I’m beyond thrilled to welcome Alexandra Ott – MG author, to the blog for a little chat! Her debut book – Rules for Thieves is due to release June 6, 2017 with Aladdin (Simon and Schuster).
After twelve-year-old orphan Alli Rosco is cursed with a deadly spell, she must join the legendary Thieves Guild in order to try and save herself in this high-stakes debut.
Twelve-year-old Alli Rosco is smart, resourceful, and totally incapable of keeping her mouth shut. Some of these traits have served her well during her nine years in Azeland’s orphanage, and others have proved more troublesome…but now that she’s escaped to try her luck on the streets, she has bigger problems than extra chores to contend with. Surviving would be hard enough, but after a run-in with one of the city’s Protectors, she’s marked by a curse that’s slowly working its way to her heart. There is a cure, but the cost is astronomical—and seems well out of her reach.
Enter Beck, a boy with a gift for theft and a touch of magic, who seems almost too good to be true. He tells Alli that the legendary Thieves Guild, long thought to be a myth, is real. Even better, Beck is a member and thinks she could be, too. All she has to do is pass the trial that the King of Thieves will assign to her. Join the Guild, collect her yearly reward and buy a cure. Plus, Alli hopes the Guild will be the home—the family—that Alli has always wanted. But when their trial goes wrong, innocent lives are put in danger, and Alli has to decide how much she can sacrifice in order to survive.
Congrats on your book deal, Alexandra! This is definitely a story that will keep your readers up all night! I’m sure finding a home for the book has been a dream come true. When did you know that you wanted to become a writer?
I’ve wanted to be a writer since I was very young! I always loved reading books and making up stories. When I was about seven or eight I started writing things down…and never stopped.
Where there certain authors who influenced you most growing up?
So many! J.K. Rowling was a big one, of course. She was my writing role model growing up. Some other authors I loved: Cornelia Funke, Eoin Colfer, Margaret Peterson Haddix, Jenny Nimmo, Lois Lowry, Ann M. Martin, Beverly Cleary, Tamora Pierce, Madeleine L’Engle, Kate DiCamillo, Avi, Lois Sachar, and Gail Carson Levine.
When it comes to your own work – what was the hardest part about writing this book?
I was in college when I wrote most of Rules for Thieves, so I think the hardest part was balancing writing with schoolwork! Making time to work on the book in addition to studying and writing papers was a challenge.
I think most authors really struggle with that balance. How long did the book take to write?
I wrote the first draft quickly, in about two months during the summer. But the revision process took much longer—well over a year, I think.
Do you have a favorite writing spot?
Right now, I love working at my desk at home, where I try to block out any distractions. Preferably with my dog curled up asleep nearby and a caffeinated beverage on hand. 🙂
Do you share your ideas when working on a project, or do you like to remain secretive?
I’m pretty secretive about ideas when I first start working on them. I need time to figure out which ones work for me and which don’t, so I don’t like to share anything when it’s in the early stages. After I’ve had time to turn those ideas into something vaguely coherent, then I ask for input from my agent and my brilliant critique partners.
Do you have any advice for new writers?
Read a lot; that’s the best way to learn. Write as much as you can. And don’t give up; good writing takes time and hard work and lots of practice!
I love that advice! Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Alexandra!
Alexandra Ott holds a B.A. in English from the University of Tulsa. She currently lives in Oklahoma with her tiny canine overlord. Rules for Thieves is her debut novel. Visit her online at alexandraott.com and on Twitter @Alexandra_Ott.
Title: Rules for Thieves
Author: Alexandra Ott
Publisher: Aladdin (Simon and Schuster)
Release Date: June 6, 2017
Author Website: www.alexandraott.com
Author Twitter: @Alexandra_Ott
Rules for Thieves on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/27424750-rules-for-thieves
Rules for Thieves Pre-order on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Rules-Thieves-Alexandra-Ott/dp/1481472747
Rules for Thieves Pre-order on Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/rules-for-thieves-alexandra-ott/1124743337
Rules for Thieves Pre-order on IndieBound: http://www.indiebound.org/book/9781481472746
Rules for Thieves at Simon and Schuster: http://www.simonandschuster.com/books/Rules-for-Thieves/Alexandra-Ott/9781481472746