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Welcome Special Guest Loucinda McGary

by Jeannie Ruesch 13 April 2010 36 Comments

Today, we welcome Loucinda McGary to our happy blog to tell us about her latest release (which has one of the most striking covers I think I’ve seen in a long time…and hey, that nicely formed male has nothing to do with it…) and to tell us just how close she wants to be to William Shakespeare…

And to boot, Loucinda will give away an IOU for a copy of The Wild Irish Sea when it comes out, or any other book in her backlist to a lucky commenter!

Welcome to Happy Endings. Can you tell us a little about your latest release?

Thanks so much for inviting me to blog with you today. I’m so pleased to be here!

My third novel from Sourcebooks Casablanca is scheduled for release on July 6th and is titled The Wild Irish Sea. As with my two previous novels (The Wild Sight and The Treasures of Venice) this is a romantic suspense with paranormal elements and an Irish ‘hunk’ hero. Actually, The Wild Irish Sea is the most ‘paranormal’ of my books thus far because it centers on a pair of fraternal twins, Amber and Parker O’Neill, who have shared a mental connection since birth. When Parker inadvertently witnesses a murder, the telepathic image of her brother fighting for his life sends Amber rushing to the rocky shores of Ireland. Desperate to find him, she turns to reclusive local inspector Kevin Hennessey for help.

What inspired you to write romance?  What romantic genre do you write?

When I was a teenager, my mother loved to read the great gothic romances of Victoria Holt, Phyllis A. Whitney, and Mary Stewart. She always had one or more of their books lying around and when I ran out of things to read, I picked one up and loved it.

Many years later, after reading a lot of other genres, I was browsing in a book store when I came across a book that was obviously mis-shelved in the science fiction and fantasy section. But the book looked intriguing so I bought it anyway and it totally changed my thinking and reading preferences. That book was Outlander by Diana Gabaldon and when I finished it and the sequel, Dragonfly in Amber, I went out and read every time-travel novel I could find. Eventually, when I ran out of time-travels to read, I attempted to write one of my own, and that is when I became interested in writing romance.

Unfortunately about the time I became interested in writing with an eye toward publication, the market for time-travel romances had pretty much dried up. So I went back to my first love, the woman-in-danger books I’d read as a teen and I started writing romantic suspense – the kind I liked to read. When you read one of my books, I think you can see the influence the old gothic romances have had on me.

What is your biggest challenge as a writer?

I am a tinkerer. I constantly go through my manuscripts and find little things to change. I have a very hard time knowing when to STOP revising. My internal editor will not give me any peace! One of my biggest challenges is recognizing that I have reached the point of diminishing returns and I need to let my manuscript go. Deadlines have been a real help to me in overcoming this challenge.

What’s the weirdest or most fascinating thing you’ve had to research for a book?

This was a total accident, but when I was researching all things Irish in preparation for writing my first book The Wild Sight, I came across something called the Niall Marker. This is a gender specific genetic anomaly that scientists have traced all the way back to a 5th century High King of Ireland, Niall of the Nine Hostages who was the founder of the O’Neill clan.

I was fascinated to learn that the extensive research done on this genetic marker has led to the conclusion that 12—15% of all the men in Ireland have it. I decided I wanted to include the Niall Marker in my work-in-progress, and it turned out to be one of the key points in the story.

But the ‘rest of the story’ is that more than a year later, after I’d sold The Wild Sight and I was waiting for it to be released, I was watching a program on PBS about African Americans tracing their roots through DNA testing. Many of them were surprised by their genetic findings because most had far more northern European DNA markers than they expected. The host of the program, a professor of African American studies at Harvard, was shocked to discover he had ancestors from Ireland. How did he know this? Because he carried the Niall Marker!

Truth really is stranger than fiction.

Our characters often have characteristics of ourselves or others in our lives.  What’s one characteristic you gave to a character that you know is either you or someone you know?

Thus far, all my heroes have had older sisters. In fact in both The Wild Sight and The Treasures of Venice, the hero’s older sister has played an important role in the story. And both these older sisters have tended to be… ahem, a bit bossy and over-protective of their younger brothers.

Well, I happen to be the oldest of four siblings and while I never thought I was particularly bossy, when my sister finished reading The Wild Sight, she called me up laughing and said, “It’s obvious where you came up with the character of Doreen!” Maybe I was a wee bit more bossy than I thought.

Have you ever created a villain or killed a character off who is based on someone you know? (We won’t tell.)

