Larissa considers herself lucky to have taught English in Japan, escaped a ferocious monkey in Thailand, studied archaeology in Egypt, and survived teaching high school history in the US. However, adopting her daughters from China has been her most rewarding experience. After moving around the Midwest, the South and Japan, she now lives in Georgia with her husband, daughters, two frogs, two fish, and Biscuit, a Cairn Terrier.
She loves small town characters with big attitudes, particularly sassy women with a penchant for trouble. The Cherry Tucker Mystery series with Henery Press begins with Portrait of a Dead Guy (August 28, 2012), a 2012 Daphne du Maurier finalist, a 2012 The Emily finalist, and a 2011 Dixie Kane Memorial winner. Following Portrait are Still Life in Brunswick Stew, (May 21, 2013), the 2014 Georgia Author of the Year and Silver Falchion nominee, Hijack in Abstract (November 5, 2013), and Death in Perspective (June 24, 2014) follow. The Cherry Tucker novella, Quick Sketch, in the mystery anthology The Heartache Motel (December 10, 2013) is a prequel to Portrait. The fifth Cherry Tucker mystery, The Body in the Landscape, will launch in late 2015.
Professional photos by Scott Asano http://scottasano.com
The Long Story:
The love of writing began early for me, culminating in high school with a column on the local paper. However, working at a newspaper office helped me to discover that although I loved making up stories, I didn't particularly enjoy writing journalism. After graduating from Orion High School, I experimented with different majors at Truman State University (Kirksville, MO), finishing in four years with a B.A. in History and minor in Anthropology.
With a quick wedding to my college sweetheart, we moved to Madison to attend graduate school at University of Wisconsin in Art History. I realized with two art history degrees, we would never find jobs in the same state, let alone city, so I tried my hand at a degree in art, had another epiphany that I wasn't artist material, and switched into a teaching program. I gained my teacher's degree in Secondary Social Studies at University of Missouri, St. Louis. Later, I added a certificate to teach Gifted and Talented. With various odd jobs in between, I've taught English in Yokohama and later in Kameoka, Japan. Upon returning to Georgia, I taught World History, Gifted World History, Psychology, and Sociology at Sandy Creek High School, in Tyrone, Georgia.
In 2004, we adopted our first daughter from China, and I devoted myself to full-time motherhood. A second adoption followed in 2006. In 2010, my family returned to Japan to live in Nagoya for two years. At that time, I began writing again and completed two manuscripts, which I brought back to the U.S. The second manuscript was Portrait of a Dead Guy, contracted by Henery Press in February 2012.