Thursday, July 23, 2015

Ten Questions from Tara: Interview with @DrKimFoster #giveaway

Welcome. You’re here to promote A BRILLIANT DECEPTION, a heist caper. Tell me, please, what was the inspiration behind this story (or series)? How did it come to you?

When I first got the idea for the Agency of Burglary & Theft series (of which A Brilliant Deception is the third book) many years ago, I was reading books like Bridget Jones and watching Sex & The City and I thought those stories were fun…but I thought: how much MORE fun would it be to read about a girl-next-door type who isn’t quite so innocent and well-intentioned? What about a story about a young woman who is a career criminal? But that story wasn’t out there. So I decided to write it. I came up with the idea that being a crook could simply be my protagonist’s job—she works for an agency that hires people for high-stakes heists—but she has a whole life otherwise. Friends, family, a disastrous love life, etc…

A Brilliant Deception (Agency of Burglary & Theft, #3)We focus a lot on heroines here on Book Babe. Tell me what makes your heroine strong. 

My heroine, Cat Montgomery, does happen to be physically strong—she’s a jewel thief, so a lot of her job is very physical, and depends on her agility and strength.

But her other strength is a mental toughness. She frequently has to go into dangerous situations, and that takes a lot of courage. She has to problem-solve her way out of sticky spots.

And in this third book of the series, she faces the moral implications of what she’s doing more than ever. She has to confront the ethics, the right and wrong, and decide what kind of person she is going to be—which may mean turning her back on people who want certain things from her, and people who expect her to be a certain way…and letting go of what has worked for her in the past.

Do you see any of yourself in her?

Mostly, no. I am such a chicken and I could never do the things my protagonist does. I have a major problem with heights, for example, which would pretty much kill the career of a jewel thief. But to be honest I think that’s one of the reasons I had so much fun writing about her. She’s in extreme peril, dangling from a tall building, and I’m safely at my desk with a steaming cup of coffee, wondering how on earth she’s going to get out of this one…

Was there any particular part of this story that was the hardest for you to write? Tell me why.

Choosing between her love interests. She has a deep connection with both men in this story—one is a cop, and the other is a fellow thief. One is a classic warrior/hero type and the other a bit of a rogue—although, interestingly, they swap sides in this third instalment. They have both helped her at different times in the series, and they have both hindered her at other times…and in this book she has to figure out where her future lies.

It was tough for me because I am genuinely attached to both men also, and I hadn’t predetermined which way this was going to go. But I knew she had to make a decision to let one love go…and I felt like I went through that heart-wrenching struggle along with Cat.

What kind of research did you do when you penned this novel? Did anything surprising come up in your search? (Perhaps something you had no need to put in the book but stayed in your mind nevertheless?)

I did lots of research for these books. Location-wise, I have been lucky enough to have traveled a lot in recent years, so I was able to draw on first-hand experience for the settings (like Paris for book two, and Venice for book three). As far as research into how to be a jewel thief—that’s a challenge! I’ve needed to research high-tech security systems and biometrics (and how to bypass them), organized crime, the history of famous diamonds, parkour, rappelling, and scuba diving…all super fun stuff. But given my subject matter, particularly the stuff about how to break into places, it’s sometimes difficult to get all the details I need. Some of my google searches are ridiculous—I must be on a watch-list somewhere. But I research as much as I can, and when I get to the point that requires a higher national security clearance than I possess, I splice in a little imagination. The beauty of fiction!

What would you like readers to gain from reading your book? Is there a strong moral? Do you hope they will laugh, learn something about a particular subject/person, ponder a point?

In this book, even more than the first two in the series, my protagonist struggles with choosing a path in life. She wrestles with the dichotomy of good and bad, and living an honorable life. I’m not sure I’d call it a “moral” because I don’t exactly provide answers, and I would never want to be preachy.

But mostly? I hope to take my readers on a really fun ride. Cat is off on a wild adventure that takes her across different continents—there’s excitement, action, and romance—and I hope to give readers that vicarious experience. That’s my main goal.

Your book takes place in Venice (among other places). If I were a tourist, what would you recommend I see in this town/country? 

I just got back from a trip to Italy with my family, actually…so I have lots of thoughts on what to see and do in Venice! (See our photos on my Instagram account )

In Rome, Florence, and other parts of Italy, there are so many sights to see – the Colosseum, the Vatican, and all the fabulous art galleries and museums. But to do Venice well, in my opinion, it’s more about experiencing the atmosphere than checking off the sights. You should stroll along the canals, ride in a gondola, taste gelato, sip a cappuccino while listening to beautiful, live music in Piazza San Marco…

Moving on to personal things...if you could time travel to absolute any time and place in history, where and when would you go and what is it that draws you to this time period? What would you do whilst there?

I have a fascination for Victorian London (it’s where my next book is set—the new project I’m working on right now!). I find it such an intriguing and exciting historical era, with new discoveries and lots of world-changing events. There was a fascinating juxtaposition between all the glamour and the gritty hardship of the Industrial Revolution—a fantastic backdrop for stories…although maybe not so great to live through. But it was also an age of exploration, and the dawn of much of modern science—I’d love to travel in time and experience it all firsthand. Plus the fashions were fabulous!

Oooh. Do I smell a historical? You'll have to query me on that one, Kim.

There are so many books out there nowadays... What makes your book stand out from them?

I like to think my particular combination of action, romance, and humor is what sets this series apart. My protagonist is somewhat atypical, also, in that she’s a career criminal. She’s definitely an anti-heroine (which is what I wrote about the last time I visited Book Babe).

I’m a dog mom, so I always ask this. Do you have pets? If so, tell me about them and do provide pictures.

We have rabbits! They live in a converted playhouse in our backyard (our winters are very mild here in Victoria so they can live out there all year round). Sodapop and Darry (yes, my husband is an Outsiders fan). Here’s a pic of Darry (Sodapop is quicker…and more camera shy).


Kim Foster is the author of the Agency of Burglary & Theft Series, a series of novels about a professional female jewel thief. Kim has a typical background for someone who writes thrillers about thieves and spies and criminals: she has a degree in medicine and is a practising family doctor. (Don’t worry, it doesn’t make much sense to her friends and family, either.) She’s addicted to yoga, loves to travel, and has a clinical weakness for dark chocolate with sea salt. Kim lives with her husband and their two young sons in Victoria, BC, where she's hard at work on her next book. And drinking a ridiculous amount of coffee.

And Kim is offering digital copies one all three books in the series to one lucky winner! Leave a comment with your email address and at the end of two weeks, we'll pick one of you. Contest ends August 6th.

More about A Brilliant Deception:

Fresh from pulling off her latest heist, Cat Montgomery believes she’s ready to leave her thieving lifestyle behind. But old habits die hard. When she’s recruited to retrieve the Lionheart, a legendary medieval ring made from the finest gold and excavated from the grave of Robin Hood, Cat’s determined to end her career with a bang.

Or so she thinks…until the Caliga Rapio, a mysterious brotherhood of thieves, beats her to the punch. Now she has to high tail it to Venice to swipe it back. With two old flames thrown into the mix and an Interpol agent hot on her tail, things are about to get a lot trickier. Cat’s troubles only worsen as she realizes the legend of the Lionheart runs deeper than she could have possibly imagined…


  1. I love where your initial inspiration took you. Sounds like such a fun idea for a story.


  2. This series sounds like an exciting, fun read. Have added them to my TBR list.

    tmrtini at gmail) dot) com)