Okay, as long as this can remain our secret… I have quite a few nieces and nephews (both by blood and marriage) and I named a couple of minor characters in The Wild Sight after two of my nieces. One of my nephews-in-law told his wife, “Tell Aunt Cindy to put me in her next book.” The Treasures of Venice was already completed, so I told my niece, “I’ll name a character for him in my next book.”

Well, I kept my word. Unfortunately, that character meets a very nasty and untimely end in the first chapter. Yes, he is the murder victim! SHHHH! My nephew-in-law doesn’t know it yet. I told him he has to wait and read The Wild Irish Sea when it is released, but I’ll bet he never asks to be a character in one of my books again.

If you could possess the body of a historical person for 24 hours, who would it be, when would you choose to do it (in their time), and what would you do?

Oh no question! I’m a huge Shakespeare buff, so I want to be in William Shakespeare’s body, and I would do it at the time he was writing and acting at the Globe Theater in London.

I’d love to be there when he first performed (he played minor parts) in my favorite of his tragedies, McBeth. There are suppose to be a bunch of missing lines from the original text and some say that is one of the reasons modern productions of the play are cursed. So I’d love to go back and somehow preserve those missing lines, but I’d also like to find out once and for all the identity of ‘the dark lady’ to whom he wrote so many of his sonnets.

If all the romance authors in the world were to work in one building, in cubicles (like a normal job) who would you want sitting on either side of you? (Because you know we can hear everything that goes on…)

Oh my gosh! I’d want to move into different cubicles every week! But okay, to start, I’d like to have Jennie Crusie sitting on one side of me because not only is she a brilliant writer, but I’ve attended several of her workshops and she is absolutely hilarious and very down-to-earth. On the other side, I’d want my friend and Casa-babe sister Marie Force because she’s also a laugh riot, full of energy, and just an all-round fun person. I’m sure we’d be bouncing ideas and silly comments around all day long. Not sure how much work we’d get done, but we’d have a great time!

What was the last movie you saw and HATED?  On the flip side, what movie have you watched more than any other?

I adore Netflix and I’m constantly watching movies. Last week I saw Couples Retreat and was extremely disappointed. The movie had a lot of potential, and I usually enjoy Vince Vaughn, but the whole premise just fell flat. The situations felt forced and not at all funny, and I did not care about any of the characters. Sorry to say, BIG thumbs down on that one.

On the flip side, my favorite movie of all time is Ladyhawke a historical romantic adventure from the late 1980s starring Michelle Pfeiffer, Rutger Hauer, and Matthew Broderick. I absolutely LOVE this movie about a handsome knight and his beautiful lady who are cursed by an evil bishop. By day she is transformed into a hawk and by night, he becomes a wolf. How they break the curse and live happily-ever-after with the help of a young thief is a superb piece of story-telling with all the pieces fitting seamlessly together. I can’t even tell you how many times I have watched it, but I still love it every darn time. If you’ve never seen it, rent it NOW! You are in for a special treat.

Because this IS Happy Endings, I have to ask: What is your favorite fictional romantic happy endings — either from a book, a movie or TV show. Why that one?

Probably the one from Ladyhawke that I mentioned above. This couple has everything stacked against them, and yet, somehow, they manage to do the impossible and live happily-ever-after. I’m such a sucker for characters who overcome long odds. Just when you think there is no way they can ever overcome all the obstacles they face, they do it. Any story with that kind of ending is my favorite.

I think this is what I and all romance readers enjoy and why romance is so popular – the big pay off! You watch a couple fall in love, you want them to be together, but it doesn’t seem like it can possibly happen. Then, in the end when it does happen, you share this wonderful, satisfying feeling. Life is tragic enough, I want my entertainment to end on an uplifting note.

About Loucinda

Loucinda McGary left her ‘dreaded day job’ at the end of 2003 to pursue her twin passions of travel and writing. She likes to set her stories of romance and suspense in some of the exotic places she has visited.

To find out more about Cindy and her books visit her website at: http://www.loucindamcgary.com/

Or follow her on these blogs:  http://www.auntycindy.blogspot.com/




  • Silver James said:

    Loucinda’s books rock! I ADORED your first book, WILD SIGHT. VENICE, the second is in my TBR pile. Once I get past some dealines and can start reading for pleasure again, it’s right there at the top. And now…WILD IRISH SEA! I love the premise for this one. And while I go all fangirl squee for a moment, your voice is a charm to read.

    LADYHAWKE…oh be still my wildly beating heart. That’s a movie definitely worth watching over and over again.

