On Stephanie Plum
You wanna talk disasters? Easy, where Stephanie Plum is concerned. A more disaster-prone woman never walked the earth. Okay, granted, she is a bounty hunter, and blown-up cars are part of the gig (though hers do seem to explode a good deal more than those of other law-enforcement types…like, in every book). Ditto hair accidents and destroyed clothing. But let’s talk life-type disasters. Relationships, for example. The truth is, poor Stephanie never had a chance at a “normal” life. A cornucopia of genetic (can you say Grandma Mazur?) and environmental (regular working-class neighborhood, my arse) factors combined into a toxic soup that virtually guaranteed a disastrous adulthood for our favorite bail bondswoman.
Remember the famous “Up” documentary series (7-Up, 14-Up, 21-Up, etc), the premise of which was taken from the Francis Xavier quote and Jesuit motto, “Give me a child until he is seven and I will give you the man”? In the series, director Michael Apted interviewed the same group of people at ages seven, fourteen, twenty-one–I believe he’s up to forty-nine now–to determine if they ended up living the lives they seemed destined for at age seven. I’m totally in love with the Up films, so I’m going to try to apply that same premise to the Stephanie Plum books, and demonstrate precisely how genetic and environmental factors, together with a seminal incident from her childhood, turned Stephanie Plum into the walking disaster we know and love. “Attempt” being the key word. Keep in mind that, as a novelist, …