|Stephanie Plum, the New Jersey-based bounty hunter featured in Janet Evanovich's popular crime series, has been called "a cross between Nancy Drew and Dirty Harry." The Plum books routinely appear on the bestseller lists and have made Evanovich one of the wealthiest and most visible writers working today. Born in a working-class section of New Jersey, Evanovich was the first in her family to continue her formal education past high school. After earning a bachelor's degree in fine arts from Douglass College, part of New Jersey's state-university system, she stayed at home to raise her two children and took sporadic secretarial jobs through a temp agency. She also began writing romance novels, and although she diligently sent her work to agents and publishers, it took a decade before she sold her first manuscript, HERO AT LARGE, which was released in 1987 and earned her $2,000. She published several more books over the next few years, initially using the pen name Steffie Hall. "It was a rewarding experience," she has quipped, "but after twelve romance novels I ran out of sexual positions and decided to move into the mystery genre." The first Stephanie Plum book, ONE FOR THE MONEY, was published in 1994, and the bumbling bounty hunter became an immediate hit with readers. Since then, Evanovich has published approximately one Plum novel a year, and in 2012 a movie version of the first book, starring Katherine Heigl, was released. In addition to that series, Evanovich writes comic adventures set in the world of NASCAR racing as well as an occasional paranormal caper. In 2012 she made the Forbes list of the 100 top celebrities in the world, based on entertainment-related earnings plus media exposure; she was one of only a handful of authors to be featured on the list, which is comprised mainly of actors and singers.