Back in February of 2018, with seven Requisition For: A Thief Series books completed, I spread my wings and ventured out to start a new series.
Whereas the REQTHIEF series features a male thief who finds himself on the “right” side of the law working for a covert espionage team–stealing for the U.S. government, I wanted something different for the new series. Not too different, mind you. I’m still the “author who’s passionate about thieves who aren’t really bad guys.” But several of my reading audience had expressed a desire to see a female thief. Thus was born the Thief à la Femme Series with Book 1 – Born to Steal, the part-one cliffhanger for the pilot to the series. Book 1 was quickly followed by Book 2 – thief.con, wrapping up the pilot story.
Being a Michigan girl myself, I gave my slick, talented female thief–who is a thief in her own right (Thief à la Femme), as well as a member of a group of female thieves (Robin(s) of the Hood)–a wonderful Michigan-girl background.
I returned to the Requisition For: A Thief Series for 2019, publishing Book 8 on July 16th:
and The Price of Notoriety < Prequel One > on August 28. “Price” originally had been written many years before as a standalone heist/romance (the first book I ever wrote), but I have now rewritten it and released it as the first Prequel to the REQTHIEF Series:
Clearly it’s time to get back into the Thief à la Femme Series–which is what I’m doing with The Triple Crown* … *of Jewel Theft:
I’m now so glad I made my female thief, Rayla Rousseau, a Michigan girl. I had the pleasure and privilege of touring Grand Hotel, Mackinac Island, Michigan as research for this book, and it was a phenomenal experience.
Much like the title suggests, the book centers around a trio of jewel thefts patterned after The Triple Crown of horse racing.
With such an awesome cover, I only hope I can do it and my home state justice, as Michigan (and specifically her Upper Peninsula and unique island) take center stage in Book 3.
Publishing date is tentatively set for early (March/April) 2020.
For REQUISITION FOR: A THIEF fans, take heart. I have high hopes to turn out Book 9 –The Thief Within – later in 2020, as well, and yes, as the “Prequel One” moniker suggests, there will be a Prequel Two coming up the road, likely in 2021.
With eleven books now published to my credit–nine in the REQUISITION FOR: A THIEF Series and two in the Thief à la Femme Series–I’m planning to continue writing in both series … and it’s Femme’s turn. In keeping with the somewhat unorthodox way in which I write, I have very little in mind as I start this project. I have a title, a picture to send my cover design artist for the creation of a cover, a sketchy idea for a main plot (which is based on the title), and a couple of new characters who will undoubtedly give me some subplots. I have NO specifics for the main plot and no real, tangible ideas for a subplot. But don’t worry. This is pretty much how all of my books begin.
The title is:
The Triple Crown*
*of Jewel Theft
(Thief à la Femme Book 3) …
… and here’s the basic picture for the cover. I wanted to post it because when my cover design artist, Jeffrey Kosh-JK Graphics, gets done sprucing it up, I guarantee it won’t look much like this. It’ll be WAY cooler!
Here are the previous two books in the Thief à la Femme Series:
Catch up or purchase now, because Book 3 is due to publish in early 2020!
I haven’t been around much, at least not in the “real” world. I’ve been around a lot in my fantasy worlds, however. I’ve been to Washington, DC; Malibu, CA; Jamestown, ND; and all over North and South Korea in my latest novel – Requisition For: A Thief <8> 13th Rule of Theft. It was published on July 16, 2019 in both eBook and paperback and is available through my website: http://www.jadevereaux.com.
I finished writing Thief <8> in early June. While my editor did her thing, I tackled a project I’d put on hold for quite a while: the rewriting and my personal editing of the first book I ever wrote. In that project, I spent my time in Missouri, Kansas, Colorado, and Wyoming–old west versions. I intend to re-release the circa 1864-1885 novel as the first prequel to the Requisition For: A Thief Series. Originally a crime/romance about two outlaws trying to get out of the outlawing life, The Price of Notoriety will now be a part of the “REQThief” series under the title: Requisition For: A Thief <Prequel One> The Price of Notoriety. Cayle Hadyn, one of the brothers in “Price,” is Gregg Hadyn’s great-great-great-grandfather. The manuscript is now in the hands of my editor, and I expect a September publishing date. Here’s the final front cover:
Though the final wraparound cover is definitely a JK Graphics production, the back bit is compliments of my son, Stephen Devereaux. Jeffrey liked it so much, he asked if he could use it, which I consider very cool:
I’m taking a small break–emphasis on small–before starting my next project, which is Book 3 in the Thief à la Femme series, tentative name: The Triple Crown* … *of Jewel Theft. I don’t have a cover for it as yet, but here’s the basic background picture Jeffrey will be using to create the book covers:
I can’t wait to see what he does with this! Tentative publishing date early 2020.
