Don’t Get Caught
Author: Kurt Dinan
Release Date: April 1, 2015
Publishers Sourcebooks Fire
Describe your book in 140 characters or less?
A high school nobody recruits a crew of misfits for heists and pranks to get revenge on the mysterious Chaos Club. #DontGetCaught
How did you come up with the idea for Don’t Get Caught?
Look, who hasn’t wanted to rob a bank? Or at least hasn’t thought about it? I can’t be the only one, right? Right? So, I suppose Don’t Get Caught is my way of robbing a bank without risking actual jail time because, let me make this clear, I would not do well in prison. I love capers, heists, and schemes, and while the crew in this novel aren’t robbing banks, they are satisfying my criminal thoughts by doing the teenage equivalent of bank robbery--wrecking havoc in their high school.
Tell us about the main character.
Max is a high school nobody, a kid who’s smart enough and nice enough to get by, but who doesn’t really fit in anywhere. So basically, he’s me at sixteen. But what Max has that I certainly didn’t have is a genius-level ability to scheme and a newly discovered gift for leading misfits. He’s underestimated by everyone, a fact that works to his advantage when he decides it’s time to write his name in the wet cement of the universe by destroying a forty-year-old secret society.
Did your class in high school pull any memorable pranks? Or is there one you wish you had pulled?
My prank life didn’t begin until college when I helped mastermind a promotion for a fake campus concert that almost led to my arrest. But in my final year of high school, the six-hundred members of my senior class were crowded onto bleachers for an all-class picture. I look at that picture now and see an opportunity for chaos. I mean, how much would it have cost to hire an airplane to drop a hundred gallons of water at the precise moment the picture was taken? Or to organize a group of kids to all wear neon shirts and arrange themselves into something profane within the crowd? It’s missed opportunities like this that keep me up at night.
What books formed your thinking or reflected who you were as a child and teen reader?
I read a lot of early Stephen King probably before I was old enough, and then through high school it was mostly comic books and classics. I do specifically remember reading Helter Skelter during my junior year, dragging that non-fiction monster around with me for a month or so. Looking back on it now, that’s probably all of the evidence needed to explain why I didn’t have a girlfriend in high school.
About Don’t Get Caught:
17-year-old Max Cobb is sick of being “Just Max”—the kind of guy whose resume boasts a measly 2.5 GPA and a deep love of heist films. So when an invitation appears in his locker to join the anonymous, untraceable, epic prank-pulling Chaos Club, Max jumps at the opportunity to leave “Just Max” in the dust.
Except that the invite is really a set-up, and Max—plus the 4 other kids who received similar invitations—are apprehended by school security for defacing the water tower. This time, Max has had enough. Time for Heist Rule #6:
Always Get Payback.
Let the prank war begin...
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