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Ahoy and BOO to ye, Mateys! We here on The Revenge are honored and excited to have Sourcebooks Casablanca debut author, Loucinda McGary (aka Aunty Cindy in the Bandita Lair), back for a post-launch, return visit. Loucinda is wrapping up a whirlwind October that has pretty much been a promotional marathon. For the skinny on her debut novel, The Wild Sight, the inside scoop on her first month as a published writer, and the low down on some paranormal activity – keep on reading! (And there's prizes so really, get to reading. What are you doing still reading this intro? Read the dang interview already…sheesh.)
Loucinda: Ah yes, the book of my heart! My "baby" that is at last on the shelves of bookstores… SOMEWHERE, though apparently not in Bo'sun's neck o the woods. PFFFT!
The Wild Sight: An Irish tale of deadly deeds and forbidden love is a romantic suspense with paranormal elements. It's the story of Donovan O'Shea, who is cursed with the clairvoyance the Irish call "The Sight." Donovan has spent fifteen years trying to deny his so-called gift, but when circumstances force him to return to Ireland, it all comes crashing back with a vengeance. He becomes embroiled in two murders, one recent and one not, and meets a beautiful woman who can't possibly be his half-sister.
Bo'sun: I'll find this book by hook or by crook! Now, has this first month of being a bonafide published author with a book on the shelves been what you expected? If not, how has it been different?
Loucinda: In some ways it has exceeded my expectations. In others, it has been frustrating and stressful. Getting wonderful reviews, including a star from Publishers Weekly, has been a dream come true!On the stressful side, there was a snafu at the Sourcebooks' warehouse, and The Wild Sight did not get shipped with the other October releases. I had an in-person launch party scheduled for Oct. 5th and the books were not available ANYWHERE! ACK! Luckily, I received my author copies the day before the party, and several people received their Amazon orders, so there were some actual books at the party. Not only that, but people I did not know and who didn't know me asked for my autograph. That was a real thrill!
For two weeks, I kept going into my local bookstores only to be told that "the books are on order" or "we had copies but they are already sold out." Now I know this latter situation is a GOOD thing, but I was still frustrated. Finally, on Oct. 18th I went into my local Barnes & Noble and found copies on the shelf! I was in new author heaven!
Bo'sun: Okay, that sold out bit is AWESOME! I know you've been on a Wonderwoman blog tour this month, did you ever guess how much promotional work you'd have to do when you decided to write Romance?
Loucinda: I dunno about Wonderwoman, more like Exhaustedwoman (Aunty reveals ginormous E on her chest). This is my 15th blog appearance in the past 30 days, not counting my regular postings on my two group blogs and my personal blog. I also gave one live presentation (on internet promotion no less!) to a writers group an hour's drive from my house.So in a word, "no" I didn't think about the amount of promotion involved in launching my debut novel way back when I first started writing it. However, everything I've heard and read says that the more times people see your name or book title, the more likely they are to remember. I wanted to do everything in my power to get the word out about The Wild Sight, plus so far, I've had a ton of fun doing it! Of course, I won't know for sure how well I've succeeded until I get some sales figures, but I gotta believe this has all helped build the buzz.
Bo'sun: Can I get one of those Big E shirts? I so need one. Being a member of the Romance Bandits means having access to some great published authors (and fantastic as-yet-unpubs too!). What's the best advice you received before the big release and what advice do you wish you'd gotten that you didn't?
Loucinda: First and most importantly, let me say what a thrill and a privilege it is to be associated with this fantastic group of women! They are all amazing and multi-talented and sometimes I feel like a slacker in comparison. But that's the best part… there is NO competition, only support! We are all on our very individual writing paths and yet we all share and support one another. I think the genuine caring and friendship amongst all of us is what makes our blog so successful.Plus, the Banditas KNOW how to party! I think that's the most valuable advice they've all given me. CELEBRATE! It's so easy to get caught up in the daily grind, or to focus on the negative at the expense of the positive things going on in your life. Let go of that negative and embrace the positives! Have faith and believe in yourself and your abilities – this is the advice I wish I'd paid more attention to when my Banditas and other supportive family and friends tried to drill it into my hard head. I still struggle sometimes to give myself proper credit, or even the benefit of the doubt, but I am getting better.
Bo'sun: If seeing your first book on the shelves doesn't make you pat yourself on the back, I may have to come over there and shake some sense into you! As Halloween is just a couple of days away, tell us a bit about the paranormal elements of your story. How did you come up with the idea? Do you believe in "the sight"? Have you experienced any paranormal activity in real life?
Have faith and believe in yourself and your abilities – this is the advice I wish I'd paid more attention to when my Banditas and other supportive family and friends tried to drill it into my hard head. I still struggle sometimes to give myself proper credit, or even the benefit of the doubt, but I am getting better.
Loucinda: I've always been intrigued with the notion of "second sight" or clairvoyance. Being of Irish heritage myself, I grew up with this notion, but I'd never heard of it being associated with a man and that idea is what led to me writing The Wild Sight.My hero, Donovan hears and sees things that other people do not, but in the course of writing the story, his "gift" evolved into more than that. Instead of simply having "visions," he actually moves into a shadowy world "between" this one and the past. This ability first manifested itself when he was a young child and he played with two other boys who happened to be Bronze Age Celts (and may or may not be his ancestors). Interestingly enough, this ability is stronger around the Celtic holy day of Samhain, which we currently celebrate as Halloween.
At one point in the story, my heroine, Rylie observes Donovan interacting in this alternate realm and says that he looked like her idea of a ghost, "…almost like you weren't quite there." In this other reality, Donovan's personal demons become all too real and he must literally do battle with them. I had lots of fun writing those scenes, even if they weren't exactly planned.
As for my personal paranormal experiences, they are pretty limited. I had an out-of-body experience once, and both anesthesia and jet-lag give me dreams that are way too vivid to be enjoyable. I know a couple of people who claim to have "the Sight" but I'm reserving final judgment until they win the lottery.
Bo'sun: If that lottery thing works out, I do hope you'll hook a pirate up. Think of how much rum we could buy with 10 million dollars! Time to turn it over to the crew and our loyal free-loaders…errr…..passengers? Do you have any good unexplainable stories to tell? What kinds of paranormal experiences have you had? The spookier the better. And one lucky commenter will win their very own copy of The Wild Sight so comment long and often. (If you just can't wait to get your hands on this awesome book, click the cover above and order it today!)