I’ve been busy writing, for sure, but rest assured … this is what I want to be doing and what I’m most happy doing.
Future projects include Requisition For: A Thief <9> The Thief Within, and Requisition For: A Thief < Prequel Two > The Strange Fate of Notoriety’s Children.
Have a great “rest of your summer,” and I’ll post again when Requisition For: A Thief < Prequel One > is published.
Hey there! It’s been a while! Let me bring you up to speed.
I published three books in 2018: Always a Thief (Requisition For: A Thief Book 7), Born to Steal (Thief à la Femme Book 1), and thief.con (Thief à la Femme Book 2). A prolific year by anyone’s standards.
After the new series, I intended to jump right back into the Requisition For: A Thief series. Book 8, 13th Rule of Theft was on the docket. I had a basic idea and a fabulous cover already made thanks to Jeffrey Kosh Graphics, but something went haywire. I don’t know. Maybe I just got a little tapped out. Maybe I needed a break. Maybe I even had that “writer’s twelve letter dirty word” … (ooh, cringe, cringe…) writer’s block … ugh! Whatever the reason, I couldn’t seem to get going with 13th Rule of Theft. So I did what every author does in times like these … I procrastinated.
I certainly had enough to do without adding writing to my day, anyway. I had two book-selling engagements at two bookstores, plus a presentation at my local library (pictured above and below).
The library presentation was huge for me, as I was awarded an hour and a half to “talk” about my books. Of course, I can talk about my books all day, but for an establishment to give me permission and invite an audience to be held prisoner for an hour and a half … all to hear me (and see me, as I’m very animated) talk about my books was … well … POSITIVELY GLORIOUS!
I had what was considered by the library – Jackson District Library, Carnegie Branch, Jackson, MI – to be a very good turnout, all thanks to my high school buddies who came out in droves. I sold 35 books that evening, a record for me for book sales in a personal appearance venue. It was truly a wonderful evening.
Then, there was Christmas with family, and then my husband and I left for Florida for two months. At this point, I had a start on Book 8, a few chapters written, but no real idea of the main plot or ANY idea of subplots. I began writing again in Florida.
We’re back in Michigan now, and I am very happy to say I’m up to Chapter 11. I believe I have enough of a start to pick up the reins and run with it at this point … and I’ve got a few good ideas.
As I press onward to complete 13th Rule of Theft (Requisition For: A Thief Book 8) and still hope for a Summer 2019 publishing date, check out all of my published books on my website: jadevereaux.com, and stay tuned for updates on my Facebook Page: facebook.com/reqthiefseries.
Jackson District Library, Jackson, MI Author Interview with: J.A. Devereaux
Interviewed by: Rebecca Skau, Adult Services Librarian, Jackson District Library.
Rebecca: What are your hobbies and other interests?
JA: I have been a distance runner from age 15—so, distance running, for sure. I also had a singing ministry for 15 years, and even recorded three songs, but I’d have to say writing is basically my hobby now. I also love making the videos that we use as marketing trailers for the books … so, I actually LOVE the heists—planning them and executing them. Learning to pick locks and pick out of handcuffs, which was research for the books, was a blast, and I got pretty good at it. I would have to say that picking locks has become a very real interest and hobby for me, as well.
Rebecca: Confirm list of works published: 1. The Price of Notoriety
JA: The Price of Notoriety is off the market. I published it in 2003 before I knew anything about how to write publishable prose. I consider it poorly written as it stands now. However, I plan to republish it as a prequel to the Requisition For: A Thief series at some point, since it is the story of Gregg Hadyn’s (my thief) heirs, the old west outlaws, Cayle and Skye Hadyn, and documents how the Hadyn thieving legacy began. The Price of Notoriety no longer jives with the rest of the Requisition For: A Thief Series, but perhaps remains a fun, good clean romance for anyone who might be looking for that type of story. A heads-up: The Price of Notoriety is a blatantly Christian story, which the Requisition For: A Thief Series and the Thief à la Femme Series are not. Thus, the writing style is very different from what I do now.
Rebecca: 2. Requisition for: A Thief Series Books 1 – 7 (Book 8 publishing late next Spring/or early Summer). What do you want readers to know about this series?
JA: Just to qualify: I expect to publish Requisition For: A Thief – Book 8 – 13th Rule of Theft late Spring/or early Summer 2019.
