Book Title: Little Thieves
Author: Margaret Owen
Publisher: Henry Holt & Company
Release Date: October 19, 2021
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Retelling
Once upon a time, there was a horrible girl…
Vanja Schmidt knows that no gift is freely given, not even a mother’s love–and she’s on the hook for one hell of a debt. Vanja, the adopted goddaughter of Death and Fortune, was Princess Gisele’s dutiful servant up until a year ago. That was when Vanja’s otherworldly mothers demanded a terrible price for their care, and Vanja decided to steal her future back… by stealing Gisele’s life for herself.
The real Gisele is left a penniless nobody while Vanja uses an enchanted string of pearls to take her place. Now, Vanja leads a lonely but lucrative double life as princess and jewel thief, charming nobility while emptying their coffers to fund her great escape. Then, one heist away from freedom, Vanja crosses the wrong god and is cursed to an untimely end: turning into jewels, stone by stone, for her greed.
Vanja has just two weeks to figure out how to break her curse and make her getaway. And with a feral guardian half-god, Gisele’s sinister fiancé, and an overeager junior detective on Vanja’s tail, she’ll have to pull the biggest grift yet to save her own life.
Margaret Owen, author of The Merciful Crow series, crafts a delightfully irreverent retelling of “The Goose Girl” about stolen lives, thorny truths, and the wicked girls at the heart of both.
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Born and raised at the end of the Oregon Trail, Margaret Owen first encountered an author in the wild in fourth grade. Roughly twenty seconds later, she decided she too would be an author, the first of many well-thought-out life decisions.
The career plan shifted frequently as Margaret spent her childhood haunting the halls of Powell’s Books. After earning her degree in Japanese, her love of espresso called her north to Seattle, where she worked in everything from thrift stores to presidential campaigns. The common thread between every job can be summed up as: lessons were learned.
Fortunately, it turned out that fourth-grade Margaret was onto something. She now spends her days wrestling disgruntled characters onto the page, and negotiating a long-term hostage situation with her two monstrous cats. (There is surprisingly little difference between the two.) In her free time, she enjoys exploring ill-advised travel destinations, and raising money for social justice nonprofits through her illustrations.
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I am so excited to host one of my favorite authors, Margaret Owen, on A Court of Coffee and Books today! Thank you so much, Margaret, for stopping by and don’t forget to order a copy of Little Thieves!
Congratulations on your next book! What inspired you to write Little Thieves?
A couple things! I wanted to tell a story about a con artist who was cursed to do good deeds and found it more challenging than she expected, for one. I also had a hilarious backstory for a D&D character that was getting criminally underutilized, so I drew from that as well.
What was your favorite part of writing Little Thieves?
I had a lot of fun overall, but I think the character interactions really made drafting this one enjoyable! It’s just a wacky mix of people who used to like each other, people who are angry that they like each other, and a couple folks who are just here for a good time, not a long time.
What can readers expect from your main character, Vanja?
Basically: if the goose from Untitled Goose Game was the protagonist in a fairytale. She’s here to cause problems on purpose.
Did your writing process change at all compared to writing The Merciful Crow and The Faithless Hawk?
Definitely! Since I wrote Little Thieves as a standalone, I had a lot more flexibility—I didn’t have to worry about laying breadcrumbs for later books, or writing something into the worldbuilding that would break a plot twist in the next book. I was also able to do less outlining than I typically do, and that helped keep things fresh!
What advice would you give to aspiring authors?
You’re going to hear “no” a lot more often than you hear “yes.” Every author does, even bestsellers and megastars. The writers who make it are the ones who keep going, so figure out what keeps you going, and don’t let it go!
What do you hope readers take away from Little Thieves?
A lot of laughs, maybe some tears, and definitely a new appreciation for breakfast sausage.
Check out the amazing bloggers on this book tour!
Thank you, TBR and Beyond Tours, for having us on this book tour!