Hello! Joanne Guidoccio! I’m so glad you’ve joined us on the Spotlight!
What inspired this particular story?
While undergoing chemotherapy I started reading cozy mysteries, devouring several books a week. Halfway through my cancer year, I came up with a storyline for my own cozy: What if a teacher-turned-lottery winner returns to her hometown in Northern Ontario, only to find herself the primary suspect in the murders of four blondes. Can she prove her innocence and solve this case before it’s too late? I identified strongly with the teacher-turned-lottery winner (Gilda Greco). So much so, that I used the first person POV. Our similarities…Italian Canadian, born and raised in Sudbury, Ontario, mathematics teachers, career development practitioners, yoga enthusiasts, non-foodies, and ambiverts (extraverted introverts). One difference: Gilda won a $19 million lottery (I’m still hoping).
What a fantastic story of beginning your journey! And what inspired the title of your book?
Since I had plotted this story during the most challenging season of my life, I decided to use A Season for Killing Blondes as the title.
Perfect! Do you have a favorite part to writing life?
I look forward to writing the first chapter and giving life to the characters. That initial spark of an idea may percolate for several days (sometimes weeks), but the real thrill occurs when I sit at my computer and start writing.
Is there a difficult challenge when writing a book?
A linear pantser, I write brief character sketches, plot the first three chapters and the last, and then let the words flow. At some point, usually around Page 80, I encounter the murky middle, that nebulous place where I find it difficult to continue or sustain the tension of the novel. In short, I’m lost with no clear trail or direction in sight. In the early days of my writing career, I struggled to regain my motivation, wondering if I should abandon the novel. Thankfully, I discovered strategies that have lifted me out of the abyss.
What is your favorite quote?
"We can choose courage or we can choose comfort, but we can't have both. Not at the same time.” ― Brené Brown
Great quote! Finally, what would you most like to say to your readers?
Readers, Thank you for your encouragement and support over the past ten years. I appreciate your reviews, blog comments, likes and follows on social media, and congratulatory emails and phone calls. You have been wonderful companions on my creative journey.
About the Book
A Season for Killing Blondes
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Release Date: June 2015
Author of the Series:: Gilda Greco Mystery Series
Book Cover Artist: Kim Mendoza
“I noticed a man making his way through the crowd that had gathered outside the front window. Tall and lean with salt and pepper hair, the man sported a black leather coat and a light gray suit. When he stopped to talk with Uncle Paolo, he flashed a badge. As I approached the two men, my heart started beating faster. Carlo Fantin. How could I have forgotten my old high school crush? If anything, he looked even better now than he did back then. He hadn’t bulked up or lost his hair. He was still hunk material.
He stared, his blue eyes widening in surprise and something else I couldn’t quite define. Amusement. Anticipation. Maybe even lust. Whatever it was, he had stopped talking to Uncle Paolo and was now giving me his full attention.
He flashed the beautiful smile that had once captivated me and every other female student at Sudbury Secondary. “Hello, Gilda. It’s good to see you again. Uh, in spite of these circumstances.”
“Hi Carlo, I’m–”
“Detective Fantin.” My uncle shouted.
Before I could say anything, Aunt Amelia piped up, “We’re so glad you came, Detective. We’ll sleep better tonight knowing that you’re in charge.”
My mother and Sofia appeared at my side. All those years ago when I had fantasized about connecting with Carlo, I had envisioned many wonderful scenarios where we would bump into each other and fall in love—on the beach, dance floor, even at a bar. Never in a million years, did I think we would reconnect in these circumstances with my family in tow.
Let’s finish with everyone’s favorite… Speed Dating!
Favorite movie: Out of Africa (Meryl Streep/Robert Redford)
Best place you’ve visited: Arizona
Place you’d like to visit: Pacific Northwest
Favorite food: Greek
If a movie was made about your life, who would you want to play you?: Lorraine Bracco
What song best sums you up? Blowing in the Wind
Oxford comma, yes or no? Yes
Pen or pencil? Pen
Favorite music? Oldie-Goldies
Coffee or tea? Coffee
What does your desk look like? Organized
What is your writing vice or must-haves? Supreme Quiet
Plotter or pantser? Linear Pantser
Mac or PC? PC
Favorite dessert? Cheesecake
What is your favorite thing to learn about in your free time? Wellness
You have a time travel machine. Where and when? California - 1970s
Are you earth, wind, fire or water? Wind