The Requisition For: A Thief Series is a type for a contemporary reboot—with new characters not related to the original characters at all—of an old TV show that ran in the late 60s—“It Takes a Thief”—starring Robert Wagner as international jewel thief Alexander Mundy. The premise for this storyline has not been used, that I know of, before nor since that TV show … until I came along and wrote this series. That premise is: The concept of getting a thief out of prison, not to catch other criminals, but to do what he does better than anyone else in the world: steal. My thief, Gregg Hadyn (loosely based on the character of Alexander Mundy), has been “requisitioned” by the President of the United States and the director of a United States Intelligence Community agency (an agency of spies) to steal for our government. What does he steal? Anything. Everything. Whatever is needed to protect the security of our country. Though Gregg Hadyn was primarily a jewel thief before coming to work for the U.S. government, there isn’t anything he can’t steal. He’s a smoking hot, genius thief, with a pronounced set of “morals.”
Rebecca: 3. Thief à la Femme Series Books 1 – 2. What do you want readers to know about this series?
JA: I never thought I would write another series. Never needed to, never wanted to. I was all about the hot male thief working for the spies—there both because he has no choice and, at the same time, because he, ultimately, wants to be there. The Thief à la Femme Series came about because of The Heist videos I put out on YouTube as marketing trailers for the REQThief books, but they ended up appealing to a different crowd, a different type of reader. One of my Heist video fans actually asked me to write a book about a female thief. I think I surprised even myself when I started seriously thinking about it.
Because I cannot condone or write about some thug or thugs—(the definition of a thug being a gun-toting robber shooting people or threatening to)—ripping off innocent people for their own gain, my thieves, both in REQThief and Thief à la Femme, had to have a saving factor about them. They had to be basically good people who possessed the incredible training—literally trained from childhood—to be the best thieves in the world. For Gregg Hadyn, my REQThief hero, I needed to find a way to get him on the right side of the law, but I couldn’t bear the thought of him being caught, at least not in the commission of a theft. I wanted him to be better than that. So, I came up with Gregg’s Achilles heel: falling in love, which clouded his judgement a bit. That, I could live with.
But I didn’t want to do anything similar to that with Thief à la Femme. If I were to start a new series, it had to be totally different than what I had done with Requisition For: A Thief. So, when I began to seriously contemplate maybe starting another series, or at the least writing one other book outside of the REQThief series, I had to come up with another way to make my thief a good person, but without putting her on the right side of the law this time. She had to remain a thief. So, Thief à la Femme incorporates the Robin Hood scenario. Rayla Rousseau, my heroine from Thief à la Femme, has been trained from the time she was seven to be a hero to the poor and those who cannot obtain justice through regular “legal” means. In so many ways, she’s always been a good person, much more so than even Gregg was before he becomes intertwined with the spies. Gregg starts out in REQThief Book 1 as a regular high-end thief, pretty much stealing for his own gain, but still with rules… because he’s “a thief, not a bad guy …” That’s the REQThief mantra. Rayla and the Thief à la Femme mantra is: Beautiful. Intelligent. Consummate Professional. She’s a thief with a heart for justice…
I guess the thing I want readers of both of these series to know is that these stories aren’t about bad guys. Both series are about thieves who are not bad at all. And if I’ve done my job as a writer and author, the reader should be pulling for them—even in love with them—by the end of the first few chapters of either series.
Rebecca: Briefly, explain how you got into writing.
JA: Before I deal with that question, I think it would be helpful to set the stage for you, and possibly answer one of the biggest questions that I get, personally, as a writer. That question is: Why do you write about thieves? What is the draw for you that keeps you writing stories about thieves as “good guys” to the exclusion of any other type of storyline?
I first fell in love with the concept of “the thief who isn’t really a bad guy” when I was an impressionable preteen through the TV show “It Takes a Thief” and then later a show with a similar concept – “Alias Smith and Jones”—a show about two outlaws trying to go straight.
Now, to answer your question, fast forward from the late sixties and my preteens to early 1986 and my early thirties. My husband and I had a little girl that was almost two, our first child, and I had been watching the syndicated reruns of “Alias Smith and Jones”—a show that had never had a proper ending. It was just pulled off the air after 2 ½ seasons—and so, while immersed in watching the reruns, I had this dream one night. It wasn’t the ending for the show or anything that spectacular, it was just a weird dream about the characters interacting with me … these old west outlaws who were trying for an amnesty. I don’t even remember what the dream was about exactly, just that I was there with them—Hannibal Heyes and Kid Curry—on this train.
