I understand you have a new release out called The Wild Sight. Can you tell us a little bit about your fabulous new book?
The Wild Sight is a sensual contemporary romantic suspense tale set in Ireland with a hero who is psychic. The front cover actually says: The Wild Sight an Irish tale of deadly deeds and forbidden love.
Here’s the back cover blurb:
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 . . .
She’s just looking for the family she never knew . . .
After her mother’s death, Rylie finds tantalizing clues that send her off to Ireland to find the man listed on her birth certificate as her father. She needs the truth—but how can she and Donovan be brother and sister when the chemistry between them is nearly irresistible?
Uncovering the past leads them dangerously close to madness . . .
Donovan’s visions lead them into mystery and murder, and only by going deep into the fens can they defeat an ancient enemy and bring the truth to light . . . but will they ever be able to get out?
The Wild Sight is a very interesting title. How did you arrive at that name?
Actually, my publisher’s marketing department came up with that title. My original title was Death In The Fens but apparently nobody in marketing knew what a fen was. For awhile, the book was called Secrets In The Irish Mist, but that title didn’t stick either. Eventually someone decided on The Wild Sight, and my book’s identity crisis was over.
Would you describe your book as a cozy, mystery, suspense, or thriller?
I call The Wild Sight a romantic suspense with paranormal elements. Basically, it has all the ingredients I like to read.
What made you decide to write in this genre?
I grew up reading and loving the great gothic romances of Victoria Holt, Phyllis A. Whitney and Mary Stewart, and they strongly influenced both my reading and writing preferences. (me, too-KW)
Where did you get your idea for this particular book?
My two previous manuscripts were romantic suspense stories both set in Italy, and since neither of them had sold, I decided I would set my next story in Ireland. I had always been fascinated with the concept of the Irish “Second Sight,” but in most stories a female possesses this ability. I started thinking, “What if a man had it?” And that’s when my hero, Donovan O’Shea was born.
Do you have all the key suspense/mystery elements thought out before you begin writing?
I wish! I’m much more of a seat-of-the-pants writer than that, I’m afraid. When I sat down to write my first draft of The Wild Sight, I tried to mend my ways and do more up front work. I actually wrote an eleven page rough outline of key plot points and character arcs before I started writing, but that pretty much went by the wayside after about three chapters.
I did know that I wanted my hero to have “the sight” but I wasn’t exactly sure about all the ways that ability would manifest itself until I got into the story. I also knew I wanted at least two murders, one recent and one not, that needed to be solved. Plus, there was the whole “mystery” of the heroine’s parentage to be solved, again, I wasn’t sure of the details until I started writing.
Did you have to do a lot of research for the book? What are your favorite research books or sites?
Yes, I did do quite a bit of research. I have been to Ireland but not for several years. In fact, my DH has family in Northern Ireland, which is why I set The Wild Sight there, instead of in the Republic. I pulled out old photos and maps from our previous trips, and checked out every book on Ireland that my local library branch would allow me to take. For about three weeks, I surrounded myself with all things Irish including history, geography, folklore, I even had a book on Celtic jewelry. I also did research on the net and found some fascinating things like census data broken down by county that helped me with authentic surnames, and a gender specific genetic trait, the Niall Marker that provided me with a key element in the story.
One of the things I wanted to be sure and convey was the distinctive speech patterns of the Irish. I wanted my Irish characters to “sound” Irish with the lilting syntax and unique colloquialisms. A couple of great websites I found were one with Irish curses, blessings, and proverbs, and another of modern Irish slang. Reading blogs by Irish men and women helped too.
Which character did you like writing about the most, and why?
Most definitely my hero! I’m always a little in love with my heroes. I think it’s a necessity. If I don’t love them then neither will my readers.
Donovan was a bit of the strong and silent type. In fact, for an Irishman, he was quite taciturn. Since he was a young child, he’d been burdened with this ability to see and hear things other people did not. All his life he had to deny who and what he really was. It was fun to have my sassy little heroine force him to come to grips with his feelings and learn to trust her and others.
Tell us about how you develop your characters. Do you create character sheets, do interviews, that sort of thing? How does your research affect your character development?
It’s nothing so formal as character sheets or interviews. My characters reveal themselves to me. They usually (but not always) arrive in my creative consciousness with their names--first, middle and last--and they start “talking” to me. Yes, they each have a distinctive voice, and they talk about their families, their background, their professions, stuff like that. Sometimes I write down these basics, sometimes I don’t. I generally know far more about my characters than I ever put into the story.
As I mentioned, my research led me to include a genetic trait called the Niall Marker in my hero. I also used research about the ancient Celts to create secondary characters, and census data to name others. I purposely named one minor character after my son, who does have an Irish first name. When I told him, he thought it was “cool.”
Do you have any authors that inspired you?
Besides the three mentioned above, I was definitely inspired by Terry Brooks and his Sword of Shannara fantasy series, and Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander books. In both cases, when I read the first book in each of these series, I was completely awe-struck by the diverse characters, the complex world each author created, and the great action-adventure plots. They made me want to write my own stories.
What do you feel is the most effective promotion you have done for your book?
It’s rather early to tell, but I hope all these guest blog appearances will start some buzz. By being involved in a couple of group blogs myself, I’ve been amazed at the large number of people all over the world who visit blogs and websites.
Everything I’ve heard and read points to word-of-mouth as the best way to sell books. By putting myself out here in cyber-space, I can reach far more potential readers than I can by print advertising, and I get the wonderful bonus of being able to interact with readers. I really love to hear from readers! I won’t know for sure until my publisher receives sales figures, but I’m convinced that online promotion is worthwhile.
What do we have to look forward next?
Another Irish tale or two, with a hunky Irish hero and an Irish-American heroine. Or maybe a hunky Irish-American hero and a spunky Irish lass…
I’d love to hear from my readers what they would like! Is there a character you’d like to see more of? A setting you’d like to read about? Please let me and/or my publisher know. In fact, if you’ve already read The Wild Sight, or have an opinion about characters and settings, please share with me in the comments.
Thanks, Aunty Cindy!
To celebrate her book release, Loucinda is offering a free copy of The Wild Sight to one lucky commenter on today's blog. She will be around all day today. I'm sure some of you have questions or comments for her, so please ask away...
A life-long avid reader and writer, Loucinda McGary left her civil service managerial career in 2003 to fully pursue her twin passions of travel and writing. She sets her novels of romance and suspense in some of the fascinating places she has visited. The Wild Sight is her first published novel.
Check out author’s website at http://www.loucindamcgary.com/
Buy The Wild Sight at your local bookstore or order it from Amazon or the Sourcebooks website: http://www.sourcebooks.com/