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. My mother would send me to the grocery store down the street,
and off I'd go, caterwauling at the top of my lungs. Before the
opera thing I went through a horse stage where I galloped everywhere
and made holes in my Aunt Lena's lawn with my hooves. Aunt Lena was
a good egg. She understood that the realities of daily existence
were lost in the murky shadows of my slightly looney imagination.
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. Painting beat the heck out of digging holes in lawns, but it
never felt exactly right. It was frustrating at best, excruciating
at worst. My audience was too small. Communication was too obscure.
I developed a rash from pigment.
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
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. It was a romance written for the now defunct Second
Chance at Love line, and I was paid a staggering $2,000.
head reeling from all this money, I plunged into writing romance
novels full time, saying good-by, good riddance to pantyhose and
office politics. 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
In '95 my husband and I moved to New Hampshire. We bought
a big 'ol house on the side of a hill, not far from Dartmouth
College. 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. You can take the girl out of Jersey, but you
can't take Jersey out of the girl.
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. He's the guy who pulls his hair out at tax
time and cracks his knuckles when the stock market dips. In '96 my
daughter Alex, a film and photography school graduate, came on board
and created the website. We get about a million hits a month on the
site and Alex does it all ... the graphics, the mail, the comics,
the store, the online advertising and the newsletter. Both Peter and
Alex work full-time for Evanovich, Inc. I'm their only client. 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!) ... plus he does a
little golfing and skiing.
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 Cheese Doodles. I read
comic books and I only watch happy movies. I motivate myself to
write by spending my money before I make it. And when I grow up I
want to be just like Grandma Mazur.