New York Times best-selling author Janet Evanovich is a busy lady, publishing at least a book a year (and usually more) in her mega-successful Stephanie Plum, Alex Barnaby and Diesel & Tucker series. The latest Plum adventure, Smokin’ Seventeen, is on sale in hardcover this month, and the last Plum novel, Sizzling Sixteen, is available in mass market paperback. Evanovich graciously chatted with BookPage about reading, writing and birthday cake. 

You have written romance novels, mystery novels, short stories and nonfiction. What’s your favorite kind of book to write? To read?
I like adventure novels with a little romantic comedy in the mix. 

You’ve turned your success into a family business, with your son keeping track of the financial matters and your daughter doing almost everything else at “Evanovich, Inc.” What do you say to people who think you shouldn’t mix family and business?
I suppose mixing family and business isn’t for everyone, but it works for us. We all have very different talents and we try not to step on each other’s toes. If there’s a choice to be made it’s family first and business second.

After 16 (and about to be 17!) books, Stephanie Plum has become an iconic figure in mystery fiction. Where did you get the inspiration for her character?
The initial inspiration was monetary. I needed a new roof on my house. :-) Truth is Stephanie is a mix of me and my daughter Alex plus a few traits that are pure fiction.

We last saw Stephanie Plum in Sizzling Sixteen. What do we have to look forward to in Smokin’ Seventeen
Stephanie gets romantic with the two men in her life and dead bodies keep turning up in the lot destined to house a new bail bonds office.

Plum will make her big screen debut in a film version of One for the Money, slated to hit theaters in 2012. Can you share any behind-the-scenes movie scoop?
Sorry, no behind-the-scenes scoops.

What’s next for Stephanie Plum?For you?
I’m currently working on Plum Eighteen and the next book in the new Diesel series.

Plum becomes a bounty hunter when she loses her job as a lingerie buyer. What would you do if you weren’t a writer?
I’d sell ebleskivers [Danish pancakes] out of a food truck.

We’ve heard you have a bit of a sweet tooth. If you had to choose just one dessert, would it be cake, pie or something chocolatey? 
Birthday cake!

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