I am so excited to introduce you to the amazingly talented, Joanne DeMaio today. She is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of contemporary fiction. She enjoys writing about friendship, family, love and choices, while setting her stories in New England towns or by the sea. Her novels include the New York Times bestseller Blue Jeans and Coffee Beans, Whole Latte Life, which was named a Kirkus Reviews Critics’ Pick, and most recently Snowflakes and Coffee Cakes, now a USA Today bestseller.
And, I am so excited to have her here today! Please read the Q&A below to find out more about this great author:
Your books have done so well and are consistently on the NYTimes Bestsellers List and ranked highly on Amazon. How do you define success? And where do you see yourself heading as a writer?
Thank you, Sara, that’s so kind of you to say. In terms of writing, I define success in one word: longevity. To have a body of work that is well-received by an audience that consistently grows is my gauge. As for what’s on my writing menu? Contemporary fiction is just my cup of “coffee” … although I don’t mind changing up the flavor with a spoonful of suspense or a dash of the beach, it is the go-to that I return to.
Marketing happens in stages. It starts with interacting with my existing reader-base on my Facebook Page and Author Newsletter. Pre-marketing begins there with exclusive cover reveals and glimpses behind-the-scenes. My daughter Mary actually handles my PR, and then sets up media coverage and an extensive blog tour to coincide with the book’s publication. This is a favorite part of the marketing, as I get to interact with readers across the country and share my new release. At this point word-of-mouth kicks in, which brings marketing to the ultimate goal of the book speaking for itself.
Have you always wanted to be an author?
Becoming an author was an organic process. I was a writer for many years, published in literary journals, local publications and newspapers. My writing evolved and grew over time, as I explored different mediums. Novel-writing was a natural progression.
Where do the ideas for your books come from? Do the characters/stories stem from real life at all?
We could have several cups of coffee talking about inspiration for my stories, but one of my strongest inspirations comes from favorite New England settings and treasures. My own Connecticut hometown inspires my fictional town of Addison which appears often in my work. Also, in a neighboring town, there once was an actual Christmas Barn, housed in a big red barn near a cove. It’s long been closed down, but in my latest novel Snowflakes and Coffee Cakes, I explore the fun possibilities of bringing it back.
It’s always the one I’m currently writing. At that early stage, a book brings a unique energy, and mystery, to the craft. I just have to know how the characters’ lives will unfold.
Which genres do you enjoy reading?
With my current writing schedule, what reading time I can squeeze in is usually with a non-fiction book. I love researching topics to bring to my work: snowflakes, denim design, beach life.
What is your favorite book of all time? Who is your favorite literary character of all time?
I have a small collection of illustrated classics that I enjoy, and Jane Eyre is right up there at the top. I reread it from time to time, finding it falls into many genres: mystery, suspense, saga, historical and romance. At the heart of it, it’s a love story that withstands the test of time.
Thank you so much, Joanne!
Please check back here on Wednesday for a review of her latest, Snowflakes and Coffee Cakes!