Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Interview with author Joanne Guidoccio

Today’s special interview is with author Joanne Guidoccio. We’re chatting about all her books, but with special focus on the second in her paranormal romance Mediterranean Trilogy, The Coming of Arabella.

During her virtual book tour, Joanne will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble (winner’s choice) gift card to a lucky randomly drawn winner. To be entered for a chance to win, use the form below. To increase your chances of winning, feel free to visit her other tour stops and enter there, too!

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.

Welcome, Joanne. Please tell us about your current release.
On the day of her engagement party, an ex-mermaid’s life is disrupted by the unexpected arrival of another mermaid—a sister she has never known. Under normal circumstances, Barbara Davies would be overjoyed, but her special day is already wrought with tension. While Barbara is not the first mermaid from the Mediterranean kingdom to settle in small town Ontario, she has yet to reveal her origins to her fiancĂ©. So when Arabella, the gorgeous sister whose disturbing black eyes banished her to the island of Crete, saunters into her life, clutching the arm of Barbara’s discarded lover, a powder keg of emotion is released.

Relationships falter and careers stall as envy stirs in the hearts of the sisters. On the verge of meltdown after her fiancé leaves Canada for a teaching job in Vermont, Barbara flees to Arizona hoping for a reprieve. There, she finds solace at a retreat for ex-mermaids and a second chance at love with a charismatic preacher. As she contemplates a new life in the desert paradise of Sedona, shocking secrets emerge and tragedy strikes. A stronger and wiser Barbara rises up to face these new challenges and embrace the best parts of her mermaid heritage.

What inspired you to write this book?
On a whim, I took a series of workshops offered by dark fantasy and horror writer Sarah Totton. At first, I focused only on the writing advice but later toyed with the idea of writing fantasy for boomer women. Not wanting to feature witches, werewolves, zombies or other dark creatures, I thought back to my childhood and recalled my favorite fairy tale, The Little Mermaid.

A series of “What if” questions whirled through my mind...

What if the mermaid wasn’t so young or so beautiful?

What if the man abandoned her?

What if she had to reinvent herself?

Inspired by this premise, I started writing Between Land and Sea, Book 1 of The Mediterranean Trilogy. At the book’s end, I realized there were several unresolved issues. So, I came up with storylines for Books 2 and 3: The Coming of Arabella and The Making of a Mermaid Psychic.

Excerpt from The Coming of Arabella:
A couple appeared at the entrance, a perfectly matched pair. Individually, they could easily turn heads. Together, they were simply phenomenal. The woman was younger by at least a decade, but the man could easily hold his own standing next to her. Barbara focused on the man, painfully reviewing each of his features. The dark-brown, wavy hair without a single strand of gray; beautifully tanned skin that provided the perfect canvas for mesmerizing green eyes with dark eyebrows and long, black eyelashes. The Roman nose and charming cleft on his chin completed the picture-perfect looks that could belong to only one person: Stewart Tobin.

“Arabella,” Belinda whispered. “My Arabella.”

Barbara’s attention switched to the woman standing next to Stewart. Almost as tall, she commanded as much attention, if not more, from the other patrons in the restaurant. Her flawless porcelain skin was framed by long, wavy auburn hair that brushed her shoulders. Her eyes were dark pools, striking in contrast to the pale skin.

Barbara tried to avert her gaze but couldn’t. The woman’s eyes held her captive as the couple approached. Belinda met them halfway and embraced the woman she had called Arabella. As the two women stood next to each other, there was a collective gasp in the restaurant. While the eyes were different and there was an obvious age difference, the hair and other facial features matched perfectly. There was definitely a relationship, one that Belinda had chosen to publicly acknowledge. As Barbara watched the two women, an intense envy overcame her.

Stewart winked at Barbara. “We are now officially family.”

What exciting story are you working on next?
Right now, I’m working on The Making of a Mermaid Psychic, Book 3 of the Mediterranean Trilogy and Too Many Women in the Room, Book 2 of the Gilda Greco Mystery Series.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
In August 2008, one of my travel articles, “Only in Newfoundland,” was picked up by the Waterloo Record. I was thrilled by the full-page spread and byline. Friends called to congratulate me and wish me well in my second act as a writer.

Do you write full-time? If so, what's your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?
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 – 1000 words a day. After I reach that quota, I’m free to meet with friends for lunch or coffee and plan other outings.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I am controlled by a bird clock. Each hour, one of my feathered friends, among them the Downy Woodpecker, Belted Kingfisher, and Great Horned Owl, chirp and remind me to pace myself.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
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.

Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
Thanks to all the readers of my books. Feel free to visit my blog or interact with me on social media.


Buy links for The Coming of Arabella:

Thanks, Joanne!


Goddess Fish Promotions said...

Thank you for hosting

Mai T. said...

What's your favorite day of the year?

MomJane said...

I really loved, loved this excerpt. This sounds like such a great series.

Joanne Guidoccio said...

Hi Mai, If you had asked me to designate my favorite time of the year, I would say the season of autumn. I love the cool, crisp days, filled with hope and possibility. My favorite holiday would be Thanksgiving which occurs during the month of October in Canada. Thanks for dropping by. :)

Joanne Guidoccio said...

Hi MomJane, Thanks! Good luck with the giveaway. :)

Joanne Guidoccio said...

Lisa, thanks for hosting me. :)

Stormy Vixen said...

Enjoyed the interview, this sounds likes my kind of book and I am looking forward to reading it, thanks for sharing!

Joanne Guidoccio said...

Thanks Eva...Happy reading! :)

Victoria Alexander said...

Great interview, I enjoyed reading it. Thanks for sharing :)

Joanne Guidoccio said...

You're very welcome, Victoria. Good luck with the giveaway. :)

Unknown said...

I really enjoyed your interview and your book sounds terrific! Thank you for sharing!

Joanne Guidoccio said...

Thanks for the lovely compliment, Betty :)

Rita Wray said...

Great excerpt, I enjoyed it.

Joanne Guidoccio said...

Rita, Thanks for dropping by. :)

Unknown said...

I enjoyed the interview and the excerpt. Thank you.