Author of Romance Joanne Guidoccio is Redefining Reinvention
It’s my distinct pleasure to welcome the accomplished and talented author of paranormal romance and cozy mysteries, Joanne Guidoccio, as she shares more about herself, her writing, and her keen insights. She owns her belief in ‘reinvention’, which is reflected in her books, and her blogs, including her Second Act series. One reviewer lauds her recent release, A Season for Killing Blondes, as “a quick read with just the right level of suspense, humor and romance.“
Please share your thoughts, because today, one lucky commenter will receive FREE an ecopy of the book!
Thanks for spending some time at my blog today, Joanne. Please tell us a little bit about yourself, and how and why you began writing.
You’re welcome! I’m happy to be here. In high school, I dreamed about writing the great Canadian novel, but I listened to my practical Italian side and pursued a teaching career. I had no regrets but often wished I had the time and energy to pursue my creative interests.
Be careful what you wish for…
Five months before my fiftieth birthday, I received a diagnosis of inflammatory breast cancer, forcing me to reassess and re-evaluate my life. While undergoing treatments, I started reading cozy mysteries, devouring several books a week. Halfway through my “cancer” year, I came up with a storyline for my own cozy. I completed the book in two years and then let it sit for a while.
Three years later, I retired and revisited the novel. I changed the POV to first person, added more characters, and a second subplot. I was thrilled when Editor Johanna Melaragno of The Wild Rose Press offered me a contract.
What would you most like people to know about you and your writing?
In my late forties, I realized that I no longer enjoyed reading novels with 20something and 30something protagonists. It felt like poking into the heads and hearts of young women who could easily be former students. While searching for novels featuring an older crowd, I discovered several late-blooming authors who had launched successful second acts. I was inspired and decided to populate my own essays, stories and novels with Boomer women and their older sisters.
In short, I write what I like to read.
As an author, how do you pay it forward?
I often find myself reaching for the teacher hat. I like to share what I’ve learned on my writing journey, the triumphs, challenges, and disappointments. On my blog, I have featured spotlights and reinvention stories of 100+ authors. I am particularly proud of my ability to embrace Twitter and devote many of my tweets to promoting authors and other creatives.
What is the single best piece of advice you would give to another author about the craft of writing, about marketing, and/or the writing life?
Carve your own journey and take time to discover what you really like to write. In most cases, you will gravitate toward the genres you read. But don’t limit yourself. Instead, experiment with other genres, nonfiction, and poetry. I highly recommend attending local readings and workshops. If you need more direction, sign up for a creative writing course—online or offline—that exposes you to short stories, children’s and adult writing, creative nonfiction and poetry. Search until you find a warm, supportive environment where your words can flow freely. And most important of all, enjoy the journey.
The one thing we can count on is change. How do you plan to continue to evolve as a writer?
Right now, I enjoy writing cozy mysteries and paranormal romance. I intend to write more books in the Gilda Greco Mystery Series and the final book in the Mediterranean trilogy. At the same time, I hope to stretch myself and write inspirational and motivational articles, essays, and books.
Readers have a vast number of choices in books. Why do you feel readers will enjoy your stories?
I am catering to a different (and often neglected) demographic – Boomer women and their older sisters. I am pleased with the response from my readers:
“It was refreshing to have a main character not be a 23 year old with a model’s figure and the world at her feet.” A Season for Killing Blondes (Margaret Jaeger)
“The trials she endures as she comes to terms with being an older woman, in a less than perfect body and face than she enjoyed as her time as a mermaid, leads to a believable story of starting over, reinventing yourself…becoming a butterfly.” Between Land and Sea (SK)
“It was so refreshing to read a novel where the main character wasn’t coming of age or under the age of 30. It adds an extra element of depth to the tale.” Between Land and Sea (Pure Jonel)
What do you feel are the greatest challenges facing authors today?
Each year, millions of books are released, making it increasingly difficult for new authors to stand out. It is important for authors to pace themselves and not become discouraged too quickly. That first book may fall short of expectations, but it doesn’t mean that an author should stop writing. Breakthroughs can occur at any stage of the journey.
Hours before the opening of her career counseling practice, Gilda Greco discovers the dead body of golden girl Carrie Ann Godfrey, neatly arranged in the dumpster outside her office. Gilda’s life and budding career are stalled as Detective Carlo Fantin, her former high school crush, conducts the investigation.