That dream stayed with me for weeks as I continued to watch the TV show every day while my almost-two-year-old napped. Usually, you have a dream and maybe it stays with you for a few days if it’s an exceptionally good one, and then … poof … it’s gone. Well, this one never “poofed.” And a couple of weeks later, that dream combined with the fact that the show had never had a proper ending—those two lovable outlaws who “weren’t really bad guys,” never got their amnesty despite trying to go straight for those two and a half years—caused me to begin writing their ending … because I had what I considered the perfect one.
Ultimately, when I began thinking about possibly publishing my story, I changed the characters names, a lot of the storyline, and rewrote it to become “The Price of Notoriety,” which is the book this library has now, published in 2003. That’s how and when I began writing, and that’s how and why I continue to write storylines exclusively about “the thief who isn’t really a bad guy.”
Rebecca: What is one of the hardest things you had to learn as a writer?/ What do you wish someone would have told you when you first started writing for more than just fun?
JA: I think the hardest thing I had to learn was how to write in a way that publishers and editors were looking for in this day and age. I knew how to tell a story—that I was good at. Learning to write in a way that was expected by publishers/editors and effective now, in the twenty-first century, was the lesson I needed. When I finally contracted a professional editor, she taught me how to do that—how to write publishable prose for today’s market. And that’s the answer to the second part of your question. I wish, more than anything, someone would have told me to contract a professional editor before I published my first book. Nothing, and I mean absolutely nothing, is more important to a writer who is serious about publishing than having a good editor.Patricia Woodside – Professional Editor/Writing Teacher Extraordinaire
A second point I wish I had known was the impact a good cover has for the sale of a book, and I wish someone had told me it really is important to contract a professional cover design artist for the job. I published four books in the Requisition For: A Thief Series before contracting my professional cover design artist. Once I saw the incredible, phenomenal difference, I went back and republished those first four books with the new covers, a move which cost me in both dollars and time, but was, nevertheless, well worth it. Having great-looking covers designed by someone who knows the industry and knows what he’s doing is right up there with having a superb professional editor.Jeffrey Kosh – Cover Design Artist Extraordinaire
Rebecca: What authors most influenced your writing? Other influences?
JA: I majored in English in college; got my BA in English. So, that means I was a Lit major. Anyone majoring in English was, effectively, a Literature major … unless you specifically take the extra writing and journalism classes, which I did not. That meant I read a lot of classic literature. My favorite author, hands down, back then was Charles Dickens, and at least in the beginning of my writing career, he influenced the way I wrote. I soon found out, publishing editors in the 21st century weren’t looking for Charles Dickens-type writers, though! His flowery prose went out sometime in the 60s.
My favorite author these days is J.K. Rowling—specifically her Harry Potter series. I love Rowling for two reasons: Number one, the lady is a master storyteller, and number two, she can also really write well. That’s not a combination you generally see. Usually an author is good at one and not so much at the other, but Rowling breaks the mold. She’s a phenomenal storyteller and writer.
Nevertheless, I don’t believe her writing style is anything like mine. I would have to say that the writing you’re reading from me now was most influenced by my first professional editor, Patricia Woodside. She taught me everything I know and everything I apply in the writing of all of my books. But the way I set up a scene, the way a story flows? That’s all me. I believe everyone has “talents” in life, and that’s mine.
In my own reading, I am constantly searching for books like mine, stories about heists and thieves who are heroes, but, as you can imagine, there aren’t very many of those out there. Some of my other favorite writers are Lee Child, Gretchen Archer, Chelsea Field – all mystery writers, though Archer and Field incorporate humor. Just for the record, my books are NOT mystery books. Mysteries are murder stories. My Requisition For: A Thief Series genre is mainly Espionage, though I would also add Crime/Heist to that – and the Thief à la Femme Series is Crime, Crime/Heist.
Rebecca: What are the top 5 Books you want every reader to check out from the library?
JA: Well … I’d really like to see every reader who walks through the Jackson District Library doors check out Requisition For: A Thief Books 1 – 7 and Thief à la Femme Books 1 & 2!
But if you mean, other than my books? Mmmm…. I honestly can’t answer that. There are so many genres out there: Mystery, action, adventure, crime, espionage, fantasy, science fiction, romance … Everyone has their own preference. I couldn’t possibly tell someone, “Oh… you really need to read such and such,” which might be a fabulous science fiction novel, but it turns out he or she is a mystery or romance fanatic. I just don’t believe one person can tell another person what they should read. If you’re a newbie to the reading scene and you’re unsure what genre appeals to you, try a little of everything. I guarantee before you finished with the last genre, you’ll know what lights your fire!
That concludes the interview with Jackson District Library’s Rebecca Skau, Adult Services Librarian, Jackson District Library.
Watch for a brand new website for J.A. Devereaux coming in the next few weeks: