I’ve wanted to write this book for a long time, and it took a few years to get right. The book originally started off as a family heist book. Its current form, as a family hijinks novel with some romance and a touch of mystery, is the third version of the book. I’ve never had a book take so long to figure out what it wanted to be.
The idea came from a rewatch of the movie, Ocean’s 8. At one point, Sandra Bullock’s character talks about how her entire family, except for one person, is made up of grifters. I remember thinking, what if I wrote a book about a con artist getting out of prison and instead of going off to pull a new con, she goes back home to her dysfunctional, messy scamming family and tries to get them to go legitimate? The idea of a con artist getting out of prison and going home to fix her grifting family seemed too good not to try writing it. And Moorewood Family Rules was born.
The research for this book was pretty fun. I spent a lot of time (probably too much) looking at real estate listings in Rhode Island to get the setting in my head. The house Jillian lives in was roughly based on a real house that was owned by relatives of John Jacob Astor, who died on the Titantic. As for the other details in the book that required research — I’m a lawyer-turned-author. Coming up with ways to break the law always entertaining for me.