Today I’m interviewing fellow Soul Mate Publishing author, Joanne Guidoccio, about her novel, Between Land and Sea.
Q: How long have you been writing?
A: While sitting in Grade 13 English class, I dreamed of writing the great Canadian novel. 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.
Q: Tell us about your road to publication.
A: For the first three years, I focused primarily on non-fiction. My articles and book reviews were picked up by newspapers, magazines and online publications. On a whim, I decided to sign up for a series of workshops facilitated by science fiction writer Sarah Totton. Driving home one evening, I imagined a scenario involving an older and wiser mermaid and started writing Between Land and Sea.
I considered all options for publication and even attended several workshops on self-publishing. In the end, I gravitated toward a small publisher and was thrilled when senior editor Debby Gibson (Soul Mate Publishing) offered me a contract. At heart, I am very traditional and feel more comfortable with tried and true advice. On my own, I would never have come up with the eye-catching cover.
Q: What advice would you give an aspiring author?
A: Be open and flexible. Release any expectations you may have about writing the great Canadian (American) novel and watching it achieve bestseller status. That’s not to say it won’t happen, but you will put enormous pressure upon yourself if that is your primary goal.
Experiment with different genres while discovering your own unique voice. 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.
Q: Tell us about your WIP.
A: I am working on The Coming of Arabella, the second book in the Mediterranean trilogy. Another mermaid rises from the depths, determined to wreak havoc in Isabella’s life (protagonist of Between Land and Sea).
Blurb for Between Land and Sea
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 stumbled as she got out of bed and tried to balance herself on the stumps that now served as permanent legs. She willed herself not to cry as she recalled the magnificent tail that had been the envy of the Mediterranean kingdom. Her mother and grandmother had also been blessed with the same tail. Now only Annabella held this birthright.
She heard her stomach growl and thought longingly of her favorite kelp dish. She closed her eyes and visualized the steaming goodness that would satisfy her hunger. And then she remembered that she could no longer manifest her desires.
No more powers. No more comfort and ease.
Her lips trembled as she looked about the small, neat room filled with large wooden pieces and smaller metallic ones. She tried to move one of the larger pieces and then gave up in frustration. Andrew had promised her a beautiful home with servants, and now she must live this life of ordinary humans.
The flickering of a green light caught her attention. She approached and noticed the tablet lying on one of the wooden surfaces. It was blinking at her. Tentatively, she touched the green light. The blinking stopped and a smiling face materialized.
“Greetings, Isabella. I am Lisa738. Annabella has asked me to guide you through your orientation.”
Isabella frowned and tried to recall her connection to this lowly mermaid from the Numbers class.