CHARACTER INTERVIEW WITH JO-ANN RECCOPPA'S COLLEEN CARUSO
ABOUT THE BOOKHas our Jersey Girl finally bitten off more than she can chew? Crime reporter Colleen Caruso has an appetite for romance . . . and trouble. When someone tries to poison Ken Rhodes (her handsome boss and boyfriend), Colleen vows to hunt down the culprit and serve them up to the police. She's whisked away into the scrumptious world of restaurants and gourmet food as she tangles with four culinary divas from Ken's past. Trouble is, Colleen doesn't know when to turn down the heat.
Colleen Caruso is a mom of two dreading an upcoming birthday. She’s a reporter for a local newspaper, Town Crier, a job she sort of stumbled into. Her main man is also her boss – but she’s a reluctant lover (an ugly divorce will do that to a gal). She lives in a small, quaint New Jersey shore community and is surrounded by good friends and a pushy family. Colleen rarely goes looking for trouble. She doesn’t have to. Somehow trouble always seems to find her.
ABOUT COLLEEN CARUSO
INTERVIEW WITH COLLEEN CARUSO
Colleen, how did you first meet Jo-Ann?
I first became acquainted with Jo-Ann many years ago while she was working on a book called Community Service. The book never did pan out, but I certainly did! She used a beach town as the setting for that story, and because the Jersey Girl mysteries take place in Tranquil Harbor, New Jersey, I was sort of recycled into the series.
What do you like to do when you are not being actively read somewhere?
Time off during the summer is the perfect opportunity to stretch out on a towel near the water and wait for the sun to make me tan.
If you could rewrite anything in your book, what would it be?
I would rewrite my lousy ex-husband and delete him from the picture, though without him I wouldn’t have my two beautiful, sometimes caustic kids, so I guess that’s not such a great idea.
Tell the truth. What do you think of your fellow characters?
I love them. That’s not to say I’d like to kill them off at times. But love is love.
Do have any secret aspirations that Jo-Ann doesn’t know about?
I can’t give that kind of information away. Jo-Ann reads everything, and she already knows way too much about me!
If you had a free day with no responsibilities and your only mission was to enjoy yourself, what would you do?
I’d spend most of the day in front of a slot machine with a gin and tonic in my hand, then go out and eat a dinner big enough to put me into a coma.
What are you most afraid of?
I’m afraid one day I’ll fall into a comfort zone and my life will be boring. Every day of my life is hectic, crazy, and as my mother keeps reminding me, it’s never normal. The older I get, the more I fear normal.
What’s the best trait your author has given you?
Jo-Ann made me resilient. I always bounce back, scathed but functional. I don’t give up and never have.
What’s the worst?
What do you like best about James O'Reilly?
I absolutely love Officer James O’Reilly. He always turns up and offers inside information whenever I hit a road block. I don’t even mind that he treats me like a senile great-grandmother most of the time. Least? I have to switch characters to tell you what I like least about someone. That would have to be my smart-ass sister! Kate is showy and inexplicably lucky. She appears so delicate and feminine that guys can’t do enough for her. But I’m not jealous or anything. Oh, no! Not me!
What’s your author’s worst habit?
When this chick hits a glitch while she’s writing, she switches from working on the manuscript to playing computer games! I mean, what’s up with that? Is she kidding?
How do you feel about your life right now?
Life is chugging along and going great at the moment. If I could change anything, I’d like to be the top reporter at my newspaper, the Town Crier – not number two. Coming in second isn’t in my nature, though for some odd reason it happens fairly often.
What aspect of Jo-Ann’s writing style do you like best?
I like the way my creator sees humor in everything I do, even if I don’t consider my day-to-day life to be particularly humorous.
If your story were a movie, who would play you?
I want Sofia Vergara to be me, but she’d have to practice her Jersey accent.
Describe the town where you live.
Tranquil Harbor is a mostly quiet shore community. There’s a lovely little beach for sunning and swimming. Our summers revolve around the weather. The town isn’t garish like some of the shore towns further south, with rides, games, food stands and a ton of tourists. We’re small and mostly close-knit. We all know each other’s business. We’re polite, well behaved, but there’s always something sinister brewing just below the surface of our ordinary, day-to-day lives.
What makes you stand out from any other characters in your genre?
Not being a stand-out sets me apart from the many women in my genre. I’m not devastatingly gorgeous. My figure isn’t perfect. My mothering skills need some work. My reporter instincts are a bit off at times. I’m every woman!
If you could be “adopted” by another writer, who would you choose?
Susan Isaacs maybe. I’ve read her work and I think she would truly understand me.
Will you encourage Jo-Ann to write a sequel?
I’ll do my best. My life is an ongoing slapstick comedy/disaster, and everyone needs a good laugh.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jo-Ann Lamon Reccoppa is the creator of the Jersey Girl Cozy Mystery series, which includes New Math is Murder, Hide Nor Hair, and the latest installment, Another Man’s Poison, released in August, 2017. Reccoppa has worked for many years as a newspaper stringer, writing everything from serious medical pieces to restaurant reviews. Her short stories have appeared in several genre magazines, in addition to a mystery, which appeared in the Barnes & Noble Crafty Cat Crimes anthology.
Connect with Jo-Ann: Buy the book:
Website | Goodreads Amazon | Barnes & Noble