Interview with Larissa Reinhart, Author of the Cherry Tucker mystery series
Hijack in Abstract is the third mystery in Larissa Reinhart’s Cherry Tucker series, following Portrait of a Dead Guy and Still Life in Brunswick Stew (all out from Henery Press). Larissa answers our questions about the latest installment of this highly entertaining series.
What are readers who haven’t met Cherry yet in for?
I’d say some hijinx and some shenanigans. And probably some monkey business. Actually, Cherry Tucker is a classically trained artist living in her hometown of Halo in rural Georgia. When her Uncle Will, the Sheriff, asks her to make a composite sketch of a hijacking suspect, Cherry gets involved when the witness is murdered. She feels called to help the witness’s family. At the same time, she’s scrambling to clear her name when her high school nemesis calls Cherry out as a “pervert artist” for some classical nude paintings. And she’s dealing with the aftermath of a breakup. And some other stuff because she can’t leave well enough alone.
What are your favorite parts of Cherry to write? And what parts drive you crazy?
I love her sass. I wish I could pull that off. And I always zip through her action scenes. She doesn’t have much fear and can talk herself into anything, so it’s fun to write those scenes. A reader once said, “In a horror movie, Cherry is the girl who’ll go to the basement while you’re screaming at her, don’t do it.”
Her relationship issues do drive me a little crazy. I want her to be happy, settle down, and have babies. But girls who will follow the killer into the basement, shouldn’t have babies. That’s just too dangerous for the babies.
One of our favorite parts of your series is the authentic Southern setting. What kind of research did you do to make it so realistic, and did you take any inspiration from your own home?
Well, I live outside Atlanta so I get regular dip in the South every day. My hometown is a small farm town and my dad was from farming even though he was a teacher. He spoke in metaphors and idioms. Redneck is in my roots, so country and southern are the two things I don’t have to research. Although I do research Southern food, but that’s more like self-indulgence. What Southern dish can I place in front of Cherry, thereby torturing me? Cherry’s hunger sounds are actually coming through my stomach. I think I have four Pinterest boards for Southern food.
What can readers expect next from you (and Cherry)?
I’m working on Death in Perspective, Cherry’s #4, which should be out next spring or early summer. Cherry’s got a gig doing set design for a drama teacher at a exclusive private school. A phantom texter is causing mayhem among the staff and students. And of course, Cherry has plenty of mayhem in her personal life. Can’t give any hints there, though…
For those who don’t want to wait until 2014, I have a Cherry Tucker prequel in the mystery anthology Heartache Motel, releasing December 10. In “Quick Sketch,” readers can get a taste of Cherry and Todd’s relationship as they head to Vegas (not knowing about their upcoming wedding) with a pit stop in Memphis at the Heartache Motel. Todd’s cousin has fallen to a poker scam and Cherry and Todd want to bust the scammers and save Christmas for his cousin’s family.
What books are currently sitting on your nightstand?
So many books… I feel so lucky because I get to beta read for some talented friends. I’ve got early manuscripts from LynDee Walker, Gretchen Archer, and Terri L. Austin that I’m tearing through. Love, love books that make me literally LOL. As for the books I actually pay for….I tend to get obsessive about authors and series. Right now I’m on an Ann Charles kick. I can’t stop downloading her books. She’s really funny, too.
Thanks so much for having me on Shelf Pleasure! I really enjoyed your questions!
Growing up in a small town, Larissa Reinhart couldn’t wait to move to an exotic city far from corn fields. After moving around the US and Japan, now she loves to write about rough hewn characters that live near corn fields, particularly sassy women with a penchant for trouble. She lives near Atlanta with her minions and Cairn Terrier, Biscuit. Visit her website or find her chatting with the Little Read Hens on Facebook.
Learn more and order your copy of Hijack in Abstract here.
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