Building a Grifter
by Seleste DeLaney
Gaming for Keeps, she didn’t really fit with the “look” of TRAIT. We had boss-man Marron, Cal the sexy nerd, and Trevor the brooding linebacker, but I knew she was a necessary component to the team. (And yes, my editor at the time questioned her presence.)
So, even though I knew she was different when I wrote the first book, I wasn’t at the time, quite sure how. It was only when I started thinking about how a spy organization could really use a beautiful woman that I started thinking about the show Leverage (which I loved) and the (much older show) Pretender. I immediately knew Marissa was a con artist—a grifter. A person who lures in others by pretending to be someone else. But that wasn’t enough of a “trait” for TRAIT, and the abilities on Pretender seemed too far-fetched, even for my stuff.
|The Leverage crew|
The hardest part of Marissa’s character was figuring out her past. Why was she trained like this? How did she get caught? How did she feel about it? And what was haunting her about her past? Once all those pieces came together, her half of Conning for Keeps practically wrote itself. Of all the characters I’ve written, she’s one of the most alive in my mind. (Though I will admit, I had to tone down some of her eccentricities in order to get the book to earn a pass from my editor LOL)
Conning for Keeps by Seles te deLaney
Book #2 in the Agents of TRAIT series
Secret Agent Marissa Jones has a gift. A con artist to the core, after deep hypnosis she can turn into someone else entirely. Marisa’s gift has gotten her into hot water over the years, but now more so than ever. With her smoking hot partner by her side, she needs to convince him that not only is she her true self, but also that she can be trusted—even in spite of her past.
…or traitors to the cause?
Trevor Harris has his own issues with the mission, he’s got revenge to seek, a cursed painting to secure, and Marissa’s sugary-sweet alter-ego to ignore. But when he releases Marisa from her mental cage and things get a little too hot, he ends up finding out what falling for a con artist really means—bigger trouble than ever before.
After that, she occupied herself with short stories for a while, and then poetry until after she had earned a degree in chemistry, spent time as a high school teacher, and became a mother of two. Then she delved into writing fiction once more.
She never lost her love of the fantastic, and her stories now always reach into other realms. The worlds and people she creates occupy as much of her time as the real world, and she is most fortunate to have a family that understands her idiosyncrasies and loves her anyway.
You can find Seleste on her website, Goodreads and Twitter.