Early in life, Janet Evanovich wanted to be a painter. She graduated from Douglass College (part of Rutgers) and married her high school boyfriend, Peter Evanovich. The couple had two children, Peter and Alexandra, and lived in New Jersey before moving to Virginia. Her husband, a Navy engineer, became a professor of mathematics, and she became a lingerie buyer. After the children had grown up, Evanovich decided to pursue a new career. Although she had never taken a course in writing, did not know any writers, and had never had a word published, she began writing during her free time. Despite her lack of initial success, her family remained supportive of her efforts.
After several unsold works and years of frustration, Evanovich tried writing a romance novel at the suggestion of a friend. Her romance novels were published under the pen name Steffie Hall. Many of these romance titles have since been re-released under her real name. Evanovich gave up writing romance novels as Steffie Hall because she grew tired of the constraints of the genre and its formats, although she joked that it was because she ran out of sexual positions. Creating Stephanie Plum gave Evanovich a character whose story mirrored important themes in her own life: humor, love, family, friends, and New Jersey. Evanovich did not abandon the romance genre totally, however. In 2002, she began coauthoring romance novels in the Full series with Charlotte Hughes. The first book, Full House, was an expanded version of a romance Evanovich originally published in 1989 under the name Steffie Hall.
The Chambersburg neighborhood of Trenton, New Jersey, is the setting for the Stephanie Plum series. Evanovich was born and raised in Saddle River, a vibrant community much like Stephanie Plum’s Burg. Everyone in Evanovich’s hometown knew everyone else’s business, and children were safe to roam the streets because everyone in the neighborhood was watching. As a child, like Stephanie Plum’s niece Mary Alice, the author enjoyed pretending that she was a horse. She grew up listening to the stories of her aunt, her grandmother, and all of their friends, who scanned the local obituaries each day to plan which funeral homes they would visit, much...
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