Interview with Joanne Guidoccio
What inspired you to write your first book?
In 2004, I was diagnosed with inflammatory breast cancer. While receiving treatments, well-meaning friends gave me inspirational and comedic books. Several health professionals urged me to cross-read and expose myself to new ideas. Their expert advice: By reading unfamiliar and challenging material, I could create new neural pathways in my brain and reduce the likelihood of developing the dreaded chemo brain.
But all I wanted to read were cozies, those delightful murder mysteries that include a bloodless crime and contain little violence, sex, or coarse language. I read voraciously, often finishing a cozy in one or two sittings. Midway through treatments, I came up with a storyline for my first cozy—A Season for Killing Blondes, Book 1 in the Gilda Greco Mystery Series.
When you are not writing, what are your hobbies, passions, etc?
During my teaching years, I immersed myself in the life of the school and had very few outside outlets. When I retired, I was determined to widen my range of interests and achieve yin/yang balance in my life. While writing occupies the lion’s share of my time, I also enjoy reading, yoga, scrapbooking, blogging, movies, artist dates, and meeting friends for leisurely brunches and lunches.
Who are some of your favorite authors?
My favorite authors include Ann Patchett, Ann Lamott, Maeve Binchy, Gail Bowen, Louise Penny, and Adriana Trigiani. The protagonists in these novels are older and wiser, having encountered many bumps on the road to romantic love and personal fulfillment.
Do you hear from readers much? What kinds of things do they say?
I have been very pleased with the positive response from my readers. Here are three of my favorites:
In her review, English teacher Colleen McConnell described Between Land and Sea as “a classic wisdom tale with a twist…reminiscent of Jane Austen.”
Elisa Balabram gave a glowing review for The Coming of Arabella: “Joanne Guidoccio is a wonderful writer, and throughout her book she shares her wisdom on forgiveness, kindness, personal growth, self-esteem, and value.”
Miss Lill’s review of A Season for Killing Blondes brings a smile: “It is to be devoured like a decadent dessert and finished with a strong espresso!!”
If you could have any super hero power, what would it be?
It would be wonderful if I could fly at will. Whenever I felt the need to travel, I would pack my bags, stand at the doorway, and visualize my intended destination. Within seconds, I would be transported to a five-star hotel room in that particular city. This superpower would also come in handy during lengthy meetings and sticky situations.
Do you have any advice for new writers beginning their adventures?
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.
When Gilda Greco invites her closest friends to a VIP dinner, she plans to share David Korba’s signature dishes and launch their joint venture— Xenia, an innovative Greek restaurant near Sudbury, Ontario. Unknown to Gilda, David has also invited Michael Taylor, a lecherous photographer who has throughout the past three decades managed to annoy all the women in the room. One woman follows Michael to a deserted field for his midnight run and stabs him in the jugular.
Gilda’s life is awash with complications as she wrestles with a certain detective’s commitment issues and growing doubts about her risky investment in Xenia. Frustrated, Gilda launches her own investigation and uncovers decades-old secrets and resentments that have festered until they explode into untimely death. Can Gilda outwit a killer bent on killing again?
Carlo’s hand caressed my thigh. More sex. The man could be insatiable. And it had been almost two weeks since our last romp. We started to kiss and then his cell phone vibrated.
Carlo groaned as he leaned over and picked up the phone. He sat up, his back to me. “What’s happened?” he barked. Carlo’s shoulders tensed. A long sigh and then his terse words. “Clear the perimeter, stat.”
Clear the perimeter. My heart beat faster as I recalled the last time I had heard those dreaded words. It could mean only one thing. Another murder. Two murders in less than twenty-hours. What were the chances of that happening in Sudbury? At the Christmas party, the police chief had bragged about one of the lowest murder rates in Canada during the past twelve months.
I swallowed hard. “What’s wrong?”
Carlo turned and gave me a long glance. “Andrew Frattini was found dead in the alleyway behind the ReCareering office.”
The nightmare couldn’t be starting again. This time with different players but still with the same intent. To pin the murder on me. But that strategy wouldn’t work. I had an iron-clad alibi no one could refute.
Carlo dressed quickly. He picked up his phone and then turned toward me. “Stay clear of this, Gilda.”
“How can I ignore it?” I said as I felt myself tearing up. “Someone’s trying to frame me again.”
He leaned over and kissed me. “Well, they didn’t succeed, did they?”
Book Trailer: https://youtu.be/CORaCadAnbA
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In 2008, Joanne 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 Crime Writers of Canada, Sisters in Crime, and Romance Writers of America, Joanne writes cozy mysteries, paranormal romance, and inspirational literature from her home base of Guelph, Ontario.
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