Celebrated glass artist Dennis Lansing is returning to St. Petersburg, Florida, for an exhibit at the world-renowned Salvador Dali Museum. His unique style of embedding document images in his art is at the vanguard of contemporary glasswork. But as Savannah’s first boyfriend and a former apprentice to her father, Dennis’s return home has her reflecting on the past—a trip down memory lane that takes a dark turn when Dennis is found murdered at the museum with an old reference letter from her father in his pocket. A search through her father’s records sheds new light on Dennis’s history, but it seems his present life wasn’t so transparent either. Now, with a gallery of suspects to consider, it’s up to Savannah to figure out who fits the mold of a murderer.
The Big Thrill recently caught up to author Cheryl Hollon to discuss her latest release, ETCHED IN TEARS:
What do you hope readers will take away from this book?
I hope this book will cause you to think about your past with an eye to how it has shaped your present. Those first experiences, first dates, first jobs, first tragedies affect us far into our futures.
How does this book make a contribution to the genre?
The books in the Webb’s Glass Shop Mystery series explore not only a different type of glass art, but also explores the definition of family. Savannah now has no close relations, but the local art community and businesses of St. Petersburg have claimed her as their own.
Was there anything new you discovered, or that surprised you, as you wrote this book?
This book was inspired by the untimely death of my very first boyfriend as a freshman in high school. I was unprepared for the sadness I felt even though we never met again after graduation.
No spoilers, but what can you tell us about your book that we won’t find in the jacket copy or the PR material?
The bench sculpture on the cover, where the body is found, was created by another local artist, Kevin Brady. The title is “Bench Dreaming” and was named one of the top ten best designed benches in the world by Architectural magazine, Design Curial.
The city had asked artists to produce contemporary benches for the 2002/2003 New Year’s Eve celebration, and Brady proposed a piece that emulates Dali’s famous melting clocks from The Persistence of Memory.
The design was originally planned to be made from painted foam rubber; however, the director of the Salvador Dali museum saw the proposal and requested a more permanent version for the museum. Brady re-designed the bench and the durable version crafted from cement, stainless steel and reinforced epoxy was erected in time for the New Year’s Eve party.
Cheryl Hollon writes full-time after an engineering career designing and installing military flight simulators in England, Wales, Australia, Singapore, Taiwan, and India. Living her dream, she combines a love of writing with a passion for creating glass art in the small glass studio behind her house in St. Petersburg, Florida. Cheryl is an officer of the Florida Gulf Coast Sisters in Crime, and a member of Mystery Writers of America.
To learn more about Cheryl, please visit her website.