Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Welcome Joelle Charbonneau to the blog!

    Thanks for visiting the blog! You're in for a special treat. I can honestly say I've met some of the coolest folks since joining the writing community. But there have been a few true standouts too. Today's guest makes me want to squish our home states together just so we can hang out. She is a doll! Please welcome Joelle Charbonneau, a gorgeous, flame-haired songbird and accomplished author. She's hanging out for a bit to tell us about how she began her writing journey and her new book.

KD: Thanks for visiting with us today Joelle. I'm really excited to tell the folks about your new book MURDER FOR CHOIR. But first, tell us what led you the writer’s life?

Joelle: Hi KD.  Thanks so much for asking me to visit!  I’d never dreamed of writing a novel. In fact, my undergrad and graduate degrees (from Millikin and DePaul Universities) are in music and theater.  For years, I performed dinner theater, opera and children’s theater around Chicagoland.  However, I loved to read. Then one night while driving home from a performance I had an idea for the opening line of a book and I started to write. I found my passion for creating characters lived on the page as well as the stage, which was a total surprise to me.  
    I still teach voice lessons and sing for the occasional professional event. But the rest of my time is spent with my husband and son while dreaming up new and interesting stories.

KD: As a former Glee Club member at West Jones High (GO MUSTANGS!)  the title really sparks my curiosity. Tell us a little bit about the book.

Joelle: Murder For Choir is about a classically trained singer waiting for her big break in the opera world.  Since she needs to make ends meet, she takes a job as a high school show choir coach thinking that it shouldn't be too hard to teach a group of teenagers.  Wrong!  The teens want to win competitions this year and they don't think a classically trained singer is what their show choir needs.  To top it off, she stumbles across the dead body of a rival director and her best male singer comes under suspicion for the director's death.  Determined to prove her student's innocence and win over the choir, she starts asking questions and finds her own life in danger.

KD: Congratulations Joelle, MURDER FOR CHOIR sounds like a really exciting mystery. Did the inspiration for the story come from your experiences as a voice coach and singer?

Joelle: Ha!  Yes:)  I know a lot of people think the inspiration was Glee, but I have to admit (and please don't throw tomatoes) that I don't watch Glee.  I keep meaning to, but a four-year-old in the house means I'm mostly watching Blues Clues and Elmo.  However, I am lucky that Glee is so popular because it made using my life experience as a singer, stage performer and voice coach a popular choice among publisher.  The sleuth of MURDER FOR CHOIR, Paige Marshall, is near and dear to my heart because I have felt all the things she is feeling.  I know what it is like to go to audition after audition and get close but not quite make it in the door.  I, like Paige...or she like me, turned to teaching to help the bottom line.  However, I immediately loved teaching and am grateful I still get to do it.  Paige...well, she's still attempting to find the joy in working with ambitious teens.

KD: Paige sounds like a very interesting character indeed. I'm anxious to discover how her character evolves. MURDER FOR CHOIR being the first of the Glee Club books, can you tell us how many adventures there will be for Paige?

Joelle: Good question!  The answer is--I have no idea.  Honest!  I'm not being coy.  Thus far, three books are under contract in the series.  So there will be at least that many opportunities for Paige to get into trouble.  END ME A TENOR will be coming out on April 2, 2013 and the third book will hit shelves sometime early in 2014.  Hopefully, readers will connect with Paige and her supporting cast so I can keep writing this series long into the future.  Trust me, after working as a professional performer for fifteen years, I have lots of material to get my inspiration from.

To reach Joelle, email
On Sundays, Joelle blogs at Do Some Damage
On the second and fourth Tuesday of each month, Joelle blogs at the stiletto gang
Joelle’s events are listed on her Facebook page
You can also contact @jcharbonneau on Twitter

Skating Over The Line ~ Out Now! ~ Minotaur Books
Murder For Choir ~ July 3rd ~ Berkley Prime Crime
Skating On The Edge ~ October 2nd ~ Minotaur Books
The Testing ~ Spring 2013 ~ Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Children's

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