Wednesday, January 22

#AuthorInterview: Larissa Reinhart!

Hiya, WordWrangler readers! I'm really excited to welcome Larissa Reinhart to the blog today! Larissa's agreed to a session in the round corral, answering our invasive questions, and then she's sharing an excerpt from her new cozy mystery Hijack in Abstract, a Cherry Trucker Mystery.

Okay, then, here we go!

Liz: What woman alive or dead would you want to have dinner with and what would you talk about?

Larissa: Hey y’all! Thanks so much for having me on WordWranglers. I’m thrilled to be here!

Liz, that’s a hard question. The honest answer would be one of my writer friends like Terri L. Austin, LynDee Walker, or Gretchen Archer, because I don’t get to see them often and having dinner with them is a cherished event for me. We usually meet up at a conference and we chat about just about anything under the sun. And I usually end up snorting because they are all so funny. You’ll find some of us at Malice Domestic this year, and I encourage anybody attending to join us, because we always have fun. Always.

D'Ann: What was the first seed of an idea you had for your book? How did it develop?

Larissa: Hey D’Ann. HIJACK IN ABSTRACT is my third Cherry Tucker mystery. The seed for the idea came from driving my kids around and while following a beer truck, I entertained myself with ideas for a truck heist. Then the title popped into my head, and I knew I had to save it. This actually came to me before I wrote the second Cherry Tucker book and while I was still shopping the first book, PORTRAIT OF A DEAD GUY. By the time I was ready to write #3, I tossed out my original idea, turned to a friend who is a special agent with the Department of Labor, and asked, “Tell me everything you know about hijackings.” He did and I carved my story from bits and pieces of his stories.

Kristina: What is your favorite genre to read?

Larissa: Kristina, to be honest I don’t have a favorite genre, unless you can count fiction as a genre. I tend to stick on an author’s voice and characters, and I love a series. I don’t really care if it’s romance, mystery, Urban Fantasy, thriller, or literary fiction, but if I find an author/character/series I like, I’ll read everything at once. Right now I’m on an Urban Fantasy binge. I OD on a genre, then switch. I like to write in different genres, too.

Margie: What is your favorite way to get over a writing block or hurdle?

Larissa: Hey Margie, that’s a great question. For me, writing blocks usually occur when I’ve taken the story in the wrong direction. I’m not a plotter. I’m character driven, so most of my blocks can be solved by trying to put myself in the mind of the characters and making the story flow from their responses to whatever situation I’ve put them in. I do this not only for my heroine, Cherry Tucker, but for her friends and particularly, the villain. If the story seems like it’s stopped, I go back to read what I’ve written and mull over where I went wrong. Usually it’s because I tried to force something and not let the characters speak for themselves.

Shawn: How much of you is in your characters?

Larissa: Hey Shawn. I guess there’s a little of me in every character, because I make the story flow from the characters’ decisions and actions, and in order to do that, I have to put myself in that character’s point of view. However, I’m nothing like any of my characters. Does that make sense? I’m not courageous, sassy, daring, or charismatic. I never go looking for trouble. I have to force myself to think in extremes. I am pretty stubborn, though, so I guess I have that in common.

About Hijack in Abstract:

Humor, Hijackings and a Handful of Hunks . . . 

With a classical series sold and a portrait commissioned, Cherry Tucker’s art career is in Georgia overdrive. But when the sheriff asks Cherry to draw a composite sketch of a hijacker, her life takes a hairpin as the composite leads to a related murder, her local card-sharking buddy Max Avtaikin becomes bear bait and her nemesis labels the classical series “pervert art.”

Cherry’s jamming gears between trailer parks, Atlanta mansions, and trucker bars searching for the hijacker who left a widow and orphan destitute. While she seeks to help the misfortunate and save her local reputation, Cherry’s hammer down attitude has her facing the headlights of an oncoming killer.


“The fast-paced plot careens through small-town politics and deadly rivalries, with zany side trips through art-world shenanigans and romantic hijinx. Like front-porch lemonade, Reinhart’s cast of characters offers a perfect balance of tart and sweet.” – Sophie Littlefield, Bestselling Author of A Bad Day for Sorry


   With my messenger bag bumping my back, I hugged my chest, figuring it best not to give an extra show to Shep and the boys. I followed Uncle Will down the hallway, waiting while he unlocked a door. The door opened and two faces turned to look at us. One I didn’t recognize, but judging by his despondent expression, I figured he was probably in a mess of trouble. The other person, another deputy, I identified immediately. Hard not to recognize those brown ochre curls with the highlights I had decided were transparent oxide-red lake. Or the lean, muscled body, much like Michelangelo’s David. Or by the strong jaw buttressing two adorable dimples that made a rare showing.
   Unfortunately, I knew Deputy Luke Harper a little too well.
   He gave me a scant nod and turned back to the perp.
   My hand snuck back to my hair and yanked on a particularly tall cowlick in back. I gritted my teeth and gave myself a quick lecture not to make a scene. We had aired our irreconcilable differences behind the local roadhouse, Red’s County Line Tap, a few months ago and I had not quite recovered.
   “That’s Tyrone Coderre,” said Uncle Will. “He’s going to give you a description to draw. We need a composite sketch.”
   Uncle Will stopped me before I entered the room and pulled me to the side. “Can I leave Deputy Harper in there with you or do I need to call in another officer? Harper’s the one who picked up Coderre, so this is his investigation.”
   “I’m quite capable of separating my personal and professional life,” I said, tilting my chin so I could eyeball Uncle Will. “You might want to ask the same of him.”
   “I trust Luke not to screw up his job. You are another story.”
   I gave him a “why, I never” gasp.
   “I’m going to be watching through the two-way.” He tapped my messenger bag. “Lucky for you, I don’t know other artists to call during the middle of the night. Wouldn’t want to be accused of nepotism. But I want a sketch while the memory is still fresh in Coderre’s mind. Don’t disappoint me, Cherry.”
   “So, this is an important investigation?” Excitement zipped through my veins and made my fingers tingle. “I won’t let you down. You can even deputize me if you want.”
   Uncle Will chuckled. “Just draw us a good picture. That’s plenty helpful.”
   “Yes, sir,” I said and snuck by him to enter the room. I nodded to the man in the black sweat suit behind the table and held out my hand. “Hello, Mr. Coderre. I’m Cherry Tucker, a local artist.”
   “Don’t shake his hand,” barked Luke. “Are you crazy?”
   Tyrone Coderre’s cuffed hands retreated below the table, and I blew out a hard breath.
   Looked like it was going to be a long night. At least the criminal had manners.

   Couldn’t say the same for the cop.

Buy the Book:  Amazon | Barnes & Noble

All about Larissa:

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.

HIJACK IN ABSTRACT is the third in the Cherry Tucker Mystery Series from Henery Press, following STILL LIFE IN BRUNSWICK STEW (May 2013) and PORTRAIT OF A DEAD GUY, a 2012 Daphne du Maurier finalist. QUICK SKETCH, a Cherry Tucker prequel to PORTRAIT, is in the mystery anthology THE HEARTACHE MOTEL (December 2013).

Larissa lives near Atlanta with her minions and Cairn Terrier, Biscuit. Visit her website or find her chatting with the Little Read Hens on Facebook.

Find Larissa Online: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads


  1. Welcome to the corral, Larissa. I loved your answers!

  2. Hi, Larissa, thank you for being our guest today!

  3. Hey y'all! Thanks so much for having me on today! Love your blog!

  4. What a fun interview! Great answers, as always. We do have fun. And we always eat well, too! :) Can’t wait to see you!

  5. Enjoyed the interview. Larissa, best wishes with your book!