Saturday, May 23, 2020

Garden Interview with Joanne Guidoccio

Welcome Joanne

Tell us about you and your books

When did you decide to become an author?

While sitting in high school English class (circa 1973), I dreamed of writing the great Canadian novel. Instead, I followed the conventional advice of the times and pursued a career in teaching, but in my heart of hearts, I knew that someday I would resurrect that writing dream. In 2008, I took advantage of early retirement and devoted my second act to writing.

Are your characters based on 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% of me, the same can’t be said of the other characters. I would be very surprised if anyone recognized himself/herself in the novel.

How much time do you spend writing each day?

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 is 1,000 words a day. After I reach that quota, I’m free to meet with friends for lunch or coffee and plan other outings.

What is your least favorite part of the writing process?

A linear pantser, I write brief character sketches, plot the first three chapters and the last, and then let the words flow. At some point, usually around Page 80, I encounter the murky middle, that nebulous place where I find it difficult to continue or sustain the tension of the novel. In short, I’m lost with no clear trail or direction in sight. 
In the early days of my writing career, I struggled to regain my motivation, wondering if I should abandon the novel. Thankfully, I have discovered several strategies that have lifted me out of the abyss.

What tips would you give a new writer?

Carve your own journey and take time to discover what you really like to write. In most cases, you will gravitate toward the genres you read. But don’t limit yourself. Instead, experiment with other genres, nonfiction, and poetry. I highly recommend attending local readings and workshops. If you need more direction, sign up for a creative writing course—online or offline—that exposes you to short stories, children’s and adult writing, creative nonfiction and poetry. Search until you find a warm, supportive environment where your words can flow freely. And most important of all, enjoy the journey.

and for a bit of fun

Do you have a favorite quote?

“We can choose courage or we can choose comfort, but we can't have both. Not at the same time.” ― Brené Brown

What is your favorite beverage?

I start each day with two to three cups of organic, fair-trade coffee from Planet Bean (a local café). My preferred blend is “Chatty Matty” and can be described as “light and mellow…nutty with a caramel finish.”

Do you have any hobbies?

While writing occupies the lion’s share of my time, I also enjoy reading, yoga, scrapbooking, blogging, movies, artist dates, and meeting friends for leisurely brunches and lunches.

What is your favorite comfort food?

Years ago, I would have answered pasta, any kind of pasta with tomato sauce or pesto. Since embracing a low-carb diet, I have grown to love and appreciate my daily bowls of comfort. I especially like puréed, low-starch vegetable soups that are quick and easy to prepare. Puréed broccoli soup is at the top of my list. You can find my recipe here:

If you were stranded on a desert island, what three things would be the most essential for you?

Clean drinking water. Compatible companions. Pen and paper (preferably a journal).

Where can we find out more?




Download   A Different Kind of Reunion  on Amazon and other online retailers


Liz Flaherty said...

A great interview!

Joanne Guidoccio said...

Thanks Liz! Hope you're have a great weekend. :)

D. V. Stone said...

Love that quote. Great interview. D. V. 🦉


Love your quote, and your writing process and schedule seem similar to mine. Enjoy your weekend!

Joanne Guidoccio said...

Good to see you here, D.V. Lately, I've been gravitating toward quotes and articles about courage and comfort zones. Happy Memorial Day weekend!

Joanne Guidoccio said...

Thanks for dropping by, Jennifer. Stay safe and stay healthy!

peggy jaeger said...

I love reading more about you, Joanne!! I guessed that Gilds was mostly made up of you and an amalgam of people, because she's so REAL and relatable!

Joanne Guidoccio said...

"So REAL and relatable!" Love the compliment and appreciate your support. Have a great weekend. :)

CB Clark said...

Interesting Post, Joanne. Your advice to new authors is great. From one Canadian to of luck in your writing career.

Joanne Guidoccio said...

Thanks CB! Love connecting with Canadian authors. :)

Karen Michelle Nutt said...

Great to meet you, Joanne.

Love yoga, too.

Joanne Guidoccio said...

Hi Karen, Enjoy connecting with other yoga enthusiasts. Stay safe and stay healthy. :)