When your father is a career con man and has raised you on the never ending road of grift, normal is anything but.
Tabitha has been schooled in the art of the con for as far back as she can remember. Lifts and scams, bets and schemes; she knows hundreds of ways to take down a mark and put what was in their pockets into hers. All it’s cost is her name and her past.
Her confidence is put to the test when she finds herself truly alone for the first time in her life, left with nothing but her wit and will to see her through. The only road out of the nowhere she’s stuck in is the only one she knows, where it’s steal or starve at every step. Everything in life costs money. When you can’t get it any other way, you do what it takes to keep a roof over a warm bed you can sleep in with a full belly that doesn’t grumble with hunger. Because it’s that or you’re stuck on the street waiting for the worst.
But she’s wondering, does it have to be this way? Is it possible to unravel the enigma that’s made her a talented hustler with nothing to rely on except the next score, and claim the one thing that was ever honestly hers in the first place? There’s no such thing as easy money, because everything has a cost. And sooner or later, the bill comes due.
Con artists, smooth criminals, people who don’t necessarily steal so much as convince their marks to hand valuables over … they’ve always fascinated me. They probably always will. I love heist and caper stories, and I love real life accounts of people who do the same things just as much. Not because I necessarily approve of what they’re doing, but because of how what they do requires so much nerve and verve. To transport what was in someone else’s pockets into yours takes practice and practice and more practice. It takes courage to do what you know can get you in trouble if you’re caught. Both combine with the flair and panache of a con artist to create something that has a definite allure a ‘common’ criminal never will.
But beyond that, I wanted to focus on not the con artist, but on his kid. What would it be like to be raised on the road, to live the lie twenty-four/seven, year in and year out. Always moving, never using your real name, without a past or even memories of anything but the next mark and score?
I created Tabitha to explore this. And I ‘cast’ her as a teenager because it made the story more compelling to me. By the time someone is in their early or mid twenties they’re a lot more capable, and they’re less sympathetic. But someone who’s “still a kid” comes across differently, and that was definitely something I wanted in Grift Girl Gone. A character with the skills and boldness of someone who’s been trained their whole life to walk the smooth shadows, but who still has a vulnerability and uncertainty to them that makes where they might go next mean more.
This is not a morality tale. It’s the journey of a girl who takes her life in her own hands for the first time, who finds herself forced to make her own decisions without anyone else to lean on. She’s alone in a world that doesn’t have time to care about one more person wandering the wayside of society, and she finds not taking down the next mark isn’t as simple as keeping her hands to herself.
If you’re like me and enjoy capers and heists and con artists, Grift Girl Gone might be a story you’ll enjoy. Follow the link to read a sample. And remember, Kindle Unlimited members can borrow and read for free.