Monday, June 26, 2017

Why I Read and Write Cozy Mysteries by Joanne Guidoccio

Read to the bottom to find out how you can win an Amazon gift card!!
In 2004, I was diagnosed with inflammatory breast cancer. While receiving treatments, well-meaning friends arrived laden with gifts and bags of books.  An avid reader, I looked forward to discovering new authors and genres. That would dovetail beautifully with the advice given in the cancer literature: Cross-read and expose yourself to new ideas.

The advice was sound. By reading unfamiliar and challenging material, I could create new neural pathways in my brain and reduce the likelihood of developing the dreaded chemo brain.

But as I dipped into the bags overflowing with books, I experienced only disappointment. I could barely finish reading the first chapter of the religious, philosophical, historical, and comedic books.  I experienced the same frustration when I browsed through library and bookshelf stacks.

A friend suggested cozies...those delightful mysteries that include a bloodless crime and contain little violence, sex, or coarse language. Intrigued, I borrowed my first cozy and read it in one sitting.

I was hooked!

A voracious reader, I read two to three cozies each week. They were the perfect companion while waiting for treatments, sitting in the chemo chair, or recovering afterward. I was fully engaged in the storylines but not horrified by the details. I was also getting a full brain workout:  my right brain enjoyed following the characters and settings of unique fictional worlds while my left brain welcomed the challenge of solving the ‘who-done-it.’

Toward the end of treatments, I came up with a storyline for my own cozy.

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?

I completed the first draft of A Season for Killing Blondes during my cancer year. Three years later, I revisited the manuscript and then started the query process.  In 2014, Johanna Melaragno of The Wild Rose Press offered me a contract. A Season for Killing Blondes was released in June 2015.

While awaiting publication, I came up with a premise for Too Many Women in the Room, Book 2 of the Gilda Greco Mystery Series. It was released on May 19 of this year.

Logline: 8 Women → 8 Reasons to Kill a Lecherous Photographer. One Woman Succeeds.
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

Buy Links 
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Amazon (Canada):
The Wild Rose Press:
Barnes & Noble:

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...


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Joanne Guidoccio said...

Thanks for hosting me, Paty :)

Vicki Batman, sassy writer of sexy and funny fiction, blogger at Handbags, Books...Whatever said...

Although I've never had chemo brain and cross fingers I never shall, I have experienced what you have felt about books at times when you want something to read and feel happy when doing so. I'm tired of the clichéd alcoholic, druggie, biker guys. I hope that isn't offensive. Maybe I'm more into Women's Fiction right now and their personal journey.

Joanne Guidoccio said...

Good to see you here, Vicki! I'm also at that stage where I enjoy reading about women's journeys. In the past six months, I've read several thought-provoking memoirs. I'm also a fan of Ann Patchett and Anna Quindlen.

Anonymous said...

Loved reading. God bless. jrs0350 @ yahoo dot com

Joanne Guidoccio said...

Thanks "Anonymous" :)

Loretta said...

Hi, Joanne :) Like you, I was ill a few years back and for the first time in my life read cozies. I couldn't seem to enjoy the type of books I normally read, finding them too filled with tense scenes. I found cozies so enjoyable that I decided when I plopped myself down in front of the computer again, I was going to try my hand at cozies. I'm two books in now...and am finding that I like this lighter side just as much as I do my thriller side :) Funny how life experiences guide us down different paths, isn't it? :)


Joanne Guidoccio said...

Hi Loretta, Since sharing my story, I've heard back from several other authors who turned to cozies during challenging times. Light and breezy with definite closure at the end of each book - I imagine that's what appeals most to us. Best of luck with your cozies :)

Kathleen Chrisman said...

Thank you for sharing your writing journey.

Joanne Guidoccio said...

You're very welcome, Kathleen. Thanks for dropping by. :)