Stephanie Evanovich is the New York Times bestselling author of Big Girl Panties. She’s back this week with a funny, romantic confection in which a canny young woman makes over her awkward millionaire client, and boy do we get a Neville Longbottom situation in the end! After reading it and laughing and swooning in all the right places, I knew I needed to get to know Stephanie Evanovich a little better! Lucky for me, she’s chatty…
Donna: Thanks for taking time out of your busy day to chat with us today about your new book, UNDER THE TABLE. For the record, you had my complete attention with the description, “My Fair Lady with a super sexy twist!”
Stephanie: Thanks so much for having me! I’m positively delighted to think once Under the Table got your attention, it kept it.
I enjoyed this book so much. I’d been in a bit of a reading slump and it ticked off so many boxes for me. Would you mind giving us the elevator pitch and how you came up with such a fun story idea?
When a woman on the verge of divorce begins to embark on new adventures, mostly of the culinary kind, she gets an unexpected lesson on how to work with raw ingredients. They arrive as a sheltered transplant from the Virgin Islands trying to strike out on adventures of his own. Together they develop the perfect recipe for fun. With a pinch of spice and a dash of sass, they cook up a whole batch of feels.
Not only do we get a fabulous glow-up with Tristan, we get a fair amount of self-actualization with Zoey, too. Why do you think it was so important for Zoey to take the path she takes to recognize true happiness? (It’s hard to ask this question without giving away plot but she has a bit of her own reckoning…on the side of the road.) I’m a sucker for a good grovel.
I know that personally, I’ve been known to convince myself that what will make me happy usually takes me about as far away from happy as I can get. The biggest moments of joy are sometimes found when I’m looking the other way. I instilled some of that in Zoey. She started out with a plan and a path, but was so rigid in the execution of it, she ran the risk of getting in her own way. She really needed the shakeup.
I think it would be safe to put Tristan Malloy in the Beta Hero category, don’t you? What was your inspiration for him, outside of My Fair Lady? And again, well done with the Tristan glow-up, he really leaps off the page!
My last three books featured heroes that were more on the alpha side, as a writer I wanted to flip that script and try something different. What could be more different than a guy who has absolutely no game with the ladies? At first it was challenging, trying to keep him innocent and sensitive. Once I fell in love with him, it became so much dang fun. He was like an unwrapped piece of delicious man-candy.
Let’s talk kitchens and food, both of which are a huge weakness for me! Kitchens are the heart of a home. Tristan’s kitchen is pretty spectacular, what is your favorite thing/part/appliance/feeling in the kitchen?
The thought of having warming and cooling trays was exciting, even if they are excessive. I mean seriously, everyone already has warming and cooling trays, they’re called ovens and refrigerators. For me personally, all I basically need is a working coffee pot and I’m all set. But I’m drawn to gorgeous kitchens, which is pretty funny considering I do as little cooking as possible. Once my sons grew up and left, I took my apron off.
Do you have a go-to comfort food you’d like to tell us about?
Okay, this might sound a little funky, but my go-to comfort food is a throwback to my childhood. I take a bunch of graham crackers, stick them in a bowl and pour milk over them. It makes what looks like a paste, only it’s yummy. I guess my second choice would be lobster mac-n-cheese, but that involves a lot of cooking. I save that dish for when I need comforting while dining out.
What’s next for Stephanie Evanovich?
Considering how I’m a big believer in living in the moment, what’s next is launching Under the Table into the world and going out to play with readers. I love meeting readers. And it gives me a chance to entertain face to face. I try to make my appearances like a stand-up routine. I never did get rid of my acting bug and my favorite sound in the world is laughter.
Getting to know Stephanie Evanovich with Down & Dirty Questions
When picking a snack, do you go salty or sweet? Sweet, definitely sweet.
Are you a morning person or a night owl? Morning person, like 5am morning person.
What’s the one must have when you settle in to write? Coffee.
What does your Netflix queue look like? Empty, but my DVR is full of General Hospital and The Goldbergs.
Do you have a bucket list vacation spot? Maldives. One of those huts on stilts in the water, with a slide for quick dipping.
Thanks again for chatting with us today Stephanie! Under the Table is out on Tuesday, April 16th. If you’re looking for a fun, sexy twist on “My Fair Lady”, this is the book for you!
Stephanie Evanovich has been crafting stories since she could form sentences. Born and raised in New Jersey, the Garden State, her fertile imagination kept working overtime as she raised her family and rooted for their teams. Sons, sports and storytelling finally combined to create her New York Times bestselling debut novel, Big Girl Panties. Since then she’s written two more books: The Sweet Spot and The Total Package. A firm believer in the power of high-octane coffee and happy endings, you’ll find her at her desk working on the next story with her hyperactive pup, Griffin, doing her best to distract her.
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