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.
YouTube (Trailer #1): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xipZ6quZDOs
YouTube (Trailer #2): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nfiKOQe_yuU
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?”
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…
-Between Land and Sea is your debut novel, how does it feel to have your first book published? And what was the hardest part of the journey from beginning to end for you?
It is simply wonderful to see Between Land and Sea on Amazon. Finding a publisher was the most challenging part of the journey. I had already experienced frustration with my first novel, A Season for Killing Blondes. What I found most annoying were the suggestions to incorporate more “youngins” into the novel and downplay the roles of the “older” characters. Undaunted, I continued to use fifty-something protagonists and was fortunate enough to find an editor (Debby Gilbert of Soul Mate Publishing) who appreciated boomer lit. Or what I like to jokingly call fantasy hen lit.
Where did you inspiration for the novel come from?
When my cozy mystery, A Season for Killing Blondes, failed to launch, I put it aside for a while. To distract myself, I signed up for a series of workshops with science fiction and horror writer Sarah Totton. Impressed by Sarah’s tenacity—she entered the “Writers of the Future Short Story Contest” 17 times before winning—I listened attentively to her advice.
Driving home one evening, I toyed with the idea of writing fantasy and thought back to my favorite fairy tale: The Little Mermaid.
A beautiful mermaid is transformed into an overweight middle-aged woman? Would the man keep her or abandon her on the fog-drenched shores of southwest England?
Inspired by this premise, I started writing.
Did your career in teaching influence anything in your writing?
In 2000, I enrolled in a Career Development Practitioner program through Conestoga College and obtained my diploma after several years of part-time study. During the latter part of my teaching career, I taught co-operative education courses. Watching and helping adolescents experiment with different job placements and finally select a career direction was extremely gratifying. I had hoped to work in the career counseling field after retirement, but personal and health issues intervened. Instead, I assigned the role of career counselor to each of my protagonists, Gilda Greco in A Season for Killing Blondes and Isabella/Barbara Davies in Between Land and Sea.
Authors all have their own schedules and quirks when writing a novel. Some like a certain room in the house, others a certain time of the day. Do you find yourself writing better under certain circumstances?
I put away my “teacher hat” in June 2008, but found it difficult to release my need for structure. I cannot write amid clutter, chaos and confusion. After some experimentation, I came up with a formula that works for my second act. Each day, I treat myself to a leisurely breakfast and several cups of coffee as I check social media. I start writing around 9:00 a.m. While working on a novel, I aim for 1000 words a day. At first, I used the oven timer to keep me on task, but that annoying sound reminded me of incessant school bells, so I invested in a bird clock. Each hour, one of my feathered friends, among them the Downy Woodpecker, Belted Kingfisher, and Great Horned Owl, chirp and remind me to pace myself.
In case, you’re still wondering…I’m a plotter with minimal pantser tendencies.
If you were to get stuck all alone with any one of your characters, which one and why?
I love all my characters, but feel a special connection to Kendra Adams. Originally, I intended Kendra to be only mentioned in the early chapters, but she resisted my left-brain control tactics and emerged as a pivotal character during the second half of the book. As psychic, she fit in very nicely with the New Age theme that runs through the novel. While her exact age is never revealed, she is probably in her mid sixties and one of those rare women who dispenses wisdom with a non-judgmental air. I would love to have someone like Kendra in my life.
If someone made a movie about your life, what would it be called and who would play you?
One of my favorite songs is “The Circle Game” by Joni Mitchell. I love the refrain…
And the seasons they go ’round and ’round
And the painted ponies go up and down
We’re captive on the carousel of time
We can’t return we can only look behind
From where we came,
And go round and round and round
In the circle game
Having experienced several challenging seasons, I would use “The Seasons They Go ‘Round and ‘Round” as the title of my movie. Who could play me…possibly Lorraine Bracco or Wendy Crewson.
If you could have any view while writing, what would it be?
Oceanview. Having living inland all my life, I would love to spend six months by the ocean. An oceanfront condo in Hawaii or the Pacific Northwest would be ideal.
You’re forced to only read one book for the rest of your life- what is it?
A very difficult question, so I rephrased it. What book would I love to reread at this time of my life? The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett was the first book that came to mind. I recall spending over two weeks reading this lovely tome and feeling so hopeful and optimistic afterward.
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follow the tour and comment; the more they comment, to better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found here: