Interview with women’s fiction author Joanne Guidoccio

Cover of No More SecretsToday’s special guest is Joanne Guidoccio and we’re chatting about her new women’s fiction, No More Secrets.

During her virtual book tour, Joanne will be awarding a $20 Amazon or Barnes and Noble (winner’s choice) gift card to a lucky randomly drawn winner. To be entered for a chance to win, use the form below. To increase your chances of winning, feel free to visit her other tour stops and enter there, too.

In 2008, Joanne Guidoccio took advantage of early retirement and launched a second act as a writer. Her articles and book reviews have been 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 Women’s Fiction Writers Association, Joanne writes paranormal romances, cozy mysteries, and inspirational literature from her home base of Guelph, Ontario.

Please share a little bit about your current release.
No More Secrets can be described as women’s fiction with historical elements. The tagline—A tale of forbidden love, tragic losses, and reinvention—will appeal to anyone considering a second act.

What inspired you to write this book?
I was inspired by The Bridges of Madison County (1995 film based on the best-selling novel by Robert James Waller). Meryl Streep and Clint Eastwood deliver stellar performances as Francesca Johnson (Italian war bride) and Robert Kincaid (National Geographic photojournalist). They have a four-day love affair that forever changes them.

Excerpt from No More Secrets:
Tupperware in all the pastel shades. Head-to-toe clothing and accessories in the same hues. Who does that? Bellastrega shook her head at the avalanche of plastic that accompanied Velia Russo into the kitchen. She was already on her third trip back from the car, puffing and panting as she placed her food gifts on the kitchen table. Bellastrega could feel her jaw clenching at the thought of all those white devils—heavy sauces and creams and pounds of sugar—contaminating the kitchen.

Velia held one finger. “One more trip,” and then she was gone.

Bellastrega turned her attention back to the hearty vegetable stew that had been simmering on the stove. She sighed contentedly as she breathed in the aroma of the rosemary and Italian seasonings. Angelica’s favorite. As she glanced at the appetizing array of vegetables, she mentally calculated how long it would take to finish cooking. Everything was on schedule, and dinner would be on the table at six o’clock. Why had Velia decided to arrive three hours early?

From the start, Bellastrega had her misgivings about this all-girls weekend. She had listened while Angelica lovingly described each niece and shared her concerns regarding their unhappy lives. At first, Bellastrega had humored her, not realizing Angelica was intending to help her nieces get back on track. Her duty as aunt, she had explained.

Bellastrega had formed her own judgments regarding the three younger women. Usually right on target, Bellastrega had been surprised when this particular incarnation of Velia Russo arrived, laden with her food gifts. From Angelica’s descriptions, Bellastrega had expected a younger version of her mother, Rosetta, a heavy-set hausfrau and gossip, not this glamour-puss who could pass for a younger Martha Stewart. But first impressions could be deceiving.

“Help. I need your help.” The whiny voice interrupted Bellastrega’s thoughts. Sighing, she lowered the heat and made her way to the living room.

Bellastrega resisted the urge to laugh as she took in the comical sight before her. To save herself another trip, Velia had decided to lug in a large Pullman using her left hand, carry a pastry box in her right hand, and use her teeth to hold on to her purse.

All this for a weekend get-together? What would she have packed for a longer trip? Bellastrega forced a smile as she took the pastry box from Velia.


What exciting story are you working on next?
I’m experimenting with shorter pieces—novellas, essays, and articles—about a range of topics, among them reinvention, retirement, and wellness.

When did you consider yourself a writer?
Saturday, August 2, 2008: The Waterloo Record featured a two-page spread of my article, “Only in Newfoundland,” in the travel section of their weekend edition. A recent retiree (June 30), I was thrilled to see my article, two sidebars, and five beautifully laid out pictures for all to see. Even more exciting…friends called and emailed to congratulate me on starting a second career as a writer!

Do you write full-time? If so, what’s your work day like?
In 2008, I retired from a 31-year teaching career and launched a second act as a writer. 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. After my second cup of coffee, I start writing. My goal is 1,000 words a day. (During NaNoWriMo, I aim for 2,000 words) The rest of the day, I’m free to met friends for lunch, practice yoga, attend readings, see movies, take day trips, or go on artist dates.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I am controlled by a bird clock. Each hour, one of my feathered friends, among them the Downy Woodpecker, Belted Kingfisher, and Great Horned Owl, chirp and remind me to pace myself.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
An avid reader, I wanted to be surrounded by books. Teaching and librarianship appealed to me.

Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
Readers, Thank you for your encouragement and support over the past twelve years. I appreciate your blog comments, reviews, likes and follows on social media, congratulatory emails and telephone calls. You have been wonderful companions on my creative journey.

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15 thoughts on “Interview with women’s fiction author Joanne Guidoccio

  1. Andra says:

    Sounds like a very nice read! Joanne, tell me about your inspiration for this book – when did the idea strike, and how did you take it from in your head to the page?

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