Happy Wednesday and welcome to my stop on the THE CON CODE blog tour! I’m so excited because today I have an interview with Shana Silver to share with you! This book is truly amazing and I’m so so excited to for you to find out more about it, PLUS enter for a chance to win a print copy!
The Con Code by Shana Silver
Published by Swoon Reads on August 25, 2020
Genres: YA, Contemporary, Thriller
A teen forger and thief forms a criminal crew from her high school friends (and crush) to perform a series of heists leading to the location of her missing mother in this action-packed contemporary YA novel. By day, seventeen-year-old Fiona Spangler runs small cons for her ritzy prep-school classmates: getting them out of tests and forging fake hall passes. But by night, Fiona joins her dad on riskier heists: stealing back the clue-filled forgeries her mom scattered across the country before she disappeared. Fiona desperately hopes that her mother will be waiting at the end of the scavenger hunt she left behind.
And they are SO close. Just three more heists remain, but then disaster strikes when Fiona’s dad is captured by the FBI. Desperate to finish the job and save what’s left of her family, Fiona assembles of crew of teen criminals: a master of disguise who can transform into anyone, a talented hacker who only communicates in glares, and a rival con artist with a vendetta against—and possible crush on—Fiona.
All they have to do is perform three nearly impossible heists, solve her mother’s incredibly complex clues, and evade the FBI. Easy, right?
If you could trade lives with any YA character for a day, who would it be and why? What about a week? A month, year, or forever?
An oldie, but a goodie—I’d love to hang out with Nick and Norah and the crazy cast of characters they encounter over the course of the book. Like the novel itself, I think it makes sense to hang out with them during a single, epic night!
What would you do if you spent the day with Fiona? Where would you go to eat, hang out, relax, etc.?
If I spent the day with Fiona, I’d want to run a con with her. Her crew has so much fun on their heists (even though they also experience so much danger), that it would be worth the risk! We’d pull an easy job, switching out a painting in a hotel perhaps, like she does in the first chapter. I’d probably play a guest at the hotel and help cause a distraction? After a successful heist, we’d definitely head to In and Out to get those double doubles we’ve both been craving! Then we’d head to her house, set up some easels, and paint for a few hours while griping about Colin O’Keefe.
If Fiona were to hang out with characters from other YA books, who would they be and why?
I think Fiona would have a great time one upping the crew of Ally Carter’s Heist Society books. I’d love to see a “heist off” competition between both groups. I definitely think Fiona and her crew would win!
What was your favorite bit of research you ended up not using?
In a very early draft of the book (way before I even submitted to publishers), the characters went to a haunted mansion in New Orleans to steal an object that didn’t exist in real life. I did a lot of research on New Orleans and the culture there and really loved the scene and the atmosphere. Ultimately though, I decided to use real objects in the book and so the scene no longer fit. It also took the characters on a weird travel path and the book was better without it. I should note that I did have to make some of the places/objects generic during revisions for legal reasons, but it should be pretty easy to figure out what they are based on!
What is your favorite quote, scene, or moment from The Con Code?
My absolute favorite scene in The Con Code is when Fiona and Colin have challenged each other to an epic con war at school with the ultimate prize: the winner takes all the student clients, the other backs off forever. I really love the way this plays out in the rain where they each think they’ve bested the other but nothing goes as planned for either of them. I love the atmosphere in this scene, the swoony moments, and how clever they are.
Were there alternate endings you considered, or did you always know where the story was headed?
Although the setting is the same and the ultimate outcome is the same, I did rewrite the entire third act of the book to move a major twist that came in the last few chapters much earlier in the novel. Moving the twist earlier gave the characters more agency and allowed the characters (and the reader!) more time to react to the twist and change course since they originally only had about a chapter to do so rather than the entire third act. Additionally, the Epilogue is different (and way more fun!) than the one I originally had.
Have you added this book to your tbr yet? It’s been on mine for forever! Let me know in the comments and have a splendiferous day!