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
Once 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.
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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?
In 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…