Smokin' Seventeen (Stephanie Plum, #17) Smokin' Seventeen question

Ask Janet Evanovich!
Patrick Brown Patrick (last edited Aug 04, 2011 10:48AM ) Jul 05, 2011 12:53PM
This a special discussion topic. This is your chance to ask bestselling author Janet Evanovich a question about her uber-popular Stephanie Plum series. Or maybe you'd like some insight into her writing process or her other books. In any case, this is the place to be, as Ms. Evanovich will be answering questions in celebration of her latest book, Smokin' Seventeen.

If you have a question for Janet Evanovich, ask it in this thread. Then, vote up your favorite questions and vote down the questions you think are the least interesting. There is no need to post a duplicate question. Instead, simply click the "up" arrow next to the existing question you'd like to see answered.

Update: Janet has posted her answers. You can read them in this thread, or see them in Q&A format here.

Goodreads would like to apologize for any disappointment Ms. Evanovich's answers may have caused. As this was a new feature, we had insufficiently explained the process to her, and she was operating under the impression that she could answer any 10 questions from the thread. The blame here belongs with us, not the author. Thank you all very much for your input regarding this feature. We will strive to provide a better product in the future.

You recently had a poll on your Facebook page asking who fans wanted Stephanie to end up with - Ranger, Joe or Rex. My main question is, were you surprised that Ranger lead so dramatically, at around 75%? I'm also curious whether you intended it simply as entertainment for your fans, or whether you and your new publisher were trying to accurately gauge what your readers want and if the results will be taken into consideration for how to progress the series. Thanks,

Will Stephanie ever mature at all? Loved most of the books but lately I wonder how a woman could be so inept to work as a bounty hunter for so long and not know how to use a gun, let alone make something for dinner other than take-out chicken and birthday cake. Love the romantic tension with Morelli and Ranger, but 17 books dangling the same two guys... would love to see Steph progress so I can jump back into her journey!

I love Ranger. Would you ever consider giving him his own book or series?

I love these books! Stephanie is a gem but as a gay man, I have to ask! Have you ever thought of booting Stephanie out of the mix and having Ranger and Morelli end up together? Because JEEZUS would that be hot! :)

will we ever learn Ranger's secrets? When will we see adventure in the stories? Ranger has plenty to work with. Seems to me you prefer to write the series for tweens and teens lately.

Is the character Grandma Mazur based upon anyone you knew in real life? If so, who was it and how did you know her.

Sheila sounds like my father's mother and aunt. never knew them but the stories. uh oh! LOL! ...more
Oct 04, 2011 12:39PM · flag

How do you feel about the casting for the new movie?

When you wrote OFTM, did you plan on it being a series? And if so, did you plan on there being a love triangle with Ranger, or was he initially just meant to be a supporting character?

I keep reading each book hoping that Stephanie will pick one of her men. I am getting tired as each book prolongs Stephenie's decision. Was kind of discouraged after Smokin' Seventeen-the plot between Joe and Ranger keeps going on and on. When will Stephanie make a choice/decision?

Who's your favorite author? Whose books do you make it a point to never miss?

I loved books 1-12 of the Plum series. Why did you change the direction of the series with book 13 and turn it into a comedy series that has turned off so many of your original fans?

I know the One for the Money movie has been talked about for a long time. Have you ever considered or been approched about a Stephanie Plum TV series? I believe it would be an awesome weekly show where Stephanie could go after minor bail jumpers each episode and each season could be devoted to a different major conflict and villan.

My question is, Are Ranger and Morelli actually in LOVE with Stephanie?

Janice But, is Stephanie in love with ......?
Nov 03, 2011 08:14PM · flag

Are you ever going to give more information on the other characters in the books? I'd love to know more about her father, Frank, or any of the Merry Men that have been mentioned in past books.

BookLvr (last edited Jul 18, 2011 08:18AM ) Jul 14, 2011 09:47AM   6 votes
I ask this courteously: when was the last time you re-read your early Plum books, or have you ever? Throughout the books you’ve presented intriguing questions and/or possibilities for so many of your characters, yet so little has developed from those teasers. Seeing all the questions/comments here at goodreads geared towards wanting ‘growth’ in the books makes me wonder, why don’t you follow up on all this luscious material? You’ve laid so much ground work for future development, but after 17 books (well 21, really), I now get the feeling that you have no intention of continuing these threads. Why is that?

A few that spring to mind are: What happened to Steph's mom starting nursing school? Where does Ranger get his cars? Is the batcave a physical location? What happened to Steph's drawer full of fake IDs & badges that she supposedly used as disguises for luring skips? Is Lula still going to college? What happened to Steph working for Rangeman? What does Ranger do while ‘in the wind’? And not a loose thread, per se, but where are Mary Lou and Valerie these days?

You may have been writing these books for 17 years, but a lot of fans are more recent and have read many of the books back to back, so all the questions and missed opportunities are taunting and disappointing. You've hooked us, but seems you hope we forget what devlops from one book to the next.

