How Janet Evanovich changed my life -- Everything had been going gung ho from 2000-2002. My
new dog book (The Puppy Baby Book) just launched and won an IPPY award shortly after publication.
Artistic Origins, my technical writing business, was thriving
with contracts/work, and I was renovating my new house. While that part of my
life was great, my dating life
was non-existent. It had been six (6) years since I even HAD a date. That
is not a typo.
I guess there is a reason for some things and we just have to wait
until the veil lifts to see clearly.
You are most likely sitting there wondering what on earth does
this has to do with Janet
Evanovich, but I promise you, it is coming. Bear with me.
A guy roared into my life in early 2002 and swept me off my feet.
I was blindsided. I ended up selling my house, moving out of state and living
an idyllic lifestyle for one year. At that point, the great grandfather of all
disasters struck. I should have asked way more questions than I did prior to
moving, but I did not. Oh well...
Toward the end of summer in 2003, you-know-what hit the fan. I am
talking beyond bucketfuls - it was clearly by the dump truck-full. In a
nutshell, within minutes on that fateful day I was not only destitute, but had nowhere to
go. I was homeless! Good
friends back in Houston
took up a collection so I could move back home.
Then even MORE you-know-what hit the fan. I couldn't find work. It
seems that while I was off lolly-gagging in my new princess lifestyle,
technical writing had been outsourced overseas.
If that isn't enough, like rubbing a raw onion into an oozing
sore, I had to hire an attorney to handle the nightmare legal mess, which had
me living in fear.
And because all those jobs were outsourced, I did not work for the
remainder of 2003 through 2005. My resume went around the country and around
the globe with little or no response. I lived off credit cards and the charity
of friends and family.
My brain was frozen and I could not write one word. Total creative
shut down for months.
Then, someone gave me a battered copy of One for the Money by Janet
Evanovich. I read that paperback overnight.
O M G! That book changed my life!
I loved Stephanie
Plum. What a sassy, wild and crazy gal! I loved Lula! I loved Morelli. I loved Ranger. I loved Grandma Mazur. I loved all the wacky characters
that poured out of Janet Evanovichs head.
Then, one night I had a crazy dream about this wealthy woman named Lila Mae Alcott whose family was rich out the wazoo
from their chocolate empire.
I must have had a hot fudge sundae or something before bedtime for
that to end up in my head.
Hence, my mystery novel Hot
Chocolate was born. And my
characters are so sassy and outrageous, but unlike Stephanie Plum, these gals are
middle-aged wealthy women from Houston's elite
Janet uplifted me. Those characters were in my brain cells. I
started writing again.
Work came through. A gigantic technical writing project dropped
into my lap. I could hardly believe my good fortune.
Over the next two years I bought every Stephanie Plum book that I could get my hands on.
So - many, many thanks to Janet
Evanovich! Janet taught me so much about writing and characters. I love
her. I hope I get to meet her in person one of these days!