In August of 2007 I was driving across the Flinthills of Kansas, listening to the audiobook Room One by Andrew Clements. In the book, the main character has to steal some food from his kitchen without waking up his parents and Clements uses a line something like “I was a cat burglar in my own house…”
At that point, I should say, I had just finished writing the second Gallagher Girls book (Cross My Heart and Hope to Spy) and I was in the market for a new project—something fresh, something exciting. A new group of characters and a new world to get lost inside…
And well, as soon as I heard that line about the cat burglar I instantly knew that I had to write a book about a girl named Kat who was a burglar.
Another huge influence was the fact that I’ve always LOVED con movies—going back to my dad making me watch The Sting when I was a kid all the way up through newer movies like the remakes of Ocean’s 11, The Italian Job, and The Thomas Crowne Affair.
I’ve simply been fascinated about bad guys who are the good guys, and I knew that to pull it off I would have to make Kat do bad things but for very good reasons. And then all I had to do was ask the question that I always ask at the beginning of a new book “what’s the worst that could happen?”
That’s when I knew that Kat—who has grown up in this high-stakes world—would want nothing more than to leave that world but she has to get sucked back in to save someone she loves.
And there you have it—that’s how Heist Society came to be.