    Thanks for dropping by Happy Endings, Aunty Cindy. 😉

  • Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said:

    Why Silver, you’re gonna make Yer Olde Aunty blush!

    Thank you for your kind words about Wild Sight, and I hope you enjoy Treasures of Venice (which finaled in the 2006 Golden Heart under another title).

    I’m so excited to be here today and talk about all my books, but especially my July release Wild Irish Sea. And I LOVED the quirky questions Jeannie asked. They’re so much fun!


  • Marie Force said:

    Awww, Aunty C, thank you so much for choosing me to sit next to you in cubicle land. Right back atcha, sister! I am so honored to be chosen from all your many friends in writer-ville. It all began in the kitchen of a Chinese restaurant in San Francisco. I knew I was in good hands when my Aunty advised me not to look, just smell. It’s been a match made in heaven ever since!

  • Jeannie Ruesch said:

    Hi Aunty Cindy! Thanks for sharing with us today. :) I love the premise of your upcoming release — I’m always fascinated by the connection between twins. I have nephews who are identical twins, so it will be fun to watch them grow up and see it for myself!

    Funny you mention the MacBeth curse…we were watching Castle the other night and it came up. LOL So funny how lasting some things are and I love the explanation of the missing lines… If I could go back into any era of time, it would be during the Tudor years — I’m undecided about who I’d want to watch more – Elizabeth or Henry VIII. Maybe I’ll be there when Elizabeth is still young, Henry is still king. I am just so fascinated by all that went on, I’d love to get a first hand account.

    Thanks for being here!!

  • Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said:

    ROFL Marie!
    Somehow I KNEW that dinner in San Francisco’s Chinatown would get a mention. Yes indeed, that was one memorable meal, and if you ever make it back to the West Coast, there’s a table on the 3rd floor of Sam Wo’s with our name on it… I know, I carved those names myself! 😉

    Looking forward to your June release Fatal Affair!


  • Josh Lockwood said:

    Loucinda, congratulations on your July release. I normally read (and write) historical romance, but the whole premise for Wild Irish Sea has me intrigued. Think I may step out of my comfort zone and download this one.

  • Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said:

    Thanx so much for inviting me and for asking such fun questions! DARN! I missed that episode of Castle. I’m not much of a TV viewer, but I do like that one when I remember to watch.

    I have fraternal twin grand-nephews who inspired me to write about twins and their special connections in The Wild Irish Sea. I hope you and all my other readers will enjoy reading about Amber and Parker.


  • Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said:

    Thanx Josh!

    Wild Irish Sea should be available for Kindle on Amazon. You might also enjoy The Treasures of Venice as it has a dual storyline set in both contemporary and 1485 Venice. I had lots of fun researching that one!

    Thanks so much for stopping by to comment!


  • Paisley Kirkpatrick said:

    Waving Aunty Cindy!! Your stories are fantastic and so well written. You know my friend Elaine keeps the books in a honorable place on her bookshelf. Best of luck on your next story. I’m going to need two autographed copies. :)

  • Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said:

    Hi Miss Paisley!
    (Aunty waves madly) Thank you so much for dropping by to comment! You and Elaine are such sweeties to be so supportive of my books. I think you are both going to love Wild Irish Sea… another Irish hunk, what more need I say?!?!


  • Terri Osburn said:

    First off I have to say, awesome interview. I’ve done author interviews and it’s so hard to find new and fun questions. I love this one!

    I’ve been getting tidbits of this book for months in my email and can’t wait until I can have the whole thing in my hot little hands. There is always another twist or turn you didn’t see coming, which is one of my favorite aspects of a book.

    Well done, ladies and is it July yet? LOL!

  • Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said:

    Hi TerriO!

    Great to have you stop by and comment. Yes, if you are a member of my Yahoo newsletter group (and WHY aren’t you?!?! Just go to my website and sign up!) you get to read snippets of my next release. 😉

    Glad you are enjoying the twists and turns of Wild Irish Sea. Only about 83 more days to go! LOL!

    Hope your own writing is going well, Terri!

    Thanx again,

  • Lavada Dee said:

    I love twin stories and The Wild Irish Sea sounds wonderful. I just popped over to your website and joined your mailing list. Hopefully you’ll send out a reminder on the release.

  • Helen said:

    What a great interview Ladies and I am soo looking forward to reading The Wild Irish Sea can’t wait I have loved both your other books they are on my keeper shelf Whoo Hoo.

    I haven’t seen Ladyhawke for a long time I think I need to watch it again soon.

