Saturday, February 27, 2016

S.D. Skye's Hell or High Water 365-Day Blogathon Day 210 -- Author Joanne Guidoccio

Fiction Friday...


Please welcome today's author...

Joanne Guidoccio


Tell us about your journey to become a published author?
From an early age, I loved curling up with a book and losing myself in the stories. In high school, I looked forward to English class and dreamed of writing the great Canadian novel. Instead, I followed the conventional advice of the times and pursued a career in teaching. In my heart of hearts, I knew that someday I would resurrect that writing dream. When I took advantage of early retirement in 2008, I decided to devote my second act to writing.
I filled large blocks of unscheduled time with workshops and online courses. Slowly, a writing practice emerged. At first, I focused on the nonfiction market and wrote book reviews and articles about careers, money management, wellness, personal growth and development. While I was delighted with the response from newspapers, magazines and online publications, I wanted more.
“More” translated into a novel, and in my case, two novels: A Season for Killing Blondes and Between Land and Sea.
I had written the first draft of the cozy mystery during my “cancer” year and then filed it away. An integral part of my therapy, writing that novel helped me survive and thrive during the most challenging season of my life. It was now time to edit and polish the manuscript.
While querying, I wrote the first draft of Between Land and Sea (a paranormal romance about a middle-aged ex-mermaid) in three months and then spent a year editing and polishing. I was thrilled when Senior Editor Debby Gilbert of Soul Mate Publishing offered me a contract in 2013.
A year later, Editor Johanna Melaragno of The Wild Rose Press picked up A Season for Killing Blondes. The novel was released in June 2015.
In August 2015, Soul Mate Publishing released The Coming of Arabella, the second book in the Mediterranean trilogy.
What sparked the idea for this series?
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? I put pen to paper and started the first draft of A Season for Killing Blondes.
Tell us about your latest release.
Hours before the opening of her career counseling practice, Gilda Greco discovers the dead body of golden girl Carrie Ann Godfrey, neatly arranged in the dumpster outside her 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.
Give five words that best describe this book. What message do you hope readers get?
From the reviews...
Character-driven
Entertaining
Quick-paced
Intricately plotted
Stylish
I wrote this book for readers who want to escape from their daily routines and curl up with a whodunit that has a minimum of blood and gore and no coarse language.
Give us one or two of your favorite lines from this book.
Even with a dead body in a Dumpster, thousands of euros of pastries wasting away,
and policemen swarming about, my mother and aunt could still indulge in their favorite hobby--trying to find me another husband. 
Tell us about your writing space and your daily routine.
When I retired and started writing full-time, I expected to be inspired each day. Everything was in place—spacious work area, 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 one of your favorite reviews/comments you’ve ever received about your writing (on this book or any other)? Who did it come from and how did it impact you?
I am grateful for the wonderful reviews I received for my three novels. My favorite comes from Colleen McConnell:
The novel is a classic wisdom tale with a twist and is reminiscent of Jane Austen. (Between Land and Sea)
As a new author, I was thrilled with the comparison.      
What’s your biggest struggle as a writer? And how do/did you handle it?
Maintaining the momentum, especially when navigating what I like to call the “murky middle” is what I find most challenging. At that point, I have to take a break from the narrative. While writing Book 2 in the Gilda Greco Mystery Series, I have taken several breaks. At first, I found it frustrating and wondered if I would ever finish the first draft. But I have persevered and believe the resulting manuscript is better for it.   
What is the high point of your career, so far?
January 31, 2013 -  I can still recall the weather and what I was doing when I received an  email from Senior Editor Debby Gilbert offering me a contract for Between Land and Sea, Book 1 of the Mediterranean Series. Nothing, not even the sub-zero temperatures, could faze me on that perfect day.   
What was the low point of your career? And how did you handle it?
In January of 2012, I wondered if any of my books would ever be published. I contemplated giving up on the writing dream altogether. Thanks to the support and encouragement I received from friends and family, I persevered.
Give us the name of a recent book you’ve read that you would highly recommend to readers.
The best book I’ve read in 2015 was Circling the Sun, a fictionalized memoir of Beryl Markham, by Paula McLain. I was drawn into the fascinating lives of the British expats living in Africa in the early twentieth century. A must read!  
What’s next on your writing journey?
Right now, I’m working on Too Many Women in the Room, Book 2 of the Gilda Greco Mystery Series and The Making of a Mermaid Psychic, Book 3 of The Mediterranean Trilogy.
What’s your favorite book on the writing craft or your favorite piece of advice to writers?
My advice to aspiring writers...
Experiment until you find your own unique voice and a warm, supportive environment where your words can flow freely. Sign up for creative writing courses—online or offline—that expose you to short stories, children’s and adult writing, creative nonfiction, and poetry. And, most important of all, enjoy the journey.
To find Joanne online, please visit…


