If you’re looking for stories about strong, sassy heroines who tend to find trouble without even trying, then you want to read Larissa Reinhart’s books.
Welcome to Author’s Visits. Today Larissa Reinhart is visiting.
Larissa, A Wall Street Journal bestselling author and 2015 Georgia Author of the Year Best Mystery finalist. She writes the Cherry Tucker Mystery and Maizie Albright Star Detective series and the Finley Goodhart Crime Caper series, and various romantic comedies. She loves books, food, and traveling with her family.
I’ve been waiting to find out about your new book that just released, View to a Chill.
Cherry Tucker suffers from flu-induced visions of murder, while Maizie Albright’s on the hunt for a missing granddaughter whose criminal stockings have long been filled with coal.
Wow, Have Cherry and Maizie in the same book is going to be fantastic. I really can’t wait to get it.
I understand they are making movies in your part of the country.
I live in Peachtree City, Georgia (when I’m not in Japan) and the TV and movie industry has exploded here. Georgia is now the number one state to make movies, surpassing California and New York. About four years ago, the huge UK film company, Pinewood Studios, built their America studios a few miles from my house. Acres and acres of giant soundstages and the like. Now big blockbuster movies, like all the recent Marvel movies, are filmed here. About five miles away in the other direction, is the little town of Senoia and that’s where The Walking Dead films. AMC just bought the studio TWD uses, so I’m sure more AMC television shows will be here. Sony Pictures bought property nearby, too. We started with Fried Green Tomatoes in Senoia back in 1991, and the movie people have been coming here ever since.
I take that back. Actually, Smokey and the Bandit filmed around here back in 1977. We just celebrated the 40th anniversary this summer.
The film industry in a place like small-town Georgia is a such a great setting. Lots of interesting paradoxes. Plus big money means more interesting crime, which is good for mysteries.
Tell us about your book,16 MINUTES, the book in your Maizie Albright Star Detective series.
You know Susan, I have so much fun with these books.
I had this character, Maizie Albright. She’s about 180 degrees different from my redneck artist character, Cherry Tucker. Maizie was raised in California in the movie industry. A child star with an extremely driven stage-mother. Maizie’s daddy remained in Georgia — she’s a child of divorce — and I get my redneck element with him and his family. But he’s the CEO of DeerNose Corp, clothing and accessories scented with deer pee. A corporate redneck. He’s famous in his own right, on the cover of every (fictional) hunting and gaming magazine you can think of. So two driven parents and this young woman who’s spent much of her youth living someone else’s dream. The happiest point in her childhood was starring in this TV show as a teen detective. So after crashing and burning in Hollywood, she returns to Georgia (on judge’s orders) to pursue her own dream: becoming a real-life detective.
In 16 MILLIMETERS, she’s continuing her career-makeover quest as a for-real detective. Wyatt Nash has Maizie working in the office —where the clients are few and far between — while he’s doing the few-and-far-between security solutions. Maizie’s a little bored and a lot frustrated (both career-wise and romantically). When a major movie producer needs a babysitter for his hot mess starlet, Maizie eagerly takes the job. Nash is not happy with the decision. And when her starlet appears dead and then not dead, Maizie scrambles to watch an actress who seems determined to screw up her career plus find this missing corpse. And she keeps finding more bodies. Maizie’s hunting a killer who may be a celebrity stalker. And Maizie might be the next celebrity who gets snuffed.
Was your book research intensive? Did you find some fun facts?
Research is a delicate balance while writing for me because I’ll get sucked into the internet looking for a fact for one sentence. My family was on HGTV’s House Hunters International while we were in Japan (our episode’s called “Living for the Weekend in Nagoya, Japan”) and that’s helped me with some background in how reality shows can be filmed.
Did you find a not so fun fact while researching your book?
I was shocked (ha) at the number of actors who underwent shock treatment, particularly in the 1940s. There’s such a strong correlation between mental illness and artists. I deal with it lightly in the series, mainly in Maizie’s remarks about the stars she’s met in rehab, but I try to deal with it respectfully. There’s a chicken and the egg syndrome between fame and depression. They feed each which I find poignant.
What do you like most about writing? What do you like least?
I love creating story ideas. They’re always popping in my head, which makes it hard to concentrate on the book I’m currently writing. I love the premise of an idea, new characters; when a book feels like it’s writing itself. I sometimes find myself surprised by what happens after I write it. That’s such an exciting tingly feeling.
The readers are the best part of writing, though. When I get an email from a reader who’s been going through a difficult time — an illness, a death, job loss, etc. — and they tell me my books have helped them escape that for a little while…it makes me cry every time. I get so much personal fulfillment in knowing I helped them in this very insignificant way. I’ve been there. Books are my escape, too.
Tell us something fun you like to do.
Now that we’re not traveling around Japan, we spend a lot of weekends seeking out BBQ in Georgia. My husband smokes pulled pork as a serious hobby. We’re huge BBQ fanatics, so we take a lot of pleasure in finding local spots for BBQ.
We are so delighted you visited with us today. Love reading your books, they always give me a much-needed break from my everyday world. Keep up the writing!
Start looking for her next book, The Cupid Caper
Be sure and visit Larissa at https://www.larissareinhart.com/