Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Joanne Guidoccio - Guest Author

Please welcome Joanne Guidoccio as today’s guest author. Joanne is a fellow member of the Guppy Chapter of Sisters in Crime. She describes herself as organized, flexible, focused, optimistic, and determined. Her writing covers the gamut from cozy mysteries, to paranormal romance to inspirational work. The following are her choices of questions and her answers.

A lucky commenter will receive a Kindle eBook of A Season for Killing Blondes.

Describe your most productive writing venue. What makes it best for you?

I cannot write amid clutter, chaos and confusion. I also need spaciousness for my creativity to flourish. I’ve set up in a corner of my living area, conveniently located near the kitchen and balcony.

What makes a great short story?

A great short story has a compelling hook and well-developed characters. I’m most impressed by writers who can skillfully create a strong sense of place (with a minimum of back story) in the first paragraph.

What is your most productive time of the day (and do you need caffeine)?

I’m at my creative best in midmorning. After a leisurely breakfast, I take my cup of Chatty Matty coffee over to the computer and spend thirty minutes on Social Media. By 9:30, I’m ready to write and set myself a goal of 1,000 words a day. Two more cups of coffee follow and, on “good” days, I reach my goal by early afternoon.

How many books do you read in a typical month? Do you read in your genre while you are writing? What’s your most recent “great” book?

I read between eight and ten books a month. I have eclectic tastes and enjoy contemporary women’s fiction, cozy mysteries, thrillers, historical fiction, self-help, and memoirs. I’ve just finished reading and highly recommend Circling the Sun (fictionalized memoir of Beryl Markham’s life) by Paula McClain.

What themes do you regularly employ in your writing?

Reinvention is a recurring theme in my books. The protagonists are boomer women determined to launch spectacular second acts.

How did you develop the idea for your most recent work?

While undergoing cancer treatments, I gravitated toward cozy mysteries. After devouring over fifty books in that genre, I imagined the following scenarios: What if a brunette lottery winner moves back to her hometown and finds herself involved in a murder investigation? And what if all the victims are blondes? Since I had plotted the story during the most challenging season of my life, I decided to use A Season for Killing Blondes as the title.

What motivates you to write?

Seven years ago, I retired and decided to resurrect a writing dream concocted during my high school years. I am determined to make up for lost time.

What was the best piece of writing advice you ever received and why was it so valuable?

“It’s okay to fall out of love with your manuscript.” I received this advice from Brian Henry, a creative writing instructor at Ryerson University. During one of his workshops, he recommended putting manuscripts aside before starting the editing process. He didn’t specify a timeline but stressed that we can’t improve our work until we fall out of love with it. Whenever I’m tempted to rush and/or send a half-baked manuscript, I recall these words of wisdom.

Jim, thanks for hosting me today. For more information about me and my books, check out my website at http://joanneguidoccio.com . Catch me on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/authorjoanneguidoccio or on Twitter at https://twitter.com/joanneguidoccio

Here's a quick blurb for A Season for Killing Blondes:

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.