When I was working on Heist Society, I knew that I wanted to make it a story that would stand on its own—the tale of a girl from a most unusual family business who tries—and fails—to leave the family behind.
And even though I was very proud of that first book, I never considered stopping there. Why? I think it was because I’d fallen in love with those characters and that world. The whole time I was working on the first book, I couldn’t shake the feeling that Kat was the kind of heroine who was destined to have a million adventures. And I wanted to be around for as many of them as possible.
What her next adventure should be I wasn’t really certain until one night when I was watching TV.
Like the idea for I’d Tell You I Love You But Then I’d Have to Kill You came to me after I misunderstood what was happening during an episode of ALIAS, the foundation for Uncommon Criminals actually occurred to me during an episode of LEVERAGE.
Again, I was watching the show, saw something, and my mind went into overdrive, assuming that I knew what was happening and, more importantly, what was going to happen, only to realize that I was totally mistaken. My idea didn’t even start to happen on screen, but by that point I was so in love with my version of the story that I knew I had to write a heist that played out in such a way.
My second task was to figure out what Kat and her crew could be stealing this time. Since they had gone after lost art in the first book, I knew I didn’t want to do that again. That was when I turned my thoughts to very valuable and famous gems.
I did a lot of research on the great gems of the world—things like the Hope Diamond and the Star of Africa (along with the rest of the Cullinan Diamonds). That was when I learned how common it was for great gems to come with great legends, and that was how the Cleopatra Emerald was born.
And then, of course, all Kat had to do was steal it.