In which I chat with Joanne Guidoccio, Canadian author of the Gilda Greco mystery series
Tell us a little bit about your series, including where the idea originated?
Too Many Women in the Room is the second book in the Gilda Greco Mystery Series. Based in Northern Ontario, these books feature a fifty-something Italian woman, her relatives, deserving and undeserving men, food, and murder.
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 lottery winner moves back to her hometown and finds herself involved in a murder investigation? And what if all the victims are blondes? I put pen to paper and started the first draft of A Season for Killing Blondes. It was released by The Wild Rose Press in June 2015.
A Different Kind of Reunion, Book 3 in the series, will be released in the spring of 2018.
Who are your favourite writers and why? What writers have influenced you?
I admire late blooming authors who have launched successful second acts. Two favorites come to mind: Maeve Binchy and Louise Penny. Their novels and writing journeys have inspired me to launch my own second act as a writer. From Maeve, I’ve learned that success is not a pie where only a select few have access to the slices. I’ve taken several pages out of Louise’s disciplined approach to structure my own writing practice.
Where do you see your writing going next?
I intend to write more books in the Gilda Greco Mystery series. On the back burner, I have a cancer memoir and a collection of angel stories.
Tell us about your writing process. Do you have set times of day/number of words? Do you have a favorite writing place or routine? What do you drink, listen to, avoid, need … 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 –1,000 words a day. At first, I used the oven timer to keep me on task, but that annoying sound reminded me of incessant school bells, so I invested in 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.
What advice would you give to an aspiring writer?
Experiment until you find your own unique voice and a warm, supportive environment where your words can flow freely. Sign up for creative writing courses—online or offline—that expose you to short stories, children’s and adult writing, creative nonfiction, and poetry. And, most important of all, enjoy the journey.
What’s the best advice someone gave you?
“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.
Thank you Joanne!
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?
Amazon (US): https://is.gd/NRjAXT
Amazon (Canada): https://is.gd/1pX3Bn
The Wild Rose Press: https://is.gd/1mns8Q
Barnes & Noble: https://is.gd/NFHdlS
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.
Where to find Joanne…