Jamie (last edited Jul 12, 2011 02:10PM ) Jul 12, 2011 02:10PM   5 votes
Is Ranger an unmentionable (I think that's his big secret) and will he make an appearance in your Diesel Books (when's the next Diesel book)? And also, how many books have you planned in your Stephanie series? I can see her in her wedding gown (future husband unknown) chasing down skips and laughing my head off!! I truly love your work!

Hindsight being 20/20 and all, if you could change anything about any of the charachters in your books, would you? If so, who and what?

Charmaine (last edited Jul 11, 2011 07:46PM ) Jul 11, 2011 07:45PM   4 votes
I'm wondering how you manage to keep characters interesting to readers - and to yourself in a series, how do you keep them flawed but still experience growth? And has your writing experience changed with the boom in social media?

I've been reading the series since it first started, and they never fail to make me - literally - laugh out loud. Rex must be the oldest hamster in the world! How did you choose a hamster for Stephanie's pet?

If you could choose which actors/actresses to play your characters in a movie, who would you personally pick?

Unlike a lot of people, I don't really want Stephanie to choose permanently between Morelli and Ranger, although some fake choosing might be interesting to mix things up. That triangle provides much needed tension in the novels. I see Morelli as the husband most people choose and Ranger as the bad guy who people like to dream about.

I understand that part of Ranger's appeal is his mystery but I think it's time for us to know a bit more about him and it seems believable that he would disclose at least something to Stephanie. Do you have plans to explore his back story in future episodes?

I also agree that it's not believable these 2 macho guys would not have come to blows (figurative or literal)before now. Do you have plans to at least escalate the tension between them?

One last comment - I want to be Grandma Mazer when I grow up. :)

Jen (NerdifiedJen) (last edited Jul 12, 2011 11:54AM ) Jul 12, 2011 11:54AM   4 votes
When you started out writing the series, did you have an inkling about how things would progress and where Stephanie would end up in the end? Did or do you have a clear vision of her future, romantic and otherwise?

I spend 2-3 hours in a car each day and listen to your books on CD. How long does it take to create the audio version of one of your books and how do you decide who the narrator will be? What is the production process for an audiobook?

I agree with the reader who asked if Stephanie Plum would ever mature... I love these books because they are funny and have good character development, but it does get boring day in day out for Stephanie and Morelli to fight, then Stephanie and Ranger get closer, rinse lather repeat. I understand these are fiction, and respect what has been done with them this far, but I stopped reading on 13 or 14 because it's the same soap opera on repeat.

Not that this is anything you can help, but I feel like Charlaine Harris is doing the same thing in the Sookie Stackhouse books. Once you hit so many volumes, it seems to be the same tired story over and over.

Patrick wrote: "This a special discussion topic. This is your chance to ask bestselling author Janet Evanovich a question about her uber-popular Stephanie Plum series. Or maybe you'd like some insight into her wri..." Janet, Do you plan to have a Ranger ending and a Morelli ending when you wrap up the plum series?

I would LOVE to know just how you manage to create such a crazy variety of wildly divergent characters with all manner of absurd, bizarre, ludicrous behaviors. Do you maintain a journal of sorts (on your person at all times) to jot down a friend's quirky remark or random facial expression? Alas, Stephanie can handle them all.

deleted member Jul 13, 2011 08:41PM   3 votes
I don't like the way Morelli is treating Stephanie these days. Always grabbing and slamming and dragging her around. Ranger is pretty controlling as well. Can you give her an opportunity to create a more equal partnership?

Where did you come up with the idea to make Stephanie a bounty hunter? Is it a job you had done at one time or a friend? And if not did it take a great deal of research, like talking to actual bounty hunters? I think its a unique approach. I haven't read all the books but my friends do complain that the books now lack something. I'm sure there is a reason and a plan for this?

Your books turned me into an avid reader. Thank you. I am now a reading teacher--I hated reading in school, it is crazy how the world works! Stephanie's life is so crazy and unpredictable, have you ever had any of the catastrophic events actually happen to you or your friends in which inspired you to write the episode in your novel?

I think it's almost time that Steph made a choice between her men. The "Ranger vs Morelli" debate can only last so long before it gets stale. Also, marriage to either man would provide ample fodder for new tension/debate/adventure. The basic question could evolve from "which man do I love more?" to "I love my husband, but can I trust his wild past? can he trust my non-house-wifey behavior? can we live up to each other's expectations?"

Are any of the characters based on or inspired by real people in your life?

Instead of having Stephanie choose between Ranger and Morelli, have you ever thought about adding a third man to the mix?

After this last book, with Stephanie being proactive in pursuing both Ranger and Morelli, I am hoping that an unexpected pregnancy will occur, forcing her to finally choose between the two men. It will also open up so many other possible avenues for all of the characters while continuing her zany efforts as a bounty hunter.
After 17 books, Stephanie needs to move forward.

