Interview: Joanne Guidoccio

Today we welcome Joanne Guidoccio, author of The Gilda Greco Mystery Series, to Mysteristas. Hello, Joanne!

What’s your idea of a perfect day?

aseasonforkillingblondes_w9101_750-21On a perfect “writing” day, I wake up between 8:00 and 9:00 a.m. (I’m retired and like to sleep in), have a leisurely breakfast, and drink my second cup of coffee while checking email and social media. At 9:30, I begin to write and complete 1,000 words of my novel, short story, or essay by 11:30. The rest of the day, I’m free to meet friends for lunch, practice yoga, attend readings, see movies, take day trips, or go on artist dates.

Do you have a signature accessory, color, fragrance, phrase/expression, or meal?

I collect inspirational quotations and like to sprinkle them into my conversation and written work. Two of my favorites: “You can choose courage, or you can choose comfort, but you cannot choose both” (Brene Brown); “Life begins at the end of your comfort zone” (Neale Donald Walsh)

Which books/authors inspired or influenced you the most?

My favorite authors include Ann Patchett, Ann Lamott, Maeve Binchy, Gail Bowen, Louise Penny, and Adriana Trigiani. The protagonists in these novels are older and wiser, having encountered many bumps on the road to romantic love and personal fulfillment.

Do you listen to music when you write?

I cannot write amid any chaos – auditory or otherwise. For that reason, I can only write at home.

If your latest book were chocolate, what kind would it be and why?

Baci Perugina, the most famous chocolate brand in Italy and popular with Italians worldwide. Perugina’s signature recipe includes whipped milk chocolate, Gianduia filling, and chopped hazelnuts all in bittersweet chocolate. Each baci comes individually wrapped in silver and blue packaging and hugged by a poetic love note.

A Season for Killing Blondes and the other four books in the Gilda Greco Mystery Series contain romantic elements, humor, and bittersweet moments…A perfect fit for Baci Perugina!

What made you interested in writing this particular story?

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 themes do you regularly (re)visit in your writing?

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

Tell us about your main character.

While imagining the protagonist of A Season for Killing Blondes, I realized she could easily be my literary twin. In fact, I like to tell people that Gilda Greco is 70 percent of me. As to how I came up with that particular number, let’s just say my well-honed left brain did all the work.
Our similarities…Italian Canadian, born and raised in Sudbury, relocated to Southern Ontario, mathematics teachers, career development practitioners, yoga enthusiasts, non-foodies.

One major difference – Gilda won a $19 million lottery. I’m still hoping!

Describe your protagonist as a mash-up of three famous people or characters.

Lorraine Bracco, Mary Richards (played by Mary Tyler Moore), Nia Vardolos

If you could host a mystery-author dinner party, who are the six writers (living or otherwise) you’d include?

I have great admiration for late blooming authors and career authors. I would love to have the following dinner guests: Agatha Christie, Louise Penny, Sue Grafton, Lisa Scottoline, Maeve Binchy, and Ann Lamott.

What’s next for you?

Too Many Women in the Room (Book 2 of the Gilda Greco Mystery Series) will be released by The Wild Rose Press in the spring of 2017.

My NaNoWriMo project is A Different Kind of Reunion (Book 3 of the Gilda Greco Mystery Series).


guidoccio-001In 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 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.


Where to find Joanne…


22 thoughts on “Interview: Joanne Guidoccio”

  1. Welcome, Joanne! I like your set-up: Gilda has all the money she ever needs and goes back home. Can you ever “go home”? How does the money change her? How does the money change how people react to her? I knew someone who lived out a real rags-to-riches story. She told me that before she had money, she knew who her friends were. After she got the money, she didn’t.


  2. If you haven’t read A Season for Killing Blondes, you must! It’s a very clever, and funny, mystery with a likeable protagonist. It was one of my favorite reads of 2016. Great interview as always Mysteristas (and Joanne).


  3. Hi Keenan, Having lived away from my hometown for over three decades, I often wonder what would have happened had I chosen to stay or return. I’m living that fantasy through Gilda. Thanks for dropping by. 🙂


  4. ““Life begins at the end of your comfort zone” — fantastic! Wouldn’t it be fun to have all the problems surrounding a financial windfall? Looking forward to checking out your books. Thanks for visiting us today!


  5. Welcome, Joanne! I always enjoy reading about fellow math gals 🙂 Hahaha, what a fun premise for a cozy! Adding to my TBR list now…


  6. Joanne, What a great interview! I’m adding this to my TBR. Also, I love that you started writing after retirement!! All the best, Sam


  7. Wonderful interview, Joanne! I love your boomer protagonists who are reinventing themselves and their lives. Like us 🙂 I’m also a big fan of your Second Acts blog. –kate, writing as C. T. Collier


  8. Good to see you here, Kate. Thanks for all your blog support. I’d love to feature you and your books on my blog. Let me know if you’re interested. BTW…I’m extending this invitation to all “‘boomer” authors out there. I’d love to share your journey with my readers. 🙂


  9. Friendly, chatty interview! Well done. Loved the quote: Life begins at the edge of your comfort zone. Enjoyed A Season for Killing Blondes and looking forward to Too Many Women in the Room.


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