Website:   http://joanneguidoccio.com/
Twitter:   https://twitter.com/joanneguidoccio
Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/authorjoanneguidoccio
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/joanneguidoccio
Pinterest:   http://pinterest.com/jguidoccio/
Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7277706.Joanne_Guidoccio
And check out her books at…
Amazon (United States) - http://is.gd/jADjPp
Amazon (United Kingdom) - http://is.gd/8mknFJ
Amazon (Australia) - http://is.gd/r843iX
Kobo - https://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/a-season-for-killing-blondes

Barnes & Noble - http://is.gd/n6s91M

If you're an author and would like your thriller, mystery, romantic suspense, or suspense novel featured, please fill out the interview at: 

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Friday, February 19, 2016

S.D. Skye's Hell or High Water 365-Day Blogathon -- Author R.J. Beam

Fiction Friday 


Please welcome to the blog...

R.J. Beam

Tell us about your journey to become a published author?
I have been a blogger writing about issues in police work and firefighting. I have a professional career that has encompassed being both a police officer and firefighter. People have always said I am a good storyteller and need to write a book. So when I was off work with an injury, I sat down and authored a mystery novel. 
What sparked the idea for this series?
I saw an interview with Joseph Wambaugh talking about how he used his time with the LAPD to help write stories about Police in LA. It  got me thinking about some of the series I read. Then it dawned on me that the first city I worked in could be a great place for a series. There are many incidents and people I know that can be twisted and turned into fiction.        
Tell us about your latest release.
Fire Cop is a fictional story about Officer Ben Graystock who is stressed out about a local drug dealer. Eventually, he decides to try something extreme to facilitate busting this dealer--setting his house on fire. The plan does not work out, so he sets more fires.
Officer Stu Thompson is tasked with investigating the fires. He is also best friends with Graystock. This allows the arsonist to keep tabs on the investigation into his crimes. After people start to die in the fires the pressure is on for Officer Thompson to solve this case and prevent the next death.                        
Give us one or two of your favorite lines from this book.
This is an easy problem to solve with a gallon of gas and a highway flare.      
Tell us about your writing space and your daily routine.
My writing space is anyplace my MacBook will sit. Often times it is the kitchen counter. As for a routine. I work a day shift from 8am - 4pm. Then by 4:30pm I am at CrossFit for a workout. Home by 5:30pm to eat then play with the kids till their bed time. Once they goto bed I set up my laptop in the kitchen and start writing. Typically I spend a minimum of two hours writing. Then might watch one television show. Before bed I will read typically for an hour. However when a book is good I might stay up later turning pages till my eyes get to heavy to keep open.        
What’s one of your favorite reviews/comments you’ve ever received about your writing (on this book or any other)? Who did it come from and how did it impact you?
A reviewer from NetGalley said, “The characters are solid and the story line is something new I haven't seen before. I couldn't help but root for the arsonist at times, couldn't even guess at how it all would end."
This review vindicated the gamble in the style I took. I did not want to do a typical "who did it" mystery. This book equally tells the story of how the criminal does his crimes and the investigations. Even if it is not a "who done it" one read still was wondering about the outcome from the case. 
