James Patterson." The article has Evanovich acknowleging this support, saying "I feel like I never would have been a success and gotten published without my family." Even through the toughest of times, "they never said, 'Why don't we go on vacation like other families?' They just told me, 'You take your time and write.'"
When I was a kid I spent a lot of time in LaLa Land. La la Land is like an out-of-body experience — while your mouth is eating lunch your mind is conversing with Captain Kirk. Sometimes I'd pretend to sing opera. After graduation from South River High School, I spent four years in the Douglass College art department, honing my ability to wear torn Levis, learning to transfer cerebral excitement to primed canvas.
Somewhere down the line I started writing stories. The first story was about the pornographic adventures of a fairy who lived in a second rate fairy forest in Pennsylvania. The second story was about … well never mind, you get the picture. I sent my weird stories out to editors and agents and collected rejection letters in a big cardboard box. When the box was full I burned the whole damn thing, crammed myself into pantyhose and went to work for a temp agency. Four months into my less than stellar secretarial career, I got a call from an editor offering to buy my last mailed (and heretofore forgotten) manuscript.
I wrote series romance for the next five years, mostly for Bantam Loveswept. It was a rewarding experience, but after twelve romance novels I ran out of sexual positions and decided to move into the mystery genre. I spent two years retooling — drinking beer with law enforcement types, learning to shoot, practicing cussing. At the end of those years I created Stephanie Plum. I wouldn't go so far as to say Stephanie is an autobiographical character, but I will admit to knowing where she lives.
In '95 my husband and I moved to New Hampshire. I have a nice view of the Connecticut River valley from my office window and there's a couple acres of land around the house. It's a good place to write a book … and would be even better if we just had a decent mall.
When we moved to New Hampshire we realized there was more to this writing stuff than just writing, so we formed a family business, Evanovich, Inc. My son, Peter, a Dartmouth College graduate, assumed responsibility for everything financial. In '96 my daughter Alex, a film and photography school graduate, came on board and created the website. Alex does it all … the E-mail, the comics, the store, etc. My husband, Pete, has his doctorate in mathematics from Rutgers University and now manages all aspects of the business and tries to keep me on time (a thankless, impossible job!).
It turns out I'm a really boring workaholic with no hobbies or special interests. My favorite exercise is shopping and my drug of choice is Cheeze Doodles. I read comic books and I only watch happy movies. And when I grow up I want to be just like Grandma Mazur.