My question for Janet: Will we see Stephanie grow and finally make a choice between Morelli & Ranger?

I think this in between job Stephanie blackmailed Vinnie into needs her to own the job. She needs to take a class on martial arts, gun safety would be good, just to get Grandma Mazur to put her weapon away;-) She can still be a klutz or a bit hairbrained, but she needs a new edge, IMHO.

I have loved the Plum books from the beginning. I am a huge Ranger fan and wondered if the poll you did on facebook to determine who the fans liked had anything to do with who Stephanie would end up with. I noticed 76% want Ranger and I am one of the voters. Thank you for your time. Looking forward to November.

Do you see Stephanie enrolling in more college and what did she originally study in college?

In your book "How I Write" your co-author, Ina Yalof said, "Make sure each character uses different grammar and figures of speech appropriate to who he is and where he comes from." This is especially true of Lula, I think, but did you ever encounter controversy with Lula's unique style? Did you ever have a publisher or literary agent tell you that she was too stereotypical (i.e. racial profiling), and if so, how did you get past that?

Assuming you already know which hero (if either of them) Steph will end up with when the series ends, have you told your family and/or friends? If so, do they all agree with your decision, or do you have friendly debates over who's the better man?

Since most questions deal mostly with where you are taking the plot, and who will Stephanie end up with, I've decided to veer a little off course. You write your books so quickly, do you find yourself living, breathing and dreaming Stephanie Plum? Do you find yourself taking on her personality as you are continually immersed in her?

How much input did you have with the movie coming out next year? Is it what you envisioned it would be & have you seen any parts of it as yet?

Are you worried about losing Ranger fans if Stephanie does choose Morelli or vice versa? or do you think your fans will stay loyal no matter what???

I am wondering if Ms. Evanovich herself is getting a little tired of coming up with new plots for these books. The last few have just felt, well, tired. Number 17 is particularly thin. I haven't finished it, but knew "who did it" around page 100. I have loved listening to them on my MP3 player - the reader is EXCELLENT, but actually reading them makes them seem thin and empty. I think it's time to give Stephanie a life - once and for all. Who would I pick? For the pure fun of it, it has to be Ranger. For a picket fence life, it has to be Morelli. If I had to choose? Hands down - Ranger (but not if it is the actor playing him in the movie - he's cute, but he is SO NOT Ranger).

I'd like to know if Morelli is seeing anyone else or getting some action on the sidevas Stephanie has with Ranger?

I love all the crazy ways Stephanie "loses" her cars. Which was your favorite one to write about?

Your books always make me laugh 'til I cry and my husband always knows when I am reading this series. How has your sense of humor affected your writing style and what you want to impart to your readers?
Thanks so much!!!

In all honesty, at this point who do you think Stephanie is going to end up with? Do you have it all planned out or are you still not sure? Will she ever end up with anyone, because if you say Ranger, then all the Morelli fans will be pissed. If you say
Morelli, all the Ranger fans will be pissed. It's a difficult choice, but I just want to know if you've already decided who she's going to end up with or if you just make it up as you go along.
Thank you,

p.s. I'm crossing my fingers for Morelli

In one book, Stephanie's Mom was going back to school but there is no mention of it again. In book 16 she's still just a housewife. Also, in book 15, Lulu's car gets blown up but she still has it in book 16. Would you consider expanding the role of Stephanie's parents like you did Grandma?

Martha (last edited Jul 16, 2011 04:30PM ) Jul 11, 2011 07:46PM   1 vote
The question everyone wants to know the answer too is who will Stephanie choose. That is not the answer I want to know just yet becuase that would be like knowing what you got for Christmas a week before. It would take all the fun and excitement out of it. Suprises are fun=) What I want to ask is if Morelli and Ranger will ever confront each other about them both being in love with Stephanie? I haven't read the seventeenth book yet so maybe it's already happened and i just haven't found out yet but I still wanted to ask.
Also, I can't finish writing this without mentioning how much in love I am with your books!=) There freaking HILARIOUS! i love humor and this is one of the best things I've ever read that made me laugh so hard I almost fell over! Lady do you know how hard it is to put your book down at times? I also love how your writing just flows and creates the setting in your head without needing so many details. Stephanie is slowly improving into a better bounty hunter. I love the characters and I think that's part of what makes this series so awsome=) Please kepp the books coming! I'm a Morelli fan so I really hope she choose's him at the end;)

Love sll the Stephanie books, although sometimes the humor might seem a little forced, though EVERYONE I know at the library where I work laughs out loud at them. I like the idea of a series of Ranger books.

Delightful characters, all.

Will the books continue after Stephanie chooses between Morelli and Ranger, or are you keeping that for the final book?

Will she be choosing anytime soon? This last book seemed to set the stage for a real commitment.

For the record, I'm pulling for Morelli. Ranger is a hot fling; Morelli is marriage material.

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