I’ve known my husband for twenty years and we’ve been married for fourteen. There isn’t much we don’t know about each other, so when we’re out and about or out to dinner (or back in the days when we could be out to dinner!) or waiting for something, we try to figure out how we’d rob the place. Breaking and entering. That’s our schtick. It usually goes something like this:
“Two chef’s jackets, your hair pulled back tight and me with a clipboard… We’re in…”
It was during one of these heist planning sessions that my husband suggested I write (don’t tell him I admitted it was his idea) a book about teenage thieves stealing analog history. He’s great at coming up with ideas and leaving me to do all the work, but I loved the concept.
When I was a teenager, I came to a point where I’d read all my books, so I started burning through the paperbacks on my parents’ bookshelf. I fell in love Sidney Sheldon’s novels, books like If Tomorrow Comes and Master of the Game. I was also a HUGE Christopher Pike fan—Remember Me is still one of my all time faves—and even though I was currently writing romantic women’s fiction about characters in their twenties, I was excited to try my hand at crime fiction for teens (and teens at heart!).
In trying to craft thieves readers could root for, my novel became more dystopian than something Sidney Sheldon or Christopher Pike would write, but those authors were still my inspiration. I imagined the characters Whitney and Jeff from If Tomorrow Comes had a son, and the “Keystone Series” character Garrett was born. I also loved Whitney and Jeff’s “rival thieves with a crush” narrative and I wanted an accomplice for Garrett that was his rival and match in every way, so along came my MC Elisha.
Now, my husband is my accomplice in everything, so I dragged him along on all my research adventures. Together, we cased the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh (where I’m originally from) and figured out how we’d break into Warhol’s Time Capsules, which play a big role in Incognito, book 2 in the “Keystone Series” that has just released. We also attended a Spy School taught by a former CIA agent. He taught us how to pick locks, hide a cache, escape handcuffs, and be a human lie detector. The final exam required us to be handcuffed and locked in the trunk of a car and escape.
And we both 100% chickened out.
Maybe we aren’t such great thieves after all. But it sure is fun to pretend.
Do you and your significant other have any tricks to keep things interesting? Or, if you could steal anything, what would you steal? Or what kind of books were your favorite when you were a teenager? Comment below for a chance to win a $10 Amazon gift card!