Kim Foster was nice enough to find some time in her schedule to stop by, answer some questions about her debut book, A Beautiful Heist, her #literaryconfessions and #literarycrush- and many other things. Plus, we know she’s all cool and everything- because like most of us- she also has a bit of a Pinterest obsession!
Interview with Kim Foster:
1. What was the inspiration for A Beautiful Heist?
I thought it would be fun to write a story about a woman who is basically a good person, but whose job happens to be entirely illegal. I personally love stories with criminal protagonists—heists and capers, with lots of action, and you find yourself rooting for the people who would traditionally be the villains. It’s a common setup for the big screen (Ocean’s Eleven, The Italian Job…) but I don’t see it in books very often. I thought it would be fascinating to explore what motivates people to either do good or do bad…and all the shades and nuances in between.
2. From the beginning to end, how long did A Beautiful Heist take to write?
I had the initial germ of the idea when my firstborn was about 1. He just turned 8. But the path to publication was long and convoluted (as I suspect it is for every writer) because over those years I had another baby, went through two literary agents, lived in the UK for a year, and wrote two entirely different versions of the story.
3. Do you have a writing space? A writing routine?
I’ve had to readjust my writing schedule many times—through various stages of motherhood, maternity leaves, and overseas moves. Currently my writing schedule starts at 5 am and I write until 7 am, when my day as a working mother begins (I’m a family doctor in my regular life). Recently I’ve been writing in the evening, too, after the kids are in bed…and then on the weekends, whenever I can sneak out to the nearest Starbucks.
A coffee shop is my preferred writing space. The ambient sound, the comforting aroma, the endless supply of caffeine…but mostly I like to write in a café because there are no kids there. Well, that’s not strictly true–there are kids there, of course, but they don’t happen to be mine, and conveniently enough, nobody seems to need me to feed those kids or change their diapers or anything. It’s great.
4. Are any of the characters based on people in real life? Or just figments of your imagination?
Some of the characters are inspired by people in real life—not wholesale, but little pieces of them, stitched together with other bits, like Frankenstein. My protagonist, Cat, has a rival in this story, Brooke—and she’s an amalgamation of all the mean girls I’ve encountered in my life. Most characters, though, are pure figments of my imagination.
5. Kim, do you enjoy hearing from fans about their thoughts of the book?
Yes, of course! If I wasn’t interested in hearing what people think, I might have been satisfied leaving this story on my hard drive, for my own entertainment alone.
It’s especially fun to hear people’s feelings about the love triangle in A Beautiful Heist. I’ve heard from a few readers about this recently, and it’s so fascinating. A friend—someone I would have pegged as Team Jack—just told me she was totally Team Ethan, so we giggled about that.
6. Do you want A Beautiful Heist to be made into a movie one day? If so, who are the actors that would comprise your dream cast?
That would be a dream come true. And to be honest, I’ve thought about it a lot, because my book is very visual and the scenes have plenty of action. I created Pinterest pages, in fact, for my dream cast for the major characters, and wrote a post on my blog about that when I was counting down to book launch.
For Cat, my protagonist, I see Rachel McAdams, or maybe Emily Blunt. Jack (her FBI agent ex-boyfriend): Hugh Jackman or Eric Bana. Ethan (the charming art thief): Chris Pine, perhaps, or Bradley Cooper.
7. Are you working on another book? If so, can you tell us what the book is about?
A Beautiful Heist is the first book in the Agency of Burglary & Theft series, so I’m absolutely working on the next stories. I just sent the manuscript for the second book to my editor this week, actually.
In book two (which is slated for publication in June 2014), you’ll see Cat’s adventures become even more international—the story is set, in large part, in Paris. The heists in the next stories get even bigger (she goes after a very famous target in book two—and it’s something everyone has heard of) and the personal stakes get deeper. She comes face to face with some of her deepest fears and has to struggle with those, while attempting to pull off an impossible job. As far as romance goes: sadly, I don’t make things easy for Cat. Let’s just say the love triangle that emerges in book one gets a lot more pointy in subsequent books.
8. Could you tell us some of your favorite authors?
I have eclectic tastes in fiction, and there are so many fabulous authors out there it’s hard to narrow it down. That said, I love Kate Morton and Diana Gabaldon and Ken Follett. Philip Pullman and JK Rowling are the masters when it comes to combining action and suspense with humor. I recently read Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn and that book rocked my world, to be honest, so I’d like to read more of her. Probably my all-time favorite author, though, is Jane Austen.
9. What book (or books!) will you always make room for on your shelf?
Well, this is an ongoing problem, of course, because who has the room for all the wonderful books out there? Actually, I thought I’d solved this problem once, because my husband and I opened a secondhand bookstore in Vancouver several years ago—and for a little while I had the most kickass personal library. It was great fun running that store. But, alas, we had to sell it when life became crazy with the birth of our first son.
Our house now has bookshelves covering pretty much every spare wall. Technology has provided the most recent answer to the bookshelf space conundrum, however, in the form of my beloved e-reader. Hundreds of books in my purse!
10. Do you have any #literaryconfessions?
My #literaryconfession is that I’m not a very fast reader. And it’s not for lack of trying; I’ve read tons of books throughout my life. But somehow I just didn’t get that gene. My dad and my sisters have the lightning fast reading gene—my baby sister can polish off a book standing in the bookstore (something I’ve scolded her for: give the author the sale, for crying out loud!).
11. Do you have a #literarycrush?
Jamie Fraser, hands down. And both of the Darcy reincarnations (Mr. in Pride and Prejudice, and Mark in Bridget Jones). *Editor’s note: For those that have been living under a rock like me- Jamie Fraser is from Outlander.
12. What are some of the books that will be in your beach bag for 2013?
A Casual Vacancy by JK Rowling has been sitting on my TBR list for a few months, so I’m pretty excited to dive into that. Also, I’m curious to try A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness. And I’ve been meaning to read something by Sarah Jio for a while; her stuff has piqued my interest. Maybe Blackberry Winter, or The Last Camellia. We’re taking our boys on a road trip to California this summer, so I’m positively salivating to do a little beach reading.
*Special thanks to Kim Foster for this interview.
Want to win a copy of A Beautiful Heist? Sure you do! Visit Traveling With T’s review of A Beautiful Heist– leave a comment and an email address- and you are entered to win! *Note this is book is in e-book format only.