What’s your biggest struggle as a writer (or what was your worst critique)? And how do/did you handle it?
As a police officer I write ALOT of police reports. My writing is described as reading like a police report. One agent asked to read the full manuscript. Later he emailed me that it was an amazing read but not one he was able to represent. He said it would take too many re-writes to take it from technical report to commercial story.
I was both bummed and happy. The feedback pointed me in the right direction to improve. However, it still was a rejection. His advice helped in my next revision that was ultimately accepted by a small press indie publisher for printing.
What is the high point of your career, so far?
Coming home from work to see a box on my front porch knowing it had the first print run of my book. Opening that box and seeing the stack of books is something I can't put into words.            
What was the low point of your career? And how did you handle it?
"Working on book two. I have multiple ideas and could not pick which one to do as the second book. Then when I was half way done with it I realized I was going down the wrong path with the story. Also a discussion with an author acquaintance of mine caused me to realize someone important in the story needed to die. That death would put me on the path this story is missing.
I have yet to write that death. Everything around that death is written but I just can't bring myself to put that chapter on paper. This character is someone I had plans for and thought would have an arch over a few books. Yet that death then becomes more meaningful, if it hurts me, it should make some readers feel something also.  
Give us the name of a recent book you’ve read that you would highly recommend to readers.
Time's Up by Janey Mack. It is the most fun read I have had in the last year. Seriously, it is like nothing I have read in a long time. The protagonist is a meter maid. Someone who wanted to be a police officer but could not make it, so took the next best job.
Other than the original plot is the way it is written. Janey has a sarcasm in her writing that is just fun to read.    
What’s next on your writing journey?
Finish up book two. Over half way done, just need to wrap up some lose ends and edit it.
I know I need to learn more about the craft of writing. Got a few conferences I want to go to to learn more. Also willing to teach other writers about what I know, being a police officer. I will be at the 2016 Writers Police Academy teaching some topics on Investigations.           
What’s your favorite book on the writing craft or your favorite piece of advice to writers?
The Breakout Novelist: Craft and Strategies for Career Fiction Writers.
Best advice I got was to just get ideas out of the head and onto paper. Write what ever is in your head now. Get it down. Worry about the editing, you can edit later when it is time to edit. "
How can we find you online?
www.rescuehumor.com
www.facebook.com/RescueHumor
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14544060.R_J_Beam
https://twitter.com/RescueHumor"          
Please check out RJ’s books here…
http://www.amazon.com/Fire-Cop-R-J-Beam-ebook/dp/B016P73QUW/
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/fire-cop-r-j-beam/1122800108?ean=2940151189118
https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/fire-cop/id1049969842?mt=11
https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/585419


If you're an author and would like your thriller, mystery, romantic suspense, or suspense novel featured, please fill out the interview at: 

AUTHOR INTERVIEW QUESTIONS

Friday, February 12, 2016

S.D. Skye's Hell or High Water 365-Day Blogathon -- Day 208 -- Author Kathy MacIntosh

Fiction Friday







Please welcome to the stage...

