Hide Nor Hair
Jersey Girl Cozy Mystery, #2
Jo-Ann Lamon Reccoppa
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Publisher: Cup of Tea Books
Date of Publication: April 21, 2015
Number of pages: 188
For this Jersey girl, big hair means big trouble!
Newspaper reporter Colleen Caruso just wants her unruly curls tamed into smooth, sleek locks. Instead, she finds her stylist dead, facedown in a shampoo sink. Faster than you can say Aqua Net, Colleen starts investigating. The case gets even hairier when the owner of a local fitness studio seems to have jumped from a plane … without a parachute.
Meanwhile, her suave editor, Ken Rhodes, steps in to help. And he may be looking for more than just a good story from Colleen.
Add in a missing bracelet, some suspicious husbands, and a little breaking and entering—and this Jersey girl is heading for a real blowout!
Can Colleen tie up these split ends? Or does she have an appointment with disaster?
Today, we welcome Jo-Ann Lamon Reccoppa to Musings and Ramblings. Let's all give a big Geeky welcome!
I’m so happy to be here at Musings and Ramblings! Not only do I get to talk about writing and plotting, but it’s great to chat with people who have a passion for the written word and love to get lost in a book.
Let's start with some writer specific questions before moving into the fun stuff. That way everyone can really get to know the person behind the writer. We will finish things off with a round of Think Fast. Ready for the interrogation to begin?
This almost feels like a test. I’m awful with tests! And it isn’t even multiple choice – where I usually pick C! Okay, panic attack over... I’m ready.
Is your writing style more plotter or pantser?
I tend to write by the seat of my pants, but I’ve already thought out the basic plot before I sit down to write and usually know the general direction I would like the story to take. That doesn’t mean the story will end up precisely where I want it to go. I sometimes change things mid-way through, even really big things like the killer, but at least having an idea of where I’m going is helpful. Writing this way is like having a Garmin that hasn’t had its satellite maps updated in a couple of years. The GPS will get you in the general area of your destination, but finding the exact address without taking a wrong turn and driving off a cliff might be a little – shall I say it – up in the air!
How do you deal with Writer's Block?
I deal with severe writer’s block by writing longhand. I know it sounds archaic, but this low-tech approach really does work. I had attended a Sisters in Crime Central Jersey chapter meeting months ago and the guest speaker, handwriting analysis expert Terry Antoniewicz, spoke about writing and the direct link the physical act of cursive writing has to the brain. Just putting pen to paper opens up the creativity hiding somewhere inside your head that won’t come out if you’re banging out words on a keyboard. It’s like a jumpstart or a shot of adrenaline. Who knows? Maybe staring at a monitor is too intimidating and writing on real paper is more natural and basic, like walking or breathing.
How involved are you with Social Media and self-promotion?
I am trying to become involved with Social Media, but I have a really long way to go just to become even somewhat acquainted with it. I’ve started a blog/website, thanks to my daughter-in-law showing me how to create one on Word Press, but I really have a hard time thinking up themes for a post. I have to wonder if anyone is really all that interested. Wouldn’t readers rather be lost in a great book, or watching The Black List, eating pizza, or even doing the dishes? Okay, maybe not washing the dishes.
I’m also a little shy about self-promotion. I can still hear my mother saying to the six year old me, “stop bragging!” Today it’s not only important to self-promote your writing, it’s essential if you want readers to become familiar with your work. The thing is, sometimes it reminds me of those little kids who stand at the very edge of a diving board and scream, “Hey Mom! Look at me! Watch this!” before doing a belly flop into the pool. Uh, just for the record, I’m guilty of doing that!
What one thing do you wish someone had told you before you started writing?
Oh God! What a wonderful question! I’ve been dying to say this for a very long time and never had the nerve! I wish someone had told me to always write the way I want to write, and not the way you think editors and agents want me to write. Most of my fiction contains a lot of humor. When I first started writing novels, I kept my characters’ innermost thoughts in mind and put them to paper. Generally, they’re a scream. Other writers told me that injecting humor into a story is a critical writing flaw, it’s unprofessional, and that absolutely no editor would ever consider publishing my work if it wasn’t “serious” fiction. If you are a writer, take all the well-meaning advice from others with a grain of salt. Know your writing style and use it to your fullest advantage. Disagreeing on verb tense is one thing. Your writing voice is quite another matter. Go with your gut and you can’t go wrong.
What do you like to do when you are not writing?
When I’m not writing, I like to walk outdoors. There’s something about all that fresh air and sunshine that sends your spirits soaring. I also watch a lot of hockey (my NJ Devils) and go to the games – so much more fun in person. Lastly, when I’m sick of all that fresh air and my team is on a losing streak (like they have been most of this season), I like to gamble! The flashing lights and sound effects of the machines invigorate my soul – yeah, I’ll probably get struck by lightning for that little remark. But it’s so much fun. Every so often I take off with my across the street neighbor and drive down to Atlantic City or to Bensalem PA. We pretend we’re Thelma and Louise, and have a ball for just a few hours. I don’t do table games. I tried just once, but got kicked out of the game for not knowing how to bet and for taking too long to figure out what beat what. How totally embarrassing that was!
If you could have any superpower, what would it be and why?
I’d love to be able to fly. Imagine gliding through the sky above the land or the ocean and looking down – all the things you would see and the places you’d go.
What was the name of the last book you read?
I just finished The Complete Gillian Flynn, which includes Gone Girl, Dark Places, and Sharp Objects. A real good deal on Amazon for Kindle.
What is your biggest pet peeve?
Drivers who can’t parallel park. They drive me insane. How did these people get their licenses?
If you could have dinner with anyone, past or present, fictional or real, who would it be and why?
Madeline Khan! I loved her in every movie she’s ever appeared in and dinner with her would be non-stop laughter. Do you remember her in History of the World Part I as Empress Nympho: “I love quick time harch.”?
You are going to be stranded on a deserted island and bring 3 luxury items. What would they be?
Okay, would there be electricity on this deserted island? If so, a hairdryer is a necessity and I don’t care if there’s nobody around to see my hair – I’d know my hair would look awful without it. Also Godiva Chocolates (I’ve gained some weight so now I’m better able to make more of my own shade so the chocolates wouldn’t melt), and a working toilet... just because!
Elvis or Sinatra? Sinatra (hey, a Jersey Guy)
Mountains or Sea? Sea
Italian or Chinese? Can’t I have both?
Summer or Winter? Summer
Coffee or Tea? Coffee
Dead Tree or Electronic? Dead Tree
Thanks for coming by and spending some time with us. Any final words of wisdom to pass along?
Thank you so much for having me! It’s been a blast. As for words of wisdom, they are the same as the advice I give to my kids – don’t take life so seriously and enjoy every single day to the fullest.
Oh, yeah! And keep reading!
3 e-copies of Hide Nor Hair
Jo-Ann Lamon Reccoppa lives in Old Bridge, New Jersey, and uses her experience as a freelance correspondent as the basis of her protagonist’s career. Several of the incidents within these pages are actual occurrences. They have been shamelessly embellished and are not a blow-by-blow account of a few really bad days on the job. Hide Nor Hair is her second novel.
To connect with the author online:
Website | Goodreads