When three more dead blondes turn up all brutally strangled and deposited near Gilda’s favorite haunts, she is pegged as a prime suspect for the murders. Frustrated by Carlo’s chilly detective persona and the mean girl antics of Carrie Ann’s meddling relatives, Gilda decides to launch her own investigation. She discovers a gaggle of suspects, among them a yoga instructor in need of anger management training, a lecherous photographer, and fourteen ex-boyfriends.
As the puzzle pieces fall into place, shocking revelations emerge, forcing Gilda to confront the envy and deceit she has long overlooked.
Amazon (Canada) – http://is.gd/t0g1KZ
Amazon (United States) – http://is.gd/jADjPp
Amazon (United Kingdom) – http://is.gd/8mknFJ
Amazon (Australia) – http://is.gd/r843iX
Kobo – http://is.gd/BpO9gY
Watch the Book Trailer – https://youtu.be/QURgFbybQVw
READ AN EXCERPT from A SEASON FOR KILLING BLONDES
Carlo had removed his suit jacket and rolled up the sleeves of his light blue dress shirt. His tie lay on the desk. The rumpled look suited him to a tee. And his large black-rimmed glasses accentuated those unforgettable blue eyes. Bluer than blue. Sky blue. Cornflower blue. Robin’s egg blue. Years ago, Adele Martino and I had come up with thirty-seven descriptions of Carlo Fantin’s eyes when Mrs. Gillespie assigned one of her Monday morning English composition exercises. As I tried to recall the other thirty-three, I realized that Carlo was speaking to me.
“…he’ll be taking notes as well.”
Darn! Another officer in the room, and I had missed his name and more importantly, his title. Was he a detective or a constable? I’m sure Sofia would know. In the meantime, I better stop daydreaming and start listening. I nodded in the direction of the beefy officer. Dark hair. Dark eyes. Expertly trimmed moustache. A big bear of a man who reminded me of Magnum P.I.
Carlo cleared his throat. He was ready to get down to business. Police business. “It appears that Carrie Ann was your first client. You haven’t opened this office for business yet. How did that happen?”
My heart raced as I spoke. “After Sofia and my mother left…I’m not certain about the time…um…I…I heard a knock at the front window. I looked up and saw Carrie Ann. Hadn’t seen her in ages.” I paused and then added, “Still wearing the same pageboy hair style and
that blonde color—”
Carlo waved his hand. “Stick to the facts, please.”
I felt myself reddening as those piercing blue eyes bored right through me. “Oh, sorry. Um, I let Carrie Ann in.”
“And?” Carlo said when I hesitated.
I shrugged. “We just talked for a while, then, uh…” I closed my eyes and tried to recall the
conversation. But nothing concrete came to mind, only Carrie Ann’s infectious laugh and bubbly compliments about the decorating scheme. When I opened my eyes, the other officer offered me a water bottle. I thanked him and gulped down half the contents.
“You scheduled her for a session tomorrow morning,” Carlo said as he held up my appointment book. “Carrie Ann is…was considered one of the best interior designers in town. Why would she need counseling from you?” His dark brows drew together in a suspicious frown. “Were you planning to tell her to give it up?”
In high school, Joanne dabbled in poetry, but it would be over three decades before she entertained the idea of writing as a career. She listened to her practical Italian side and earned degrees in mathematics and education. She experienced many fulfilling moments as she watched her students develop an appreciation (and sometimes, love) of mathematics. Later, she obtained a post-graduate diploma as a career development practitioner and put that skill set to use in the co-operative education classroom. She welcomed this opportunity to help her students experience personal growth and acquire career direction through their placements.
In 2008, she took advantage of early retirement and decided to launch a second career that would tap into her creative side and utilize her well-honed organizational skills. Slowly, a writing practice emerged. Her articles and book reviews were published in newspapers, magazines, and online. When she tried her hand at fiction, she made reinvention a recurring theme in her novels and short stories. A member of Sisters in Crime, Crime Writers of Canada, and Romance Writers of America, Joanne writes paranormal romance, cozy mysteries, and inspirational literature from her home base of Guelph, Ontario.
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