    Like Terri I too like getting the excerpts but I promise to be patient LOL

    Have Fun

  • Tawn said:

    Hey There, Aunty Cindy :-)

    What a fabulous interview – your book sounds so fabulous. I absolutely adore the cover of Wild Irish Sea and will be super excited when its on my TBR shelf.

  • Tawny Weber said:

    Hmm, well somehow I cut off most of my name when I commented *g* Sorry about that – Cindy, in case you couldn’t tell, its me :-)

  • Jeannie Ruesch said:

    @Terri – Thanks! I’m glad you like the interview. It seems like there are so many blogs that ask similar questions, I like to be quirky. :) So if anyone is up for quirky questions to be asked, sign up to be a guest! LOL

    And Cindy, what a terrific idea to give snippets of the book before it releases. I love that!

  • Fedora said:

    Hi, AC!!! Ooh, almost time for book three!!! Squee!!! I haven’t seen Ladyhawke–sounds like I’d better add it to the list :) And goody, I’m looking forward to The Wild Irish Sea–about time for another AC fix! :)

  • jo robertson said:

    Hi, Cindy and Jeannie! Great interview! I learned some new things about Cindy. Ladyhawke is one of my all-time fave movies, too, Cindy. I’ve watched it dozens of times, own it (unfortunately on VHS) and am surprised by how timeless a movie it is. It doesn’t seem like it was filmed nearly thirty years ago!

  • jo robertson said:

    Cindy, I also meant to ask you. What exotic place do you hope to travel to next?

  • Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said:

    Hey Lavada,
    Thanx BUNCHES for joining my newsletter! I usually send out one or two announcements per month, and one of them will include an excerpt. Don’t worry, I’ll be all over cyber-space in June and the beginning of July shouting about Wild Irish Sea to all who will listen (or happen to be in the vicinity :-) ).


  • Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said:

    HUGS Helen!!!
    Thanx so much for dropping by today! You are truly one of the most patient people I know and I think you are going to LOVE my new hero Kevin Hennessey. He’s probably the most “wounded” of my heroes that I’ve written thus far. And then there is Parker O’Neill, the heroine’s brother. HE is a hoot!

    I think watching Ladyhawke while you are waiting is an excellent way to help the time pass quickly.


  • Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said:

    Hey there Tawny!
    Yup, I guessed that must be you. 😉 You’ve had some very gorgeous hunks on your covers too! Not that I’m influenced by that… LOL!

    I hope you enjoy Wild Irish Sea,


  • Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said:

    Thanx again for inviting me to the blog today. I hope I can come back again in the not too distant future. 😉

    I don’t remember where I got the idea for putting snippets in my newsletters. I’m sure I must have seen it in another writer’s group, since most brilliant ideas are seldom mine. HAHAHAHA!


  • Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said:

    OOO Fedora!

    You are in for such a treat when you watch Ladyhawke for the very first time! Rutger Hauer is at his absolute MOST drool-worthy in this film… And SO NOBLE, and SO TRAGIC!!! Geez, I’m going to have to drag out my own ancient VHS copy of the movie and watch it again too. Maybe SOMEONE in my immediate family will get the hint and buy me a new copy on DVD. Both Mother’s Day and my anniversary are coming up in May…


  • Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said:

    ACK! Jo, don’t remind me how very OLDE I am and how loooong ago it was that Ladyhawke was released. But it really is timeless, which is the trait shared by most great love stories. :-)

    As for my next exotic destination… As you and quite a few others know, I recently returned from a Caribbean cruise (you can see some pictures on my Aunty Cindy blog or my Facebook page) and visited a lot of interesting islands I’d never even heard of before!

    New Zealand and Egypt are still vying for the top spot on my list of Places I MUST See, but who knows where I’ll actually go next! My DH does all the travel arranging and he’s always on the lookout for a ‘good deal.’


  • Beth Andrews said:

    Hi, AC! What a great interview *g* I’m so looking forward to The Wild Irish Sea – I love your books!

    And I also love Netflix expecially the movies and TV shows I can watch instantly. It makes getting on the treadmill so much more enjoyable :-)

  • Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said:

    Hi Wonder-Beth!

    Thanx for popping by and SUPER CONGRATS on your Rita Nomination! All us Banditas and BBs are sooo proud of you.

    You and Jo-Mama are so good, watching TV shows while on the treadmill. Me, I get my big bowl of pop corn and settle in to watch the entire season of The Tudors in one fell swoop! AHHHHH!


  • Mary said