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A Grifter's Sons

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All Due Respect        

An Imprint of Down & Out Books

Publisher: Chris Rhatigan

Shotgun Honey        

An Imprint of Down & Out Books

Publisher: Ron Earl Phillips

In a continuing series of features from our authors, Jim Wilsky, co-author of the “A Grifter’s Song” series with Frank Zafiro, relates the story of “A True Grifter’s Song.”

I have a little story to share further below. It’s missing some details for good reasons.

First though, a little setup.

In 2018, my good friend and all-around great guy Frank Zafiro asked me if I was interested in contributing to a new book series that he created about two grifters. Sounded great of course, but I really had to think about it.

It wasn’t exactly in my wheelhouse. If I even have a wheelhouse. I mean sure, I write crime fiction, or attempt to at least, but this would have to be an entirely different story of criminal enterprise. In my stories, more times than not, there’s always a healthy dose of all sorts of nasty intimidation, blood-letting, murder and mayhem taking place. Not real subtle stuff.

Grifters, as everybody knows are smoother, a little more sophisticated. They play a game that isn’t won by force but by deception. The protagonist doesn’t use an axe handle to beat someone to a bloody pulp in an old farmhouse or use a Mossberg to blow a hole through a guy in a dark, big city alley. So, I worried about my ability (nothing new there) to write that type of story well.

Then again, the season one writers would include Frank, JD Rhoades, Lawrence Kelter, Gary Phillips and Colin Conway. All being far more talented writers than myself, which is always a good thing. It would be published by Down & Out Books too, also a huge plus in my book.

So, I really did have to think about it but only for a New York minute. Then I jumped at the chance.

Bottom line, I believe we can all relate in some way to being on either end of a grift. Small stuff, not breaking laws or committing crimes but also not something to be especially proud of either. I know that when I read all the stories in Frank’s series, it made me think of something.

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