What would you like to tell readers about yourself?
* 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.
Today Joanne Guidoccio will be talking about how she became a writer and what inspired her in regard to the story she's promoting.
* In June of 2008, I took advantage of early retirement and left a 31-year teaching career. At the time, I had only a vague idea of what life after retirement would look like. Sleeping in each morning. Leisurely breakfasts. More traveling. Trying out new hobbies. Volunteering in the community.
* Those were the pat answers I gave to anyone who asked about my plans for the future. I would then end each “retirement” conversation with one of my favorite quotations from Eckhart Tolle: When you become comfortable with uncertainty, infinite possibilities open up in your life.
* All wonderful and enlightening in theory, but the reality was very different. After one month of leisure, I realized that I needed much more than this patchwork of activities. Goals and structure—words I thought I had left behind started creeping up again. A part-time job would definitely take care of both, but I was determined not to take that road. Instead, I resurrected a writing dream from my high school years.
* Within days of making this decision, I received a call from an editor who offered to publish one of my travel articles. Excited, I started Joanne Guidoccio, Wordsmith and ordered my first set of business cards.
* That first article was only beginner’s luck.
* It took twenty-one months to get another article published. In the meantime, I attended creative writing workshops, took online courses, and continued to send out queries. Slowly, a writing practice emerged and my articles, book reviews and short stories started appearing in newspapers, magazines and online. This was gratifying, but it wasn’t enough to satisfy my creative bent. I wanted more.
* “More” translated into a novel. In my case, two novels: A Season for Killing Blondes and Between Land and Sea. While literary agents and acquisition editors were amused by the premise—a brunette lottery winner never has an alibi when dead blondes turn up in dumpsters near her favorite haunts—they passed on the novel.
* On a whim, I started attending workshops facilitated by science fiction and horror writer Sarah Totton. At first, I only listened as the other participants chatted about werewolves, witches, zombies and dystopian worlds. Toward the end of the sessions, I wondered if I could write fantasy that would appeal to a different demographic—boomer women and their older sisters.
* What if…
* A mermaid is aged thirty years and given twenty extra pounds to carry. Could she survive abandonment and reinvent herself?
* It took me three months to write the first draft of Between Land and Sea (Book 1 of The Mediterranean Trilogy). After a year of editing and polishing, senior editor Debby Gilbert of Soul Mate Publishing offered me a contract in 2015.
* While waiting for the launch of Between Land and Sea, I imagined different scenarios for Books 2 and 3. In The Coming of Arabella, a younger mermaid rises from the depths, determined to wreak havoc in the lives of older ex-mermaids.
* Currently, I’m working on the first draft of Book 3, The Making of a Mermaid Psychic.
* 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.
* “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.”
ANNOUNCEMENT! Joanne Guidoccio will be awarding a $25 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour! So be sure to leave a comment AND use the Rafflecopter below. Also, visit the other tour stops for a greater chance of winning!
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