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by Craig Stark

#70, 12 June 2006

Bestselling author Janet Evanovich beat an unconventional, not to mention somewhat lengthy path to success. She began her publishing life in 1987 as romance novelist Steffie Hall then, sensing that the genre wasn't a good fit, advanced skillfully into mysteries - a very good fit indeed. Evanovich brought "Steffie" with her in the form of Stephanie Plum, the brassy heroine of a series of novels that now totals an even dozen, one of which is scheduled for release on June 20 (Twelve Sharp) - and you can bet that more will follow. BookThink's Michael Hayward visited with her recently, and the result is a lively look at, among other things, the writing life, Jersey and Cheez Doodles.

Only in recent years has Evanovich enjoyed the popularity that now draws as many as 5,000 fans to her signings, and booksellers are no doubt ahead of me here. As it so often is with authors who produce a significant body of work in advance of "making it," Evanovich's early books, including her MMPP romances, have become collectible despite their relatively recent vintage, especially signed copies. Also, book lots of more recent titles and reprints of earlier ones will surely bring it home for you on eBay.

BookThink's Top Ten on eBay returns this month with a nice mix of repeat winners and unusual titles. Among the latter are books on magic, polar exploration and golf course architecture - all perennial flashpoints. A reminder - eBay item numbers for these books are now available by special subscription free of charge. Email me at editor@bookthink.com if you'd like to receive them.

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