Between Land and Sea
By Joanne Guidoccio
Joanne will be awarding a $75 Amazon gift card to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour so please be sure to leave a comment below along with your email address. To increase your chances of winning be sure to visit the other tour stops. You may find those locations here....
Crystal: Today as part of the Goddess Fish Virtual Book tour, I have the opportunity to interview Joanne Guidoccio. Would you share a little bit about yourself with us today?
Joanne: When I retired five years ago, I was determined to put my “teacher” hat away. I had several major decluttering sessions and donated all binders, texts and educational paraphernalia. After a short period of reflection, I decided to resurrect a writing dream from my high school days. Open and willing to experiment, I dabbled in different genres and experienced many gratifying moments when my articles, short stories and book reviews were published in newspapers, magazines and online. But that wasn’t enough to satisfy my creative bent. I wanted more.
“More” translated into a novel, or more accurately, two novels: A Season for Killing Blondes and Between Land and Sea. The murder mystery failed to launch, but the fantasy about a middle-aged ex-mermaid was picked up by Soul Mate Publishing.
Crystal: Do you have a favorite scene you would like to share with us?
Joanne: The scenes involving Barbara and Kendra Adams are my favorites. Originally, I had intended to mention Kendra only in passing, but the psychic ex-mermaid started appearing in my dreams. When characters misbehave or invade my sleep, I know that plot changes are necessary. Kendra appears halfway through the novel at a critical juncture. Alone and isolated from her new friends, Barbara is in desperate need of advice that only Kendra, a cross between Louise Hay and Maya Angelou, can provide.
Crystal: Where did you come up with the idea for Between Land and Sea?
Joanne: On a whim, I took a series of workshops offered by dark fantasy and horror writer Sarah Totton. At first, I focused only on the writing advice, but later toyed with the idea of writing fantasy for boomer women. Not wanting to feature witches, werewolves, zombies or other dark creatures, I thought back to my childhood and recalled my favorite fairy tale, The Little Mermaid.
A series of “What if” questions whirled through my mind...
What if the mermaid wasn’t so young or so beautiful?
What if the man abandoned her?
What if she had to reinvent herself?
Crystal: What are you currently working on?
Joanne: I am working on The Coming of Arabella, the second book in the Mediterranean trilogy. Another mermaid rises from the depths.
Crystal: Do you have any special routine that you follow when you are writing?
Joanne: I may have put aside the “teacher” hat, but I still like to structure my days. After a leisurely breakfast, I start writing around 9:00 a.m. While working on a novel, I aim for 1000 words a day. Sometimes, that increases to 1500 words, but I try not to “binge” write. Once my quota is reached, the rest of the day is free for lunches, workshops, readings, appointments...
Crystal: Did you have to do a lot of research for this book or any other? If so, do you have a fascinating fact that you would like to share with us?
Joanne: While reading the “mermaid” literature, I was intrigued by one of the modern-day sightings. In 2009, residents of Kiryat Yam, a blue-collar Israeli town near Haifa, reported mermaid sightings at sunset. The mayor of the town even offered a $1 million reward to anyone who could prove that mermaids do exist. When a NBC film crew appeared to shoot footage for Destination Truth, they spotted a human figure that disappeared under the water. Several researchers dived after the figure, but were unable to trace it. As far as I know, the $1 million is still up for grabs.
Crystal: Who are some of your favorite authors that you like to read?
Joanne: I have eclectic reading tastes and enjoy reading Ann Patchett, Maeve Binchy, Louise Penny, Anna Quindlen, Julia Cameron, Louise Hay and Jacquelyn Mitchard.
Crystal: Is there any genre you haven’t written that you would like to try?
Joanne: I have great admiration for all writers of historical fiction. I am most impressed by their ability to expertly weave fact and fiction. At some point, I would like to dabble in that genre. Perhaps, explore my own roots and write an immigration story (Italy/Canada circa 1950s).
After giving up her tail for an international banker, Isabella of the Mediterranean kingdom is aged beyond recognition. The horrified banker abandons her on the fog-drenched shores of southwest England, leaving her to face a difficult human journey as a plain and practically destitute fifty-three-year-old woman.
With the help of a magic tablet and online mermaid support, Isabella evolves into the persona of Barbara Davies. Along the way, she encounters a cast of unforgettable characters, among them former mermaids, supportive and not-so-supportive women, deserving and undeserving men, and several New Agers.
Isabella was seething, but she did not want to lose her composure in full view of this lowly mermaid. She managed a tight smile and changed the subject. “I’ve read the file on Barbara Davies. She doesn’t appear to have too many skills, other than a degree in philosophy. What am I to do with that?”
“Get a job.”
“Like all other humans, you must take responsibility for your own life and make full use of your gifts.”
“I don’t know how to do that,” Isabella said. “In the mermaid kingdom, I knew what my gifts were.”
“You still have some of your gifts.”
“Can you tell me what they are?”
Lisa738 shrugged. “I have no idea. Only Annabella knows.”
“Let me speak to her.”
“That is not possible. Annabella made it clear that she would no longer be communicating with you in your new life. I will be your only connection to the mermaid kingdom for the coming year.”
“Yes, yes, I know all about that,” Isabella said. “This tablet will malfunction and I will be on my own.”
“You will not be alone. You will have found a man to support you.”
“What if I don’t want a man to support me?”
Lisa738 frowned. “You must find a man to help you before the year’s end.”
“But what if I don’t find this special man? What happens then?”
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
In high school, I dabbled in poetry, but decided to wait until I had more life experiences before writing a novel. The original plan was to get a general arts degree and take a few years off to travel and write. Instead, I gave in to my practical Italian side and obtained degrees in mathematics and education.
While I experienced many satisfying moments during my teaching career, I never found the time and energy to write. In 2008, I took advantage of early retirement. Slowly, a writing practice emerged and my articles and book reviews started appearing in newspapers, magazines and online.
My debut novel, Between Land and Sea, a paranormal romance about a middle-aged mermaid, was released by Soul Mate Publishing on September 18, 2013.
I live and write in Guelph, Ontario.
Where to find Joanne…
Amazon: Between Land and Sea
YouTube (Trailer #1): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xipZ6quZDOs
YouTube (Trailer #2): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nfiKOQe_yuU
Amazon: Buy Link