The ExPat Returneth

Friday, October 26, 2012


My author buddy LynDee Walker tagged me in this interview game about upcoming novels (her debut, FRONT PAGE FATALITY, is an humorous mystery launching in January), and I thought it would be fun to share a few tidbits from PORTRAIT OF A DEAD GUY. I tagged some other authors at the bottom, so be sure to check out their answers (and their books!).

What is the title of your book?
PORTRAIT OF A DEAD GUY. Amazingly, the book started and ended with the same title. 

Where did the idea come from for the book?
I was living in Japan at the time and working on another manuscript, but wanting to write something about small town Georgia. During my long drives to and from taking my children to school, Cherry Tucker spoke to me. The idea of the coffin portait came to me after my father's funeral.

What genre does your book fall under?
Mystery. Specifically "amateur detective mystery," although some call it a cozy. I feel Cherry Tucker is very amateur and not a very cozy gal, so I like amateur detective mystery. 

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
I'm horrible at this kind of thing, because in my brain, my characters are amorphous, like in a dream. So I cheated and hopped on Facebook and asked my readers. Here's what they said:
Cherry Tucker: Kristin Chenoweth, Jaime Presley, Emma Stone
Luke: Adrien Grenier, Gilles Marini, Shia Labouf
Todd: Michael Pitt (Jimmy from Boardwalk Empire), Ryan Reynolds
Max: James Gandolfini, Bobby Cannavale (Rosetti from Boardwalk Empire)
What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

When Cherry Tucker competes for a portrait commission of a local family’s murdered son, she doesn’t realize the project includes an old flame that might be her subject’s killer.
Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
It was published by Henery Press on August 28, 2012. The second Cherry Tucker mystery, STILL LIFE IN BRUNSWICK STEW, releases May 2013.
How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
About three months over a six month period. I was moving from Japan to the US while writing, so there were about three months between where nothing but thinking happened as I packed and unpacked.
What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
A redneck Stephanie Plum or a white trash version of Nancy Martin's Blackbird Sisters Mystery series. It also fits so well with two other mystery series from my publishing house — Terri L. Austin's The Rose Strickland Mysteries and LynDee Walker's Nichelle Clarke's Headlines in Heels series -- that we're doing a anthology of novellas together.
Who or what inspired you to write this book?
Cherry Tucker's loud mouth, country music, and my father's funeral.
What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
I've got an obnoxious goat, if you're into that sort of thing. And beer.

Tag! You’re it!


  1. You know how much I love Cherry, and I can't wait to read Still Life! Great post.

    I love your actors list, except for Luke. If I were your casting director, Luke would be played by Channing Tatum. ;)

    1. I have to admit I don't really know Channing Tatum. I think I need to look him up.

  2. I agree, Channing Tatum would be a wonderful Luke. He's got expressive eyes and a can pull off a bad boy vibe without breaking a sweat.

    I've been racking by brain for someone has Cherry's sass and chutzpah. Kristin Chenoweth is a good choice. She played a slap-your-face sassy character in GCB.