Monday, May 13, 2024

Inspired by actual events… Guest post by Gina X. Grant

It happened to a friend of a friend… 

Ripped from the headlines…

Inspired by actual events…

Back in 2020, my niece excitedly told me, “You’ll never guess what happened to a friend of Justin’s.”

“Do tell,” I said, no idea who Justin was, but always up for a good story.

“Well, he was working out at the gym, and…”

I knew as soon as I heard the story, I knew it was too good not to share with other mystery lovers. So, first chance I got, I turned it into a story. Of course, I added a love interest and a grumpy cop, taking the standard archetypes and turning them on their anthropomorphized heads. If real life failed to provide these things, then I’d just have to do myself. I am a fiction author; I make sh** up!

The result is the funny and heartwarming ‘The Case of the Pilfered Parka,’ one of the selections of 22 terrific short stories included in the anthology, Larceny and Last Chances

I’ve met writers who were loath to change any elements of their stories and rejected suggestions which would have made for better storytelling because they only wanted to report on actual events. There’s definitely a place for truth in writing, but it’s not—by definition—in fiction. 

Me? I don’t feel constrained by actual events, only inspired by them. 

Storytelling isn’t simply about reporting events chronologically. It’s also about delving deeper into human psychology, exploring emotions, expressing worldviews, and making readers think, feel, and question. Now, not every story in Larceny and Last Chancesincludes all of these elements, but taken as a whole, this anthology really delivers.

To read ‘The Case of the Pilfered Parka,’ pre-order your copy of Larceny and Last Chances: 22 Stories of Mystery & Suspense.

About Larceny & Last Chances: 22 Stories of Mystery & Suspense

Publication date: June 18, 2024

Sometimes it’s about doing the right thing. Sometimes it’s about getting even. Sometimes it’s about taking what you think you deserve. And sometimes, it’s your last, best, hope. Edited by Judy Penz Sheluk and featuring stories by Christina Boufis, John Bukowski, Brenda Chapman, Susan Daly, Wil A. Emerson, Tracy Falenwolfe, Kate Fellowes, Molly Wills Fraser, Gina X. Grant, Karen Grose, Wendy Harrison, Julie Hastrup, Larry M. Keeton, Charlie Kondek, Edward Lodi, Bethany Maines, Gregory Meece, Cate Moyle, Judy Penz Sheluk, KM Rockwood, Kevin R. Tipple, and Robert Weibezahl. 

Find it at:


About Gina X Grant: Gina X. Grant writes witty fiction both super and natural. Storm Grant writes engaging gay fiction, more light than dark. Gina/Storm lives just north of Toronto, Canada. Find her at

About the editor: Judy Penz Sheluk is a former journalist and magazine editor and the bestselling author of two mystery series, several short stories, and two books on publishing. She is also the publisher and editor of four Superior Shores Anthologies. Judy is a member of Sisters in Crime, International Thriller Writers, the Short Mystery Fiction Society, and Crime Writers of Canada, where she served as Chair. Find out more at 


Judy Penz Sheluk said...

Thanks for posting and hosting!

KM Rockwood said...

We have any number of sources of inspiration for our stories. When the story is based on a real situation, that may be the basis for the story, but artistic license lets us add and subtract whatever elements we feel makes for a good story.

If we are reporting an actual event, that's non-fiction, an entirely different type of story. Non-fiction doesn't have room for invention.

Anonymous said...

Sounds intriguing. I’m looking forward to reading it, Gina.

JeffreyRoundAuthor said...

Great stuff! Keep making s**t up!