ABOUT THE BOOKHours before the opening of her career counseling practice, Gilda Greco discovers the body of golden girl, Carrie Ann Godfrey, neatly arranged in the dumpster outside Gilda’s office. Gilda’s life and budding career are stalled as Detective Carlo Fantin, her former high school crush, conducts the investigation. When three more dead blondes turn up, all brutally strangled and deposited near Gilda’s favorite haunts, she is pegged as a prime suspect for the murders.
Frustrated by Carlo’s chilly detective persona and the mean girl antics of Carrie Ann’s meddling relatives, Gilda decides to launch her own investigation. She discovers a gaggle of suspects, among them a yoga instructor in need of anger management training, a lecherous photographer, and fourteen ex-boyfriends.
As the puzzle pieces fall into place, shocking revelations emerge, forcing Gilda to confront the envy and deceit she has long overlooked.
INTERVIEW WITH JOANNE GUIDOCCIO
Joanne, what’s the story behind the title A Season for Killing Blondes?
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.
Tell us about your series.
A Season for Killing Blondes is the first book in the Gilda Greco Mystery Series. Based in Northern Ontario, these books feature a fifty-something Italian woman, her relatives, deserving and undeserving men, and food. Several ideas are percolating for Books 2 and 3 – Too Many Women in the Room and A Different Kind of Reunion.
Where did you grow up?
I was born and raised in Sudbury, Ontario, also known as the Nickel Capital of the World and Slagtown. Growing up, I would sneak in to see the big coin, and while walking in the evenings, I take in a spectacular view of the slag dumping. Not exactly what most children would enjoy, but I was fascinated by the contrast between the darkening sky and the fiery colors.
What’s one of your favorite quotes?
"Life begins at the end of your comfort zone." -Neale Donald Walsch
Are you like any of your characters?
I identify strongly with Gilda Greco, the protagonist of the novel. So much so, that I used the first-person POV. 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.
Are any of your characters inspired by real people?
Having lived and taught in different cities throughout the province of Ontario, I felt free to “borrow” characteristics from former colleagues and students to create composite characters. While Gilda is approximately 70% me, the same can’t be said of the other characters. I would be very surprised if anyone recognized himself/herself in the novel.
Who are your favorite authors?
I have eclectic tastes and enjoy reading contemporary women’s fiction, cozy mysteries, thrillers, historical fiction, self-help, and memoirs. Some of my favorite authors include Ann Patchett, Ann Lamott, Ken Follett, Jane Green, Maeve Binchy, Gail Bowen, Louise Penny, Adriana Trigiani, Louise Hay, and Dr. Christiane Northrup.
What book are you currently reading and in what format?
I’m reading Lisa Genova’s latest release – Inside the O’Briens. Format – hardcover.
Do you have a routine for writing?
When I retired and started writing full-time, I expected to be inspired each day. Everything was in place—business cards, new computer, dreams of a runaway best-seller — but my underdeveloped writing muscles refused to budge. After some experimentation, I came up with a daily regimen. Nothing too dramatic, but it works for me. I like to sleep in each day and enjoy a leisurely breakfast. But after my second cup of coffee, I start writing. My goal – 1000 words a day. After I reach that quota, I’m free to meet with friends for lunch or coffee and plan other outings.
What’s the best compliment you’ve ever received about your writing?
I am grateful for the wonderful reviews I received for my debut novel, Between Land and Sea. My favorite comes from Colleen McConnell: “The novel is a classic wisdom tale with a twist and is reminiscent of Jane Austen.”
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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.
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