Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Larissa Reinhart Interview



What is the title of your newest book? How many books have you published?
Thanks so much for the interview, Christine! My latest story is A View to a Chill, a Cherry Tucker and Maizie Albright interconnected mystery novella. It appeared in the anthology, The 12 Slays of Christmas. Because 12 Slays was a fundraiser just during December, I’ll have it available as a standalone, sometime in January. My most recent full-length novel was the second in the Maizie Albright Star Detective series, 16 Millimeters. 16 released this past October, and I’ll have the third book in the series, NC-17, out in 2018.

To date, I have six novels and three novellas in the Cherry Tucker series and two novels and one novella in the Maizie Albright Star Detective series. However, one novella (A View to a Chill) is shared by both characters. :)

I also have a short story that’s only available to my newsletter subscribers, Pig’N a Poke, that’s from my Finley Goodhart series. She’s a character I’m developing and I just today decided to give Finley another go with another short story. Her background is complicated, and the stories require some planning because she’s a con-artist gone good (sort-of), which I find harder to write than murder for some reason.

How did you become interested in writing?
I’ve always been interested. Like literally. At the age of four I was writing lists of words and by first grade writing stories. I sold little magazines to our neighbors in second grade and won a national writing contest by the Girl Scouts in fourth or fifth grade. I’ve never not had stories going through my head if that makes sense. I just love storytelling.

What is a day in the life of an author like? Do you write a certain number of words, do you write in the morning or evening, etc?
I’m always curious about this with other writers. I think they must not sleep. My day is pretty boring on the surface. I’ve got two girls — one in middle school, who plays on a travel club volleyball team, and one in high school, who’s in orchestra and studies more than I thought humanly possible (for a teenager) — and my day revolves around them. When I’m on deadline, I’m up before dawn to get time in before they’re up. After I get them off to school, which starts around 6:30 and ends around 8 am, I say hello to my friends on Facebook, check email, etc. My plan is to begin writing at 9 am, which means turning off the internetsywebs. Sometimes that works, sometimes that happens closer to 11 am, depending if I’m in the middle of a release.

By 11, I feel like I need a nap, but I soldier on until 11:30 when my husband comes home for lunch. Around 12:30, I make another plan of attack, but feel a greater need for a nap. I fool around with not napping and trying to write until 3 pm, when I succumb to a nap until the first child arrives home at 3:30. Then I become a chauffeur until somewhere between 6 and 8 pm. Somewhere in there or after is dinner. Around 9 pm, my husband and I try to watch a TV show but are interrupted by children needing things. Or the dog needing things. We try again around 10 pm. At 11, I give up to read in bed until around midnight. And the whole thing starts again the next day.

And the weekends…it’s all volleyball starting at 4 am when we have to be God knows where at 7 am. Unless it’s not volleyball and then it’s laundry and cleaning toilets.

I love my life, but it’s not all wine and roses. Unless it’s Mother’s Day. And now that we’re in volleyball, it’s not even on Mother’s Day.

Do you plot the entire book first, then write or plot as you go?
I try to plot every time I write, thinking it’ll be more efficient, but it just doesn’t work for me. I figure out the crime and inciting event that kicks things off. I know my main characters and their background. At that point, I get antsy to write. I think out things better as I’m writing. So usually, I pretty much wing it.

Do you use real people and places as models for your books?
I never use real people. Occasionally my places are real. Like when Cherry Tucker went to The Varsity because I know she’d love The Varsity and she was in Atlanta anyway (that was in Hijack in Abstract). And of course, the state of Georgia is real. (I’d hope you’d know that. lol).

But I like fictional places and people. Particularly when you’re murdering people (fictionally). I’ve used characteristics I’ve seen in people. But those are generalized, not a particular person. However, I’ve used real names. With my fan group, The Mystery Minions, I have a contest with each book where I use one of their names for a character I’ve already written. That’s fun.

Who is your favorite author?
You’re seriously asking me that? Can’t I have five? Maybe Elmore Leonard. It depends on the day and what I feel like reading. I like all kinds of genres, so that’s a really hard question.

How do you promote your books?
I have a wonderful group of readers. Many of them are my friends on Facebook, on my Facebook fan page The Mystery Minions, or follow my newsletter. I try to keep them up to date on what’s going on and reward them with early sneak peeks and drawings. They’re hugely supportive. I also have a review team, and they read and review my advanced readers. I’m not much of a marketer, so that’s who I rely on the most.

I also have a lot of writer friends, so we cross-promote, which I love because I can reward my readers with books from authors who might be new to them, and I can meet new readers through my writing friends. I don’t do a lot of ads or anything like that, mostly because I’ve not been successful at those.

I have no background in business (I was once a high school teacher), so my marketing motto has always been “be friendly and nice.” This is also my personal motto.

What is the title of your latest book and when will it be published?
NC-17 is the next in the Maizie Albright Star Detective series, and I’m hoping to have that out in late spring. I just started a short story for Valentine’s Day (if I can get it ready before then), A Cupid’s Con Caper. And I’m working on a romantic comedy called Prom Night that will be part of a trilogy, although I have no idea when those will be published.

Thanks so much for the interview! That was fun.
For a review of Portrait of a Dead Guy, click here

1 comment:

Larissa Reinhart said...

Thanks so much for the interview, Christine! That was fun!