Kathy McIntosh

Tell us about your journey to become a published author?
Years later, another novel was accepted by a small publisher, L&L Dreamspell. Shortly after Mustard's Last Stand was published, Dreamspell closed due to the untimely death of one of the partners. I decided to publish independently and have now released the second in the Havoc in Hancock series, Foul Wind. The road has been winding and steep, with many boulders, but along the way I've met many terrific authors. "   
What sparked the idea for this series?
My daughter is an environmental activist and invited me to join her for breakfast with a friend whose "forest" name is Roadkill. This chatty, charming man dressed in the skins of animals he found by the road and tanned. How could I not launch a series about Roadkill and his kooky friends and relations?   
Tell us about your latest release.
Foul Wind catches up with Feather, one of four pregnant women in the first novel who align with Roadkill against the fanatical developer of an African safari camp in North Idaho. In Foul Wind, Feather can't believe her prissy sister would be involved with blackmail. But when the partners in a new wind development are blackmailed and Feather's sister's lover is murdered, suspicion falls on Feather and her sister. Feather and her mother, often at odds, endure hungry hogs, sinister strangers, and a PI with killer instincts and drop-dead looks, to sniff out the murderer.                
Give five words that best describe this book. What message do you hope readers get?
Offbeat, Suspenseful, Funny, Cozy
We need to think about what we're doing to our environment. "               
Give us one or two of your favorite lines from this book.
"Feather closed the door on him and his life and his wife and their son and walked down the cement stairs into the cool dark night."
"A joker. She needed a joker at this minute like she needed a ferret chewing on her leg."
Tell us about your writing space and your daily routine.
We carved out a corner of the now closed-in Arizona room (patio) and had a beautiful bookcase built in. I work beside sliding glass doors to the back yard, watching bunnies munching and lizards basking, along with the occasional hawk. I try to walk our dog daily, my form of meditation. I write 'til my butt complains, then find way too many other distractions.        
What’s one of your favorite reviews/comments you’ve ever received about your writing (on this book or any other)? Who did it come from and how did it impact you?
Author Kathy McIntosh has either met these folks and changed their names, or she's got an incredible gift for creating hilarious, yet recognizable characters. With her words, you see, hear, even smell the characters as they race, stumble, sashay, and fight their way to claiming the old family homestead, rediscovering themselves, and giving a sleepy town a good ole wake-up call along the way. “
From an Amazon reviewer, this quote inspired me to keep going on book two, even though I was having a tough go at the time."              
What’s your biggest struggle as a writer (or what was your worst critique)? And how do/did you handle it?
I have to read reviews with an open mind but a thick skin. One reviewer will hate a cover, the next love it. I have to remember we all look at the world with different eyes. I do allow myself a good pout when things go too slowly or a bad review arrives. Then I slog on, usually with a smile.    
What is the high point of your career, so far?
When I sought someone to narrate my first novel on Audible, a man named JoBe Cerny responded. JoBe, an experienced actor and producer, used to be the voice of the Pillsbury Doughboy. He did a great job with the many voices in Mustard's Last Stand. He'll be recording Foul Wind this spring. He's such a great guy and also a mystery writer. Serendipity brought us together.           
What was the low point of your career? And how did you handle it?
A famous author offered to read fifty pages of one of my books and then phoned me with her advice. I heard only the negatives, although I'm sure she was kind. I didn't handle it well and didn't write much for several months. I gradually worked through it, with the support of my friends, and realized I needed to "toughen up." I have, I guess, because I keep writing.
Give us the name of a recent book you’ve read that you would highly recommend to readers.
I'm re-reading Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott and gave a copy to my daughter, who is not a writer. I think Lamott has good advice for everyone.               
What’s next on your writing journey?
I've recently moved from Idaho to Arizona and I'm moving my characters from the Idaho forests to the Sonora desert. Believe me, there are plenty of environmental issues for them to attack here, and lots of great kooky characters.           
What’s your favorite book on the writing craft or your favorite piece of advice to writers?
So many to choose from! I love Bird by Bird, and Natalie Goldberg's Writing Down the Bones.
Best advice came from Ridley Pearson (and so many others): Get your butt in the chair and write. "       "The first novel I wrote was a finalist in the St. Martin's Malice Domestic contest and I knew I was on my way to fame and glory. No such luck; lots of agents read it but none made an offer
To find her online, please visit...
Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/kathymcidaho
Facebook author page: www.facebook.com/kathymcintoshauthor
Facebook page: facebook.com/kathy.mcintosh.372
Google +: google.com/+KathyMcIntosh
Twitter: https://twitter.com/kathymcwrite
Amazon author page:  amazon.com/author/KathyMcIntosh"    
And to read her books, visit…
Mustard's Last Stand on Amazon: http://amzn.to/1ZDHaMV

Foul Wind on Amazon: http://amzn.to/1RpWfPx"


If you're an author and would like your thriller, mystery, romantic suspense, or suspense novel featured, please fill out the interview at: 

AUTHOR INTERVIEW QUESTIONS