Janet Evanovich


Over the last three decades, millions of people around the world have enjoyed a series of novels about a fictional amateur bounty hunter from New Jersey named Stephanie Plum.

Stephanie is the creation of writer Janet Evanovich. In the 1980s, she was a stay-at-home mom, but when her kids were nearing the age at which they would be leaving for college, she decided to try something new — like, writing.

She started out as a romance writer, and achieved considerable success in that genre.

But after several years, she realized that what she liked best about writing was the action sequences in her books, and their humor.

So in 1994, Evanovich wrote her first mystery, a book called One For the Money . It introduced Stephanie Plum and her offbeat circle of friends and family.

It was an almost instant hit, and gave rise to a series that continues to this day. There are now 30 books in the Stephanie Plum series.

And this is where it all began. So here now, from 1994, my interview with the newly published Janet Evanovich.

Janet Evanovich celebrated her 80th birthady in April. Her most recent Stephanie Plum book, the 30th in the series, was published this year.

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Patricia Cornwell
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Conrad Dobler

The NFL’s regular season begins tomorrow. By next February we’ll have another Super Bowl champion, And another year’s worth of memorable plays and thrilling endings.

But for today, let’s hit rewind and go back to an interview I did in 1988, with a 10-year NFL veteran, three-time Pro Bowl player, known for his alleged underhanded tactics on the field.

During his six years with the Cardinals, two with the Saints, and two with the Bills, his opponents often referred to Conrad Dobler as a “dirty” player.

So in 1988, when Dobler wrote his memoir, what do you think he called it? Its title is They Call Me Dirty.

So here now, from 1988, Conrad Dobler.

Conrad Dobler died last February. He was 72.

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Dick Butkus
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Alvin Toffler

Photo by Vern Evans

Being a successful futurist does not require some psychic ability, or a stack of tarot cards, or a crystal ball. Wha it does Involve is the ability to extrapolate from current conditions to map out what the future may hold

And one of the most successful, and influential, futurists of our time was Alvin Toffler.

His 1970 book Future Shock, and his 1980 bestseller The Third Wave, set millions of readers on a new path of thinking.

Toffler accurately forecast developments such as the internet, personal computers, and cloning.

In 1990, Toffler produced another book that, in 30 years’ time, has proven to be as accurate as his first two books. It was called PowerShift, and it outlined what we now recognize as the age of information.

As you listen to this, if you’re old enough, try to remember where you were and what you were doing in 1990. Then judge for yourself if Toffler’s forecast was accurate.

So here now, from 1990, Alvin Toffler.

Alvin Toffler died im 2016. He was 87.

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John Sculley
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Jorge Ramos

For many years, Walter Cronkite was America’s favorite, and most trusted, television news anchor. Today, there’s a man known as the Walter Cronkite of Latino Americans

His name is Jorge Ramos, and he has been anchoring the news on Univision since 1987.

After his 50th birthday, when he realized that he had spent exactly half of his life in his native Mexico and half in the United States, Ramos became a US citizen..

But as he explained in his 2002 autobiography, No Borders, Ramos never felt completely at home in either country.

And that conversation that we had about his book more than 20 years ago seems as relevant today as it did then .

So here now, from 2002, Jorge Ramos.

Jorge Ramos is 65. He’s been Univision anchor since 1987. He lives in Miami.

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Dan Ariely

Photo by Yael Zur for Tel Aviv University Alumni Organization

How many times a day do you lie, cheat, or steal?

If you’re like most people, you might say, with some pride, you never lie, cheat or steal.

That’s a lie.

Psychology and behavioral economics professor Dan Ariely says we all do it. Thing is, we almost all do it just a little, not enough to ruin our self-image of being a good, honest person.

In his 2012 book The (Honest) Truth About Dishonesty Ariely explained the science behind our misbehaviors.

So here now, from 2012, Dan Ariely.

Dan Ariely, who is 56 now, has taught at Duke University since 2008.

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Darlene Love

Photo by Montclair Film Festival

Success as a backup singer or studio musician can sometimes lead to a very successful solo career. But in the case of Darlene Love, it was a bumpy road, to say the least.

Even though she was one of the most popular and most in-demand backup singers of the 1960s, working with some of the biggest stars, her path to a solo career was littered with obstacles.

Not least of them was producer Phil Spector.

And by the way, even if you have not heard her music, you have probably seen Darlene Love in one of the l”Lethal Weapon” movies, alongside co-star Danny Glover.

As the 1990s were drawing to a close, Love wrote her autobiography. And that’s when I met her.

So here now, from 1998, Darlene Love.

Darlene Love is 82 now. She was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2011.

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P.J. O’Rourke

Photo by Cato Institute.

Can you think of a subject that is drier and more boring than economics? After all, there is a reason that even it’s practitioners call it “the dismal science “.

But in the hands of satirist and journalist, P.J. O’Rourke, economics takes on a whole new brilliance.

And the title of his 1998 treatise on world economics, Eat The Rich, seems to have special resonance today.

Indeed, the ongoing debates over capitalism versus socialism is as powerful now as it was when I interviewed P.J. 25 years ago.

So here now, from 1998, P.J. O’Rourke.

P.J. O’Rourke died of cancer in 2022. He was 74.

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Dawn Steel

Have you ever seen the movie Flashdance? How about Top Gun, or Fatal Attraction?

Those movies, and many more, were made under the supervision of studio executive Dawn Steel.

Her name was appropriate, too, because a woman in the man’s world of Hollywood filmmaking had to be made of steel.

Dawn Steel’s 1993 memoir was called They Can Kill You But They Can’t Eat You. And that’s when I met her.

So here now, from 1993, Dawn Steel.

Dawn Steel succumbed to brain cancer in 1997 at age 51.

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David Frost

David Frost had a successful, decades long career as a television talk show host and interviewer, in both the UK and the US.

He interviewed thousands of VIPs, celebrities, and movers and shakers of all kinds.

But he may be best remembered for his 1977 series of interviews with former President Richard M. Nixon, who just three years earlier had resigned the presidency in disgrace after the Watergate scandal.

Frost paid Nixon some $600,000 for those interviews. But they paid off, big time, as they became a part of American television history, and helped restore some of Nixon’s credibility.

I met David Frost 30 years later, when he wrote a book called Frost/Nixon, a behind the scenes account of how the interviews came about, and what happened when the cameras stopped ruling.

So here now, from 2007, David Frost.

David Frost died in 2013. He was 74.

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Bob Edwards

Photo by Jared and Corin

This Sunday is National Radio Day, the annual commemoration of the contributions the radio industry has made.

Today, a look back at an interview I did about one of the legends of radio. And the person I interviewed was, and is, a stalwart figure in modern day radio.

For a dozen years the pioneering radio sports broadcaster Red Barber called in every Friday to NPR’s Morning Edition show, for an unscripted 4 minute talk with host Bob Edwards.

Listeners loved those segments. Even those listeners who seem to have little or no knowledge of baseball.

But Barber died in 1992.The following year, Bob Edwards wrote a memoir of those memorable conversations, a book he called Fridays With Red. And that’s when I met him.

So here now, from 1993, Bob Edwards

Bob Edwards, who is 76 now, left NPR in 2004. He currently hosts a podcast produced by AARP.

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