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The Romance Writer's Revenge presents another fantastic guest blogger. With her debut novel, The Wild Sight, hitting shelves October 2008, it's only a matter of time before this author's career shoots straight to the stars. Loucinda McGary, a.k.a. Aunty Cindy on the Romance Bandits blog, blends suspense and magic while still delivering a satisfying love story. She was generous (read: brave) enough to agree to an interview so without further ado, I give you my chat with Loucinda McGary.
Loucinda, welcome aboard and thank you for blogging with us today. We can't offer the cabana boys you ladies keep in the Bandita Lair, but we do have a rather generous crew of Hotties. Feel free to flag any of them down should you need a drink. Or a foot rub maybe. Or you just want to, you know, try one on.
Why thank you, Bo’sun! As you know, Aunty likes her hotties tall and lean (a la Hugh Jackman, Eric Bana, and Paul Bettany) and a foot massage is almost The Best Thing Ever! What’s not to love about having a hottie at your feet?
Having one on his knees. J But lets get down to business. Your debut release, The Wild Sight, hits shelves October 1. I'm stealing a page from the Bandita book and asking if you could share with us your *call* story?
Actually, I never get tired of telling this story, because truth really is stranger than fiction. And the truth is that I met my editor in an elevator at RWA’s National conference in Atlanta. My room was on the 20th floor and there were already two people in the elevator when my roomie and I got on, headed to breakfast. One introduced herself as an editor, and when she saw my Golden Heart finalist ribbon on my name badge, she asked me about it. I told her I was a finalist in romantic suspense and she said, “I’d really love to read your book.” And gave me her business card. Her name was Deb Werksman and she was acquiring for a new romance line for Sourcebooks.
Of course, I sent her my manuscript as soon as I got home. No, she did not buy it, though it took her six months to reject it. L However, at the urging of my CP and fellow Bandita Jo Robertson, I sent Deb a query for my work in progress. Three months later, she asked to see the partial. Then, on July 27, 2007 she called my house to ask me to submit the entire manuscript. I was out to lunch with three of my best friends and when I got home, my DH started babbling incoherently and shoved a piece of paper at me. He had answered the phone and when he realized it was an editor, he wrote down every single word she said, because he knew “…Cindy will kill me if I screw this up!” (And he was correct, I would have! J)
I emailed her the whole thing and promptly convinced myself that there was no way a manuscript ever sold to the very first editor who read it. Happily, I was wrong! On the morning of September 14, 2007 my ringing phone awakened me from a dead sleep. I am not a morning person, and everyone who knows me knows better than to call before 9 a.m. Expecting some dire emergency, I answered only to have Deb Werksman identify herself and say she wanted to buy my “beautiful book!” After I screamed “Oh my God!” in her ear about nineteen times, she told me she wanted to release the book in the fall of 2008. I believe it is the first romantic suspense in the Sourcebooks Casablanca line.
So there you have it – I sold my manuscript to the very first editor who read it, and I met her in an elevator. Truth really is stranger than fiction!
I love *call* stories. They always give me goose bumps. Someday…someday. Where was I? Oh yes, tell us about The Wild Sight. Especially Donovan O'Shea. If that isn't the perfect name for an Irish hero, I don't know what is.
Faith and begorra, Bo’Sun! Like so many of my characters, Donovan arrived with his name intact, first, middle and last. But I did use some Irish census data (broken down by county) to come up with authentic names for many of the characters in the book.
The Wild Sight is actually my third romantic suspense manuscript. The previous two were set in Italy, and since nobody was exactly beating my door down to buy them, I decided that I would set my third book in Ireland. The DH and I are both of Irish lineage. In fact, his maternal grandmother emigrated from Ireland to America and he still has relatives who live there. However, they live in Northern Ireland, not the Republic. This is the Ireland I’m most familiar with and the one I chose to write about, even though I’ve never seen another contemporary romance novel set there.
Makes sense. But The Wild Sight is more than a contemporary romantic suspense, isn’t it?
Yes, all of my romantic suspense tales have what I call paranormal elements. In my first book, the hero and heroine may or may not be reincarnated 15th century lovers. The heroine of my second book receives “messages” from her recently deceased aunt in her dreams. I have always been fascinated with the Celtic notion of second sight, and decided to use it in my third book. Most of the time, female characters seem to be the ones who have this ability, so I started thinking, “…what if a man had it?” And that is when Donovan Joseph O’Shea appeared. J Here’s a bit of the back cover copy to whet your appetite:
He was cursed with a “gift”
Born with the clairvoyance known to the Irish as “The Sight,” Donovan O’Shea fled to America to escape his visions. On a return trip to Ireland to see his ailing father, staggering family secrets threaten to turn his world upside down. And then beautiful, sensual Rylie Powell shows up, claiming to be his half-sister . . .
Was it difficult to convince an editor a book that starts with the hero and heroine thinking they are brother and sister would sell?
*ahem * Technically, the hero never believes she is his sister… But, I will say that I had several people who read the opening chapter or heard the idea react with, “EWWW!” One went so far as to tell me I’d never sell the book (Never say never!). I knew it would probably be a “make it or break it” issue. However, my critique partners were very supportive and said they couldn’t wait to see how I got my characters over this huge stumbling block. You’ll have to let me know how I did after you read the book.
As for my editor, the possible half-siblings turned out to be one of the things she loved about the book! Have I mentioned how much I LURVE my editor?
Can you tell us what's up next? What are you working on now? Sequels maybe?
As a matter of fact, I am working on a sequel. When my editor told me she wanted to buy The Wild Sight, she said in a rather off-hand way, “You did intend for this to be a series, didn’t you?” And I said, “Sure!” even though I’ve never before written a sequel. GAH!
But did I mention how much I LURVE my editor? Plus, she’s a very smart woman, so if she wants a series, then I’ll write one.
Here’s hoping she likes my latest ideas and decides to buy the sequel!
I think you'll find big fans of series here on the ship. What about it Wenches? Since Ms. Loucinda here is just starting on her whirlwind promotional tour, and we are honored she included us in her itinerary, how about everyone give her a little info on what makes you pick up a book? What makes you buy it? And what makes you tell all your friends about it?
Yes please! I’d love to know, and I’ll give away some Bailey’s Irish Crème filled chocolates to one lucky commenter.