MY INTERVIEW WITH AUTHOR LARISSA REINHART
What’s your name and what genre would you consider your books to be?
Hi, thanks for the interview! Larissa Reinhart. I write humorous mysteries. I’ve got three series and they’re each a little different. A Cherry Tucker Mystery are Southern cozy mysteries. Maizie Albright Star Detective are romantic comedy mysteries. And Finley Goodhart Crime Capes are romantic crime thrillers.
Tell me about your book. How did you come up with that (story, angle, idea)?
NC-17 is the third book in the Maizie Albright Star Detective series, but the fourth story (Maizie’s in a Christmas interconnected mystery, too). 17 releases December 4, 2018.
In NC-17, Maizie’s having a very bad week. It begins with an explosive bank heist that her mentor, Wyatt Nash (and not-so-secret crush), unsuccessfully tries to stop, leaving him in a coma. While she’s dealing with the struggling business alone, she takes on new clients: teen stars of a hot YouTube channel called Bigfoot Trackers. Their producer/director/and twenty-five-year-old star, Chandler, is missing. The police think Chandler flaked out, but the teens think otherwise.
Maizie has her own suspicions about the new celebrity retreat where their missing person was last seen. Particularly when she learns her ex-fiancé has been hired to run the Center. Kind of an issue when she thought Oliver was in prison. Kind of an issue when Nash, the man of her dreams, is out of commission.
While Maizie’s looking for a missing Youtube star, she’s wrangling her mother’s wedding, assuaging an overzealous probation officer, and struggling to keep Nash Security Solutions solvent.
Lots of spinning plates!
How did you get interested in writing this particular genre (historical novels, mysteries, sci-fi, children’s books, etc.)?
I like humor, romance, and suspense in books, so I think combining the three in my series is a natural extension of what I like to read.
What kind of research did you do for this book?
I had a fun time taking my family to the Expedition: Bigfoot museum in Blue Ridge, Georgia, a two-hour drive from our home. It was fascinating and for any Bigfoot fans, I highly recommend the museum!
Can you tell me about your Series?
Maizie was the star of a hit teen detective show and a reality-TV celebrity and ended up in legal trouble. A judge took pity on her and sent her back to live with her dad in Black Pine, Georgia, where she was to find a new career that didn’t have anything to do with celebrity life. She chose private investigations, naturally. Unfortunately, Hollywood followed Maizie in the form of her stage-monster manager/mother. And because Hollywood has landed in Georgia for real. (I live between The Walking Dead and the Marvel superheroes, literally.)
Do you have a favorite book out of this series?
Remi, her six-year-old half-sister. She’s a pistol and was literally named after her father’s hunting rifle (a Remington). Maizie lives with her dad’s family in his massive cabin and huge property off Black Pine lake. Her father owns DeerNose, a hunting apparel company that scents the clothing with deer pee.
Where did you get the inspiration/idea for your series?
Mainly because we’ve had this influx from Hollywood here in my hometown of Peachtree City, Georgia. When I got the idea, Pinewood Studios was being built less than ten minutes from my house. That’s where they film all the Marvel movies and other big budget films. Ten minutes in the other direction is the town of Senoia, where The Walking Dead is filmed. We’ve had a lot of other TV shows and movies filmed around here and it’s really impacted our area.
Was it always meant to become a series?
Yes. When I came up with the idea, I was talking to an agent about doing another humorous mystery series like my Cherry Tucker Mystery series.
What’s a typical working day like for you? When and where do you write? Do you set a daily writing goal?
I have two daughters, one in middle school and one in high school. The middle schooler is on a travel volleyball team and I’m Team Mom. My primary job is mother, so I write when they are in school. And when they’re not in school, I’m driving them all over or doing other things in my community.
I do have daily writing goals and treat my writing as a business. I work every school day and when I need to meet deadlines, I get up early and work late at night.
I mostly write in an inherited Danish Modern chair with a matching footstool. My brain works better when my feet are up.
Do you have a new book in the making and if so, what’s the name of your upcoming book?
I’m researching the next Finley Goodhart Crime Caper, which is my third and newest series. The first in that series, THE CUPID CAPER, came out last year (the prequel story, PIG’N A POKE, is free for my newsletter subscribers). No name yet.
I’m also working on a women’s fiction/romantic comedy series. That one has a name, but I’m keeping it close to my chest for now.
How important are character names to you in your books? Is there a special meaning to any of the names?
Very important. Cherry Tucker, Maizie Albright, and Finley Goodhart are all names that just popped into my head. The other characters’ names in their series took more research, particularly Finley’s. Because she’s an ex-con artist, her love interest is a con artist, and her father is a dishonest sheriff, I took liberties with Robin Hood character names.
Is there a genre that you’ve been wanting to experiment with?
I’ve written in a few other genres without attempting to publish those manuscripts. They’ve all had an element of suspense, romance, and humor. But now I’m dropping the suspense for just romance and humor with my romantic comedy series.
What is the hardest part of writing for you?
Sitting in a chair. Literally.
What do you think of book trailers? Do you have a trailer or do you intend to create one for your own book?
I love book trailers! My publisher just started making them for my new releases. NC-17 has one here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1wlrcWxfCWc
What do you consider to be your best accomplishment?
I’d like to say my children, but they are not finished yet.
What’s the best thing about being an author?
All the reading!
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Sitting in front of a computer when I’m not visiting my children in college.
Have you always liked to write?
Pretty much always! My mother kept the lists of words I wrote as a 4-year-old and little stories I wrote as a first grader.
What writing advice do you have for aspiring authors?
Reading in and outside your genre. Write every day. Join a professional writing organization.
If you didn’t like writing books, or weren’t any good at it, what would you like to do for a living?
I’d still be a mother. But the pay’s not so good. 😉
Can you give us a few tasty morsels from your work-in-progress?
Here’s a line from NC-17 by Maizie’s salon friend, Tiffany.
“Love makes you stupid. Don’t be stupid,” said Tiffany. “And don’t date guys who say they’re picking up pizza and rob a convenience store on the way home. Never works out.”
Where did your love of books come from?
I’ve always loved stories. That’s why I became a history teacher because I loved hearing the stories.
Does writing energize or exhaust you?
Sometimes both. It depends on the time of day and if I know what’s going on in the scene.
What is your writing Kryptonite?
1:30 pm. That’s when I really feel the need for a nap.
Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?
My readers are pretty clear about what they want and I try to deliver that, but I also like to keep them on their toes. They never want a new series, but so far they’ve like all the new stuff.
What other authors are you friends with, and how do they help you become a better writer?
One of the best parts about becoming a writer is my writing friends. I’m in a great mystery author/readers group on Facebook called SLEUTHING WOMEN…READ, SOLVE, REPEAT (check us out!) My closest friends are Terri L Austin, Ritter Ames, and Gretchen Archer. Terri and I are critique partners and we bounce ideas off each other. Ritter’s a fabulous editor and knows the publishing business really well. Gretchen makes me laugh.
If you were writing a book about your life, what would the title be?
There She Goes Again.
What question have you always wanted to be asked in an interview? How would you answer that question?
Have you ever been bitten by a monkey?
Where can your fans find you and follow??
I’m also on Facebook: (official) https://www.facebook.com/AuthorLarissaReinhart/ (personal)
and Instagram: http://instagram.com/larissareinhart
Thanks so much for having me on!