Guest Post: Joanne Guidoccio

Welcome back Joanne Guidoccio, author of the Gilda Greco mystery series. Read on to learn about her latest book – and enter the giveaway!

The Back Story

TooManyWomenintheRoom_w11221_750 2Once I get the initial spark of an idea, I like to play around with a What-If scenario and after much deliberation come up with a title for the novel. Only then can I start writing the first draft.

That MO worked well for Book 1 of the Gilda Greco Mystery Series:

Spark:                         Dead blondes turn up in dumpsters throughout the city.

What if…         A woman wins a $19 million lottery and then returns to her hometown, 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?

Title:               A Season for Killing Blondes

Book 2 presented a challenge. I toyed with several storylines about a Greek restaurant, a charismatic chef, two murders, and a group of women who didn’t always get along. Frustrated with these disjoint elements, I turned my attention to shorter pieces and hoped that inspiration would soon arrive.

It came from an unlikely source.

One day, I received a phone call from a former colleague. While reminiscing about the past, I recalled an incident from my early teaching years.

Circa 1982: I had just started a short-term placement in the mathematics department of a large composite high school. My timetable wasn’t a good one, and I gathered the other women in the department hadn’t fared much better.

The men outnumbered the women in a ratio of 3:1 and dominated most of the conversation at the monthly meetings. But as the semester drew to a close, three of the older women became more emboldened and started voicing their concerns. Legitimate concerns about timetables and room allotments.

Surprised by these outbursts, most of the men shrugged and said nothing. The department head glanced at his watch and started shuffling papers. But one senior male teacher in his sixties couldn’t contain himself. He stood, and shouted: “There are too many women in this room! And that’s why we’re having problems in this department.” He threw his binders on the table and stormed out of the room.

One woman muttered, “What else can you expect from a man of his generation?”

“Or any man born before 1950,” another woman added.

I don’t recall too many other details about that short teaching placement, but the older gentleman’s outburst has stayed with me. And provided the perfect title for Book 2 of the Gilda Greco Mystery Series: Too Many Women in the Room.

Postscript: In 2008, I retired from a mathematics department that was predominantly female. I also had the satisfaction of knowing I had positively influenced many young women to pursue mathematics, business, and science careers.


Click on the Rafflecopter link below for your chance to win a $10 Amazon gift card.

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?

Book Trailer


guidoccio-001In 2008, Joanne Guidoccio retired from a 31-year teaching career and launched a second act that tapped into her creative side. 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…









17 thoughts on “Guest Post: Joanne Guidoccio”

  1. Welcome, Joanne! What a story; I hope those guys get their comeuppance in your mystery! I always love meeting fellow women in math 🙂 I’ll never forget being one of only a handful of women in large 100+ engineering courses in college, however I was fortunate to have had many strong female role models along the way.


  2. Welcome, Joanne! I love the title! Back in the 1970’s when we were in high school, my sister and I took aptitude tests to qualify for my father’s veterans college benefits. The test-giver man person told my sister that she was very good in math so since she was a girl, she could become a bank teller or an accountant. She went to engineering school instead and took two bachelors in four years.


  3. Interesting post, Joanne. I have a similar process. I need a title first and foremost, and then an opening scene. After that it’s all “seat-of-the-pants” as the characters take over direction of the storyline. Thanks for sharing and good luck with the new book!


  4. Hi Keenan, I received the same career advice from many of my parents’ friends who believed that women with an aptitude for mathematics would do well in bank teller or bookkeeping positions. Men with similar aptitudes were given very different advice–accountant, actuary, engineer, economist….


  5. Hi Vicki, Several conversations have ended up in my novels. Not verbatim, but close enough. One friend called as soon as she read that particular scene in Book 1, A Season for Killing Blondes. And she accurately guessed the name of the accomplice!


  6. What a fascinating blog post, both about your books and your life as a math teacher. Love your stories and titles. I plot the story and write it (changing things along the way) but don’t come up with a title till the book is written and about to be sent to the publisher, In my mind I refer to it as the main character’s story.


  7. Thanks Elizabeth! I enjoy reading about other writing processes. Using “Gilda’s Story” for each book in the series would get a bit repetitive, but I could see doing that for stand-alone books.


  8. I would love your book, Joanne. Will share with a friend who retired as a math department head after a long career. Will put a review in my blog, too.
    Beth Schmelzer, who loves your title!


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