Today we have another fantastic blog tour post for you! This one comes from Jack Heath whose book, Money Run was published in July this year…enjoy!
Jack Heath is the author of six action-adventure books. He started writing The Lab when he was 13 years old and had a publishing contract for it at 18. His second book, Remote Control, was shortlisted for sci-fi book of the year at the 2007 Aurealis Awards, and in 2009 he was named ACT Young Australian of the Year. (from JackHeath.Com.Au)
Ashley Arthur’s 10 Tips for Aspiring Thieves
1 – Let people underestimate you
Forget balaclavas, body armour and utility belts. Thieves survive by looking harmless. If you’re a fifteen-year old girl like me, the best camouflage is a schoolbag and an iPod. The more boring – and bored – you look, the less anyone will suspect that you have a grappling hook launcher in your bag.
2 – Go for the big prizes
The likelihood of getting caught isn’t much decreased by stealing a hundred quid rather than a million. So it’s smart to aim high. Forget wallets and watches – seek out luxury cars and first-edition classic books. Always be on the lookout for that one big score which will get you and your family out of the gutter forever.
3 – Take only what you can sell
In 1911, a man stole the Mona Lisa and got away clean – but when he tried to sell it to a gallery, the curator had him arrested. The lesson here is, never steal anything unique. Go for things which are easily traded for cash. Diamonds are good. Gold is better.
4 – Only steal from criminals
Your victims can’t report something as stolen if they weren’t supposed to have it in the first place – my first victim was a guy who’d burgled my house. The ideal candidate would be a billionaire who’s cheated on his taxes, and has $200 million hidden in his office. Hypothetically.
5 – Practice
Like being a fighter pilot or a brain surgeon, when you’re a thief, the margin for error is zero. A single slip-up could get you arrested or killed. So practice is crucial. Buy some padlocks and practice picking them until your average time is below twenty seconds. Get a bunch of old jackets, drop a business card in every pocket, put them on coat-hangers, and see how quickly you can get all the cards out without rustling the fabric. (This will help you steal ID cards.) A cheap web-cam will enable you to record yourself telling lie after lie until you half believe them yourself.
6 – Know your limits
Like it or not, sometimes being on the run from the law requires actual running. You never know exactly what a heist will require you to do, so you have to prepare for everything. See how much weight you can carry, and for how far. Go to your local pool and try to swim the length of it without coming up for air. Find a tennis court and practice climbing over the chain-link fence and back. Spend a weekend blindfolded to fine-tune your other senses.
7 – Find an accomplice
From the day of your first theft onwards, you can never trust anyone you meet. Anybody could be an undercover cop, a private investigator or a rival thief. But most heists are two-person jobs, so it’s essential to get someone you’ve known for a long time to be your backup. If the best you can find is a geeky boy who’s fancied you since you were twelve, don’t despair. He might turn out to have useful skills, such as code-breaking and gadget-engineering.
8 – Stick to the plan
Sometimes, mid-heist, you’ll come across an opportunity that seems too good to pass up. I once broke into a vault which was supposed to contain $5,000 worth of helium canisters, and instead I found a ceremonial battle-axe made of solid palladium. But each theft takes months of preparation. Extra items mean extra weight to escape with, more hiding places required later, more cops tearing the city apart looking for you. If you try to add things to your shopping list on the spot, you might go home with nothing, or not come home at all. I left the axe behind, and so should you.
9 – Don’t hurt anybody
The police don’t look as hard for a thief as they do for an assailant, a murderer, or a terrorist. And no amount of money is worth getting shot because someone has reported you as “armed and dangerous.” When you’re forced to choose between fighting and running, run.
10 – Don’t get killed
This may sound obvious, but you are not invincible. You are a just a teenager, and you’re about to cross swords with cunning billionaires, ruthless cops, and world-class assassins. The criminal underworld is an unpredictable and deadly place. If everything goes to hell and you can’t get out with the money…
…focus on getting out alive.
Take two child geniuses (thieves in their spare time), one obsessed assassin, and the richest man in the world to create a compelling, completely unpredictable young adult thriller. Fifteen-year-olds Ashley and Benjamin have concocted a daring master plan: to steal billionaire Hammond Buckland’s most precious belonging, hidden in the depths of his conspicuous corporate building. But Hammond Buckland has a most elaborate plan of his own – and none of them have counted on Peachey, the hit man with a determination to finish the job – at any cost!The beginning of a dazzling new series from Jack Heath, author of The Lab and Remote Control.
Published by Usborne (UK) July 2011