Janet Evanovich and Michael Connelly: Author One-to-One
In this Amazon exclusive, we brought together blockbuster authors Michael Connelly and Janet Evanovich and asked them to interview each other. Find out what two of the top authors of their genres have to say about their characters, writing process, and more.
It wouldn't officially feel like summer without a new Janet Evanovich novel. And with Finger Lickin' Fifteen, Evanovich offers the ultimate beach read with the continuing adventures of her popular bounty hunter, Stephanie Plum. Details about what happens are hush-hush until the 6/23 publication date, but readers are promised that "complications arise, loyalties are tested, cliffhangers are resolved, and donuts are eaten."
Michael Connelly is the bestselling author of the Harry Bosch series of novels as well as The Poet, Blood Work, Void Moon, Chasing the Dime, The Lincoln Lawyer, and this summer's The Scarecrow. He is a former newspaper reporter who has won numerous awards for his journalism and his novels.
Read on to see Michael Connelly's questions for Janet Evanovich, or check out what Evanovich wanted to know about Connelly.
Connelly: Let's get the business out of the way. What's Finger Lickin' Fifteen, the new Stephanie Plum novel, all about and what brought you to the story?
Evanovich: I wanted to do a book that featured Stephanie's wheelman, Lula. Lula is one of my favorite characters because she's pulled herself up from hard times and now is just more of everything. Fifteen opens with Lula witnessing a crime, and it all gets complicated after that. We're talking about barbecue gone bad, cross-dressing firemen, dancing hot dogs, etc.
Connelly: You strike me as an author who is involved in every aspect of the publishing of her work. But the output--at least two solid novels a year--suggests otherwise, that you delegate all over the place so that you can focus on writing high-quality stuff. So which is it? (And if your answer is that you do indeed delegate, how the heck do you learn to do that?)
Evanovich: You reach a point in your career where the business side threatens to eclipse writing time and you either delegate or power back. I delegate everything but the writing. My daughter and her staff manage the website, the fan mail, the book tour, the author publicity and marketing. My son is my agent and finance officer and chief problem solver. When no one else can solve the problem it gets dumped on my son's desk! I oversee all aspects, but I've had to learn not to micro-manage.
Connelly: We have an author friend in common--Robert Crais--who has steadfastly refused to sell or option his series character Elvis Cole to Hollywood. On the other hand, I've flogged Harry Bosch up and down the studio strip. (Interestingly enough, to the same effect--no movies made!) Where do you stand with Stephanie and will we ever see her on the big or small screen?
Evanovich: Jeez Louise, I wish I knew the answer to this one. TriStar owns the Plum franchise with Wendy Finerman attached as producer, and Wendy has been trying to get this sucker off the ground for fifteen years. Probably somewhere in the vicinity of three million people read each of my Plum books, but for whatever reason, TriStar has yet to greenlight the project.
Connelly: Speaking of that L.A. business, do you remember when we first met? Since you conveniently put numbers in your titles, it is easy for me to remember that it was fourteen years ago in L.A. I bet you don't remember the name of the restaurant, which sadly is no longer there. But, luckily, we're still here and my memory of that lunch is important to me because at the time we had probably sold a hundred books between us (not counting romance novels).
Evanovich: What I remember is that what I consider to be my graduating class (you, Crais, and Jan Burke) would get together at all the mystery conferences, and you would be our fearless leader!
Connelly: Did you know that in my most recent novel a very bad man plans to use a Janet Evanovich novel to get close to an unsuspecting, potential victim? It's scary stuff--the plan, not the Evanovich novel. Have you reached a stage where your work is part of the terrain and gets these sorts of little nods here and there?
Evanovich: Every now and then my name or one of my character names pops up and it's usually in the work of a friend. I think it's fun and I always reciprocate...so live in fear.