What inspired your latest book?
In 2008, I was diagnosed with inflammatory breast cancer and forced to take a leave of absence from my teaching career. With all my energies focused on healing, I searched for light and entertaining novels that would provide a healthy diversion. I gravitated toward cozy mysteries and devoured three to four each week. After reading over fifty of them, I toyed with the idea of writing my own cozy. I considered the following scenario: What if a woman won a major lottery, returned to her hometown, and then found herself embroiled in a murder investigation?
What is your typical day like?
When I retired and started writing full-time, I expected to be inspired each day. Everything was in place—business cards, new computer, dreams of a runaway best-seller—but my underdeveloped writing muscles refused to budge.
After some experimentation, I came up with a daily regimen. Nothing too dramatic, but it works for me. I like to sleep in each day and enjoy a leisurely breakfast. But after my second cup of coffee, I start writing. My goal – 1,000 words a day. After I reach that quota, I’m free to meet with friends for lunch or coffee and plan other outings.
How likely are people you meet to end up in your next book?
Having lived and taught in different cities throughout the province of Ontario, I felt free to “borrow” traits from former colleagues and students to create composite characters. While Gilda is approximately 70% me, the same can’t be said of the other characters. I would be very surprised if anyone recognized himself/herself in the novel.
Give us an elevator pitch for your book.
A brunette lottery winner never has an alibi when dead blondes turn up in dumpsters near her favorite haunts.
What genres are you drawn to as a reader?
I have eclectic tastes and enjoy reading contemporary women’s fiction, cozy mysteries, thrillers, historical fiction, self-help, and memoirs. Some of my favorite authors include Ann Patchett, Ann Lamott, Ken Follett, Jane Green, Maeve Binchy, Gail Bowen, Louise Penny, Adriana Trigiani, Louise Hay, and Dr.Christiane Northrup.
What did you want to be when you were a child? Did you always know you wanted to be a writer?
From an early age, I loved curling up with a book and losing myself in the stories. Reading time was my favorite time of the school day. I also enjoyed visiting the bookmobile that came every other week. For most of my childhood, I was torn between careers in teaching and librarianship. During my high school years, I experimented with poetry and dreamed of writing the great Canadian novel. But in my senior year, I listened to my practical Italian side and pursued degrees in mathematics and education.
Describe the genre of this particular title, and is it the only genre you write in?
A Season for Killing Blondes is a cozy mystery. Right now, I’m alternating between mysteries and paranormal romance. On the back burner, I have a collection of angel short stories and a memoir of my cancer experience. While it may sound like dabbling, there is one theme that connects all of my work – reinvention. And the protagonists are all boomer women. In short, I write boomer lit.
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
Where to find Joanne…