This is a great new article on "OFTM."
"'Stephanie Plum’ Author Janet Evanovich Bringing Bounty Hunters to the Big Screen
December 27, 2010 by Collateral Staff
Posted in: Bail Life, Featured
Leave a comment
Janet Evanovich has developed a huge following of fans for her bounty hunter novels.
With 16 novels written and counting in her signature series about fictional bounty hunter Stephanie Plum, Janet Evanovich still manages to keep readers hanging on her every word. The books are consistently perched atop the best-seller list and she even has a major film scheduled for release in 2011. Despite her busy schedule, Evanovich took some time to tell AboutBail.com about how her interest in the bounty hunting profession has kept both her and her readers entertained for close to two decades.
Why Write About Bounty Hunters?
According to Evanovich, her original inspiration for her series of novels actually has its roots in the movies.
“In 1992, I saw the movie Midnight Run with Robert De Niro and Charles Grodin. As folks in your business probably know, it was one of the best and funniest bounty hunter movies ever made,” Evanovich said. “Anyway, I got to thinking. What if I wrote a book about an unemployed lingerie buyer who blackmails her cousin into giving her a job going after FTAs [failure to appear]?”
Evanovich took that idea and ran with it, quickly cultivating a loyal audience of readers who have fallen in love with the fictional bounty hunter’s universe. It’s a place where Stephanie Plum stumbles into bounty hunting after failing to land a file clerk position at a relative’s bail bond agency. While learning bounty hunting on the job through trial and mainly error, she gradually meets a colorful cast of friends and enemies, including a former prostitute named Lula who becomes an aspiring bounty hunter, and Ranger, a mysterious bounty hunter who sometimes serves as Stephanie Plum’s mentor/love interest. Plum’s misadventures - both comical and dramatic - often lead to exploding cars and run-ins with ruthless fugitives bent on evading capture.
Having bounty hunters as her primary characters gives Evanovich a seemingly endless supply of plot twists because the fugitives they’re chasing are never short of head-scratching reasons for failing to appear at court appearances, she said.
“What’s great about writing these books is that there are nearly as many stories as there are people who decide, for whatever reason, not to show up for their court appearances,” Evanovich said.
Because Evanovich is writing about a female working in a profession that people normally associate with men, she is able to work this aspect into how Stephanie Plum does her job and interacts with peers and fugitives. Evanovich discussed how being a female bounty hunter is different than a male - both on paper and in real life.
“Well, the dynamics are different. I think a woman - especially if she’s after a male skip - has the advantage of surprise,” she said.
How Did You Research the Profession?
To gather information for her novels, Evanovich consulted closely with members of law enforcement. This consultation consisted largely of drinking and shooting guns (they never mixed the two activities, she says), but she came away with a solid, fact-based foundation upon which she has built an immense and detailed world for her characters. Even though she is accessing the outer limits of her imagination to come up with new cases for Stephanie Plum, Evanovich said she has found that sometimes real life proves just as strange as fiction.
“Basically, what I learned is that while a lot of FTAs come along quietly when apprehended, there are some who will go to any length not to be taken in,” she said. “Even when I sometimes come up with what I think is a rather far-fetched scenario, I’ll get letters from bonds folks who say that they had a similar thing happen to them.”
Evanovich said that after nearly 18 years of writing her Stephanie Plum novels she doesn’t require much in the way of advice from law enforcement types. But on the occasion that she does have a question, she said the professionals are more than willing to listen and share their thoughts.
From the Written Word to the Silver Screen
Soon, Evanovich will get to experience the surreal feeling of seeing her characters come to life on the big screen in One for the Money. The film has been years in the making (Evanovich sold the movie rights all the way back in 1993), and avid fans have spent years compiling wishlists about who should be cast as the characters. While actresses such as Sandra Bullock and Reese Witherspoon were mentioned as possibilities to play Stephanie Plum, it was finally announced that Stephanie Plum will be played by Katherine Heigl, who starred in the television series Grey’s Anatomy and several feature films. Other notable actors who will star in the film include Patrick Fischler as Vinnie Plum, John Leguizamo as Jimmy Alpha and Sherri Shepherd as Lula.
Evanovich said that while she has no involvement with the making of the film, she is as curious as her legions of fans to check out the finished product.
“I’m happy the movie is finally getting made. It’ll be interesting to see how different (or similar) the movie’s take on the characters is. I have nothing to do with the movie, but was encouraged that Stephanie is being played by Katherine Heigl, who is a fan of the books,” Evanovich said.
When asked how she thought she would fare if she operated a real-life bounty hunting business, Evanovich said there could be some similarities between her and Stephanie Plum.
“One of the great autobiographical aspects of the Plum books is that Stephanie and I are about equal in klutziness,” she said. “Though my handling of the real-life business would probably not yield as many funny stories, I’m sure I’d probably screw up nearly as much.”'
Although nothing new on the "OFTM" movie news front, this is still a great article on Janet Evanovich's opinion on the movie and how she came up with our beloved quirky character, Stephanie Plum" in the first place. Enjoy!