Friday, June 25, 2010

Interview with Loucinda McGary

I’d like to welcome our guest again today, Loucinda McGary. It’s a pleasure having you come back and visit us at Much Cheaper Than Therapy, where chocolate is plentiful and advice is free. So grab some chocolate and a lounge chair. Your therapy session has begun.

I understand you have a new release out called The Wild Irish Sea. Can you tell us a little bit about your fabulous new book?

Thank you so much for inviting me back to Much Cheaper Than Therapy! I’m so happy to be here and to give your readers a bit of info about my new book. The Wild Irish Sea is my third romantic suspense with paranormal elements. Like my first book, The Wild Sight, The Wild Irish Sea is set in the far north of Ireland, but this time on the rugged coast of Donegal which is in the Irish Republic.

My American heroine Amber O’Neill has a twin brother Parker with whom she has shared a mental connection all their lives. Parker is vacationing in Ireland when he inadvertently witnesses a murder and the killers target him. Amber receives his mental distress call and rushes all the way from California to the coast of Donegal to rescue her brother.

Once she is in Ireland, Amber enlists the aid of a reclusive Irish police inspector, Kevin Hennessey to help her find Parker. Also, to Amber’s great surprise, the mental connection she had previously shared only with her brother, she now finds she has with other people, especially Kevin.

The Wild Irish Sea is a very interesting title. How did you arrive at that name?

Actually, my editor came up with the title. She wanted something similar to The Wild Sight, so my working title was The Wild Mess. Since we couldn’t very well use that for the finished book, she came up with The Wild Irish Sea (even though the book is set on the Atlantic coast, not the coast of the Irish Sea).

What made you decide to write in this genre?

I’ve always enjoyed a bit of mystery and suspense with my romance, and I always loved the great old gothic romances of Victoria Holt, Phyllis A. Whitney, and Mary Stewart. When I decided to write romance, I naturally included a suspense element that harkened back to those authors I loved reading as a teen. Plus, I love a touch of paranormal, something that might conceivably happen (like mental telepathy or reincarnation), and included elements of these in all three of my books. My readers seem to love these little extra touches.

Where did you get your idea for this particular book?
Ten years ago, my niece gave birth to fraternal twin boys, the first twins in our immediate family. This sparked my interest in twins, and I read quite a bit about them. I thought it would be fun to write about a set of twins and decided to give them a ‘special’ connection.

What are your favorite paranormal research books or sites, and why?

Can’t really say I have a favorite. I read broadly and with online sites, I never quite know where I wind up. But some of those accidental discoveries have given me some great ideas and provided interesting twists in my story lines. The Niall Marker, which I stumbled upon while researching for my first book, went on to play a pivotal part in that story. Celtic legends about selkies provided interesting twists for The Wild Irish Sea, as did behavior studies of seals and sea lions.

Which character did you like writing about the most, and why?

I always love my heroes. After all, if I don’t love them, how can my heroine? Or more importantly, my readers? Though I must say that in this book, Amber’s brother Parker was a real scene stealer. I think his sassy comebacks and humor in the face of adversity are what makes him so appealing. Oh, and he was inspired by my own two brothers and their constant verbal sparring and one-up-manship. So far, everyone who has read any of The Wild Irish has commented on how much they loved Parker.

Tell us about how you develop your characters. Do you create character sheets, do interviews, that sort of thing? How does your research and/or world affect your character development?

I’m afraid I’m not so well organized that I write out character sheets and interviews. However, I usually know all kinds of things about my main characters and their background before I start writing. How do I know all this? They tell me, of course.

No, please don’t bring out the men with the strait jackets! Those voices in my head really are my characters talking to me. Generally they arrive with their names (first, middle, and last) fully intact and I have a pretty good idea what they look like. I do use Irish census data to help me with last names of Irish characters.

I also like to find pictures (usually of celebrities since those are readily available) that I think look like the image I have in my head of my main characters. But their personalities are definitely their own. For example, Luke Wilson physically resembles my personal idea of Parker, but his personality is based on my brothers.

