CG Drews tells us 10 things we NEED to know about her latest YA novel, The Boy Who Steals Houses:
1) It’s a genderbent Goldilocks retelling! I’ve always been somewhat obsessed with retellings and was keen to try the trick of wrangling a magical tale into a modern-contemporary setting. Sam is our lovely Goldilocks (he has a haystack of blonde hair that definitely needs a cut after being homeless for a year) and he spends a fated Saturday breaking into two houses before the third is…just right.
2) There is no porridge though. Just pancakes. And waffles. And caramel brownies. Look, I’m not going to lie: this book has a lot of food in it, so please bring snacks while reading.
3) Sam is the softest criminal you ever did met. Look the title says it all: he’s a thief. But he’s been pulled into this life out of desperation. He just wants a home and he wants to keep his brother safe…and there is a 10/10 chance that this life of felony will make him cry. (Burglary is tough, ok.)
4) It’s set in the same town as my debut, A Thousand Perfect Notes. So look out for Easter Eggs! Including a reference to a band we all loved so much in ATPN and there’s a mention in Sam’s flashback scenes that he went to the same school as Beck and August.
5) There is very loving anxiety and autism rep. Sam is an anxious disaster (with good reason…his childhood was a hellish mess) and his older brother, Avery, is autistic. These are things very close to my heart so it was amazing to be able to write them into The Boy Who Steals Houses. Both Sam and Avery are the kings of bad decisions but have the sweetest love for each other.
6) Speaking of siblings … Sam messes up stealing a house and ends up entangled in the lives of the De Lainey family. They have seven kids and they’re loud, messy, intense and extremely enthusiastic. You’ll get to meet Grady, Jeremy, Jack, Moxie (Sam is quite sweet on this one), Dash, Toby and The Baby. And no, you never find out The Baby’s real name. We’re not sure any of the kids even know.
7) Why are there keys on the cover? Sam has a very odd habit of collecting keys. He lives on the streets and has nearly nothing to call his own. But these keys? They’re his promises…and his secret.
8) There is a distinct glitter catastrophe. Look if you had the chance to write a scene where someone gets attacked with glitter…wouldn’t you?!
9) Expect laughs and heartbreak. Why not have both! There are a lot of sibling shenanigans and bickering banter in this book (which was very fun to write and may or may not have been influenced from my own childhood with five siblings). But this book is also here to make you cry, just a little. (Okay fine, a lot.)
10) I wrote the first draft in 3 days of NaNoWriMo 2016! It was my new record for fastest first draft…but I promise it was a hot mess and I stuffed it in a drawer and wondered if it’d ever be good enough to see the light of day. But look here it is. It’s truly the story of my heart!