Malgré un agenda surchargé, Janet Evanovich, l’auteur de la série à succès mettant en scène Stephanie Plum, chasseuse de prime, a accepté de répondre aux cinq questions de Marnie (qui remercie infiniment pour son aide inestimable Katherine, boostée par Philippe et Jean-Pierre). Nous avons le plaisir de retrouver son ton décalé et son humour quelque peu impolitiquement correct qui sont la marque de fabrique de notre héroïne du New Jersey, qui d’enquête en enquête se pose des questions existentielles sur sa vie sentimentale, partagée entre Morelli, le flic pur et dur, et Ranger, le mystérieux et presque hors la loi, chasseur de prime.
Onirik : The problem with crime series often lies in their slow, long-winded plots. While reading "Flambant neuf" (to the nines), I noticed that this is not all the case with your work. The narrative gets stronger and stronger and at the same time more controlled and more original. Is the part of your work you find the most difficult ?
Janet Evanovich : Absolutely ! It takes me along time to boil things down to their utmost simplicity. I don’t want my reader to work hard. I want them to be entertained.
Onirik : The small town of Trenton, NJ plays an integral part in Stephanie Plum’s adventures. You describe the neighbourhoods that are home distinct communities, portraying typical, highly colourful, larger-than-life characters who are often neither clever nor sophisticated. However, one quickly forgets their ordinary, almost common side and finds oneself lingering over the engaging aspects of their characters. Are you flying the flag for New Jersey ? Is it New Jersey that inspires you ?
J.E. : Having been born and raised in New Jersey I’d have to say it’s Jersey that inspires. Jersey is full of wonderful characters, and if you live there you learn to have a sense of humor and an appreciation for the eccentric.
Onirik : The love triangle is a very French theme. If, on the one hand, Morelli represents a very seductive reality, ranger, on the other, is more of a fantasy ; the choice between them is, in fact, an easy one and you don’t prolong the suspense much over which way Stephanie will decide in the end. When reading the ninth in the series, I assume that in the thirteenth, which you have just published in the USA, the status quo will prevail. What is that holding Stephanie back from embarking on the serious relationship ?
J.E. : Are you kidding ? She has two hot guys after her. Two ! How could anyone choose so quickly between Mr. Right and Mr. Right Now ? Enjoy it for a while. It makes a woman feel good to have such problems.
Onirik : In each book you develop one of the minor characters. Whereas in the first few books in the series, the adventure of Mamie Mazur unfold before our eyes, Lula becomes quite impressive, particularly in "Flambant neuf" where she almost steals the show from our heroine. In drawing these characters in greater detail, is your aim to breathe more life into your stories ?
J.E. : Since it’s an ongoing series, I try to bring different characters forward and pull others back with each book. Sometimes Lula will be the star, sometimes Grandma Mazur. The main constant is that they all revolve around Stephanie and what is going on in her life.
Onirik : Humour is there not simply to amuse and entertain the reader. It is also employed by the heroine when things get too serious for her emotionally (or help her deal with traumatic events) . It helps her to retain a sense of balance (in regard not only to her unusual job but also to her feelings). From the very first book you wrote, humour has been omnipresent and appears as an answer to every existential question . is it how you like to remedy all life’s woes ?
J.E. : Definitely. Life would be very hard to get through without laughter. I make it a point to only watch happy movies.