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Anybody who has been around young children has heard this refrain waaay too much! Aunty has just returned from a visit with a few of her grand-nieces and nephews where I quickly grew accustomed to saying “Because…” So, since I am already in the mode of answering all those “Why” questions, I thought I’d answer a few about my new release The Treasures of Venice.
Long, long ago I had never traveled much of anywhere (hard to believe but true). But I dreamed of exotic places and pined to visit them. Venice was at the top of my list. This city built on water captured my imagination from the first moment I learned it existed. All the pictures of the beautiful, elaborate buildings and the boats floating serenely on the canals looked incredibly romantic to me.
Guess what? It really IS a beautiful and romantic city and it left a lasting impression on me.
When I sat down to write my very first romantic suspense novel, it seemed only natural to set it in the most romantic place I could think of – Venice! And once I made up my mind, it was interesting and a little bit scary how I started to notice things about Venice popping up all around me! Venetian glass, Venetian churches, articles about how Venice is sinking… Of course the thing that really cemented the idea for me was that piece of music. I’ve mentioned elsewhere how I was originally inspired by a piece of classical music I heard on the radio. It was the incidental music to the opera “The Jewels of the Madonna.” I’d never heard the music or the opera, but when I went home and googled it, I found out the composer was Ermanno Wolf-Ferrari… A Venetian!
That was the last bit of serendipity I needed to convince me to use Venice as a setting.
Why an Irish Hero?
Because a man with a brogue can talk me into almost anything! Seriously. Have you listened to Jonathan Rhys-Myers? Colin Farrell (who even sounds cute when he’s swearing)? And okay, so I’m Irish myself, which must be why I’ve always had this attraction to dark-haired, blue-eyed men. I never thought I was the only one. Must be because, in addition to the adorable accent, they are just so charming!
Again, it really IS true! I’ve traveled to many many places since that first jaunt to Italy, and I can unequivocally state that every male in Ireland (the Republic and the North) from drooling toddlers to tottering seniors are charming. They can’t help themselves, it’s in their DNA.
Now, I know that logic would dictate if the story is set in Venice then the hero would be Italian. Luckily, I never claimed to be logical. Besides, when I started letting my imagination play ‘what if…’ with this story, this gorgeous Irish hunk popped into my head and insisted on being the hero. Aunty never argues with hunks of any ethnicity, and most especially not Irish ones.
Why a dual storyline?
When I first came up with the idea for The Treasures of Venice, I’d read the libretto for the opera “Jewels of the Madonna.” Well, you know how operas often are, overblown and tragic. And I’m afraid this was the case with “Jewels of the Madonna,” which I’m sure works just fine since it’s an opera, but not so fine for a romance novel. So I started thinking of a different storyline for stolen jewels.
I’d seen a portrait of a beautiful, young Renaissance woman named Gianna Tournabouri and thought she’d make a wonderful heroine. But she was obviously wealthy. Why would she need to steal jewels? Then I realized that, just like in the opera, someone else did the actual stealing. Someone who loved her, and I knew who!
Soon, I had a whole scenario for star-crossed lovers and stolen jewels, but it was set in 1485 Venice. The only problem was, I don’t write historical romances. I had to figure out a way to turn the story into what I did write, which was contemporary romantic suspense.
Back to the drawing board, or in my case the old ‘what if…’ What if the jewels were never found until now? What if the person who uncovered the whereabouts of those jewels got into big, big trouble?.
There had to be a modern day couple, but not just any couple. What if they were the reincarnated lovers from 1485? And what better way to show that than a dual storyline? The biggest surprise of all for a seat-of-the-pants writer like me is that the two storylines fit together so well with almost no effort on my part. Some things really are just meant to be!
Why didn’t you give up on this story?
Actually, I did give up on it for awhile. Even though it was a finalist in the 2006 Golden Heart, it was rejected by 24 agents and almost an equal number of editors, including my editor at Sourcebooks. I put it aside while I wrote two more books, but I really loved this story and these characters, so after The Wild Sight was published, I asked my editor if she would take another look at The Treasures of Venice. She suggested a few revisions (nothing really major) and once I did those, she decided she loved the book as much as I did!
I’m happy to say, I’ve received some very good advance reviews of the book, and I truly hope all my readers will be equally enthusiastic about The Treasures of Venice. I am absolutely thrilled that this “book of my heart” is finally on the shelves!
So does that answer all your “whys”? Any “who?” “what?” “where?” of “how?” you’d like to ask? I’ll be giving an autographed copy of both The Treasures of Venice and The Wild Sight to two lucky commenters! (Please let me know which you’d like.)
Bo'sun Terrio here - <i>The Treasures of Venice</i> hit shelves today so run, don't walk to the nearest bookstore. If you'd rather order online, click on the cover at that top. For more information on Loucinda McGary, check out her website here. Now, let the questions fly but remember Aunty is on the left coast so she'll be around a little later in the morning.