How do you go about building your world if you use one? Do you use maps, charts or drawings?

I have been to Ireland, but I will admit that I have not visited the particular area (the northernmost point) where I set The Wild Irish Sea. I did look at a lot of pictures and descriptions of the area, and I always use maps so that I know the general direction in which things are located, and how far apart they are. However, in Ireland distance can be deceiving because their roads are small, winding, and very difficult to negotiate sometimes. So recalling my own personal experience in visiting a place is also helpful in portraying it in my prose.

Do you have any authors that inspired you?

As I mentioned above, Victoria Holt, Phyllis A. Whitney and especially Mary Stewart were great favorites of mine. Also, the incredible rich detail and characterizations in Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series have been a wonderful inspiration.

What do you feel is the most effective promotion you have done for your book?

I HOPE it is my online ‘blog tours!’ This is the start of my third one and I believe it is a great way to get the word out. I’ve also been much more active on Face Book in the past year, so please, “friend me!”
What do we have to look forward to next?

I’m currently writing what I hope will be the first book in a series centered around a fictitious cruise ship line, Adventure Cruise Line. Since I’ve been on sixteen cruises thus far (number seventeen is booked in November), I’ve already done a lot of the “research” so I thought, why not use it? And I promise, this will NOT be your mother’s Love Boat!

Thanks, Loucinda!

Thank you again for inviting me and please pass the chocolate!
To celebrate her book release, Loucinda is offering a free autographed copy of The Wild Irish Sea (or either of her other two books, if you prefer) to one lucky commenter on today's blog. (please check the blog Monday night to see if you won. Chances of winning determined by the number of entries.)

She will be around all day today. I'm sure some of you have questions or comments for her, so please ask away...

Loucinda McGary has two great passions: travel and writing. She has visited 47 states and 31 foreign countries, and likes to set her tales of romance and adventure in some of the fascinating places she has visited. Her previous books are The Wild Sight and The Treasures of Venice.

Check out author’s website at
Buy The Wild Irish Sea at Borders, Barnes & Noble, and on Amazon.


Anonymous said...

Good morning Loucinda. Thanks for joining us again here at Much Cheaper Than Therapy. Your chocolate will be ready pronto. I love books that are set overseas because it's like traveling there without getting on an airplane. I have to admit Ireland is one place I haven't visited yet so it will be exiting to see how you capture it. :) I use the internet for research a lot too. Don't know what I'd do without it, especially because it literally right at your fingertips. Have a great day here. :)

CrystalGB said...

Hi Lucinda. I enjoyed your interview. The Wild Irish Sea sounds good. :)

peggy said...

Hi Loucinda ,of all the states and country's you visited .where was the most romantic place you visited

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Hi Kim,

Can't thank you enough for having me back on Much Cheaper Than Therapy! This is actually the start of my blog tour for The Wild Irish Sea and I really appreciate you letting me start here.

Glad you like my settings. I work very hard to make them as much a character as the hero and heroine.

I hope you make it to Ireland one day because it really is one of the most beautiful places on earth!

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Hi Aunty Cindy! Swinging over from the Romance Bandits Lair to congratulate you on Wild Irish Sea!

I can't WAIT to read this latest. You know how much I adored both of your other books,especially The Treasures of Venice. I love the twin connection and the Irish setting...well, everything. :>

Hello too to your hostess. I love the name of your blog. I frequently tell my DH that my few addictions - buying books, Diet Coke, pop tarts - are MUCH cheaper than therapy! Hahaha!

I also love Peggy's question and am going to check back for the answer. You do travel so much (jealous!), what's been your favorite so far, and why?

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Hi CrystalGB!

Nice to "see" you here! Glad you liked the interview and I hope you enjoy TWIS.


Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Hi Peggy!

Wow, I've been so many romantic places that it is difficult to pick just one.

Venice was very romantic, of course, as were several of the hill towns in Tuscany. Last March we went on a Caribbean cruise that stopped at 8 different islands and several of those were quite romantic. My favorites were St. Lucia, Grenada, and Curacao. But then I think pretty much any place with a beach is romantic. ;-)


Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

HI Duchesse!

Thanx so much for swinging by from the Lair! And I hear ya on chocolate and good books being so much cheapter than therapy! However, as you know, I'm a Diet Pepsi luvver from way back so we will have to agree to disagree on that one. ;-)

And THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU for loving my stories. I'm afraid Keirnan Fitzgerald (hero of Treasure of Venice) will always have a very special place in my heart. But I think you'll enjoy Kevin too, since he's so tortured and all. (very big grin)

You know I can NOT pick one favorite of all my travel destinations. Every one of them has something unique and wonderful that I enjoy. Probably my favorite is the place I haven't been to yet! It's a whole new adventure waiting to happen.


Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

AC said: I'm a Diet Pepsi luvver from way back so we will have to agree to disagree on that one. ;-)

Yes, yes we will. You're on the Dark Side, as far as I'm concerned, if you love Pepsi. Sigh. But I still love you. :>

Had to LOL on the "whole new adventure" - it's so true. And yet it's also true that most places have something amazing to recommend them.

What was your fav about Turkey? And about New Zealand?

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

OOOO Duchesse,
You know how I LURVE Turkey! I'd go back there tomorrow if I could afford it! The DH's cousin is there right now and I'm so jealous...

As for NZ, I've only been to the north island and I've heard the south island is pretty darn AWESOME. However, I will say my favorite place on the north was Rotorua, which has hot springs and geysers and lots of kewl stuff. ;-)

who LIKES being on the dark side of Coke/Pepsi debate

Anna Campbell said...

Hiya Therapy girls! Hmm, that doesn't sound quite right! Hiya, Aunty Cindy! Lovely to see you here and I enjoyed your interview. Giggled at the Wild Mess. I spent many of my teenage years reading gothics too. I think they're part of my writing too - I hadn't really thought of Mary Stewart as gothic but you're so right, she is. She wrote such wonderful, atmospheric stories, didn't she? I'm sure she's part of the inspiration of why I love to travel. I think you are SOOOOO qualified to write about a cruise line! I get green with envy when I hear about your travels! Good luck with THE WILD IRISH SEA! It sounds like another Loucinda McGary winner!

Anna Campbell said...

Cindy, is there a setting you'd like to use that you haven't used yet? You pick such romantic places - Ireland and Venice! Wow. Any place calling you?

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Hi Fo!
(Aunty waves enthusiastically at her Bandita) I really appreciate you dropping by!

BIG YES to how atmospheric Mary Stewart's novels are. I LURVE the detail she uses in her settings and strive to do the same with mine.

There are so many wonderful places I'd LOVE to use for one of my settings (see my comment about the Caribbean islands). But of course, I want it to be someplace I think my readers will enjoy too.


Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

And Anna,
No need to be jealous of MY travels, since you are quite the gad-about yourself. YOU are the one going on the fabulous cruise between Australia and New Zealand! Wish I could go on that one with you. :-)


Tawny said...

Aunty Cindy :-) Hi!!! What a wonderful interview (and like Jeanne, I love the title of this blog!) I'm so excited about your latest book and can't wait to read it.

You are so well traveled- do you plan to set books in any other places that you've visted?

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...


So great to see another Bandita popping by!

Yup, Kim and her compatriots picked a GREAT name for their blog. ;-) And I happen to think you can NEVER have too much chocolate!

Yes, I'd LOVE to write more books in some of the places I've visited. My WIP that takes place on a cruise ship is on a cruise itinerary I've taken many times on the west coast of Mexico. If this series flies, I hope to include cruises to Alaska, Hawaii, and the Caribbean.


Olivia Cunning said...

Fantastic interview. And sounds like a fantastic read. Congrats on your new release.

Helen said...

Hi All

Loved the interview and loved the book (I was lucky enough to win an ARC)Kevin is such a great hero and the setting is awesome even though I have never been to Ireland I have felt that I have been there now.
AC you have been to so many wonderful places and that shows in your writing the adventures you take me on are fantastic such romance and awesome heros.
I do love the sound of the book you are working on now I love cruises whoo hoo.
And I gotta say I would love to see Parker as a hero in his own book.
Congrats on another fantastic story
Have Fun

Estella said...

I enjoyed the interview.
The Wild Irish Sea sounds like an awesome read!

flchen1 said...

What a great interview, Kim and AC!

I can't wait to read The Wild Irish Sea! And I love the sounds of your planned series involving cruises--sounds like you're good to go in terms of research ;)

BTW, all your titles start with "The" so far--intentional? Do you name your own books?

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Hi Olivia!

Thanx to one of my CasaBabes for dropping by. :-) I'm very excited about my new release and I hope you enjoy it also.


Nancy said...

What a fun interview! Loucinda, even though we blog together, I learned things about the book from this.

My mom was a twin, so I've always been interested in twins, too. I loe what you're doing with them here and can't wait to read the book!

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

HUGS, Helen!

Thanx for dropping by and saying so many nice things about my books. So glad you loved Kevin and TWIS, and I'd love to write Parker's story too. Maybe after the cruise book...


Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Thanx for dropping by, Estella!

I hope you enjoy TWIS.


Jane said...

Hi Aunty Cindy,
Congrats on the upcoming release. I love hearing about all your trips. You have to take me with you on your next cruise.

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Great to "see" you here, Fedora!

You know how I LOVE to "research!" LOL!

And no, none of my titles have been mine, which is why my working title for this book was The Wild Mess. I knew my publisher wasn't going to use it anyway. :-P


Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

I remember you saying your mother was a twin. I hope you like the relationship between Parker and Amber. I've already had one reviewer comment on how much she liked the sibling interactions between them.

I appreciate you dropping by today to help me launch my blog tour!


Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Hey Jane!

So glad to "see" you here! And you know I'd LOVE to take you on my next cruise. I know we'd have a blast. Unfortunately, you'd have to get from NYC all the way to LA. :-( Probably not gonna happen.


flchen1 said...

ROFL! Hey, you were more than halfway there! You know, in some dictionaries "mess" = "Irish sea" :) Or something like that :D

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

ROFLOL Fedora!

That wasn't the mess I had in mind, but if the shoe fits... ;-)

Actually, this story takes place on the coast of the Atlantic, not the Irish Sea at all. That's the eastern coast of Ireland. :-P


Kate Carlisle said...

Hi Aunty Cindy! Hi Therapists! What a lovely blog you have here. :-)

Cindy, I just stopped by to tell you how excited I am about this story! I love any book that takes place in Ireland, love the twins angle, and Parker sounds so intriguing, I can't wait to get hold of my very own copy.

Have fun on your blog tour! Even on the internet, you're quite the traveler! *g*

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Hey Miss Kate!

I'm very excited to read your new book too, The Millionaire Meets His Match! How KEWL that we are sharing the same launch month. ;-)

I plan to be all over the blog-o-sphere in the next few weeks, but I'm sure you will be too. Ah the glamorous life of us romance writers!


SiNn said...

Ur a new to me author i havent read any of ur books but would love to read them this one totally sounds awesome i love books set over seas more so i love Ireland its one of my fav places so yeah thats an added bonus congrats on its release cant wait to read it even if i dont win

Lisa said...

Hi Louicinda. Awesome interview. I loved hearing how you build your stories. Your books are a perfect setting for me. I have an obsession for Ireland. I love the music, folklore, etc. This makes your books that much better for me. Enjoy your tour. See you at your next stop.

Diana (Book of Secrets) said...

Hi, Loucinda! I am planning to read The Wild Sight and The Wild Irish Sea for an Ireland Reading Challenge this year. I would love to visit Ireland someday, but for now I will have to visit there through books!

catslady said...

I've been hearing about your book - all good :) The cover is gorgeous and it sounds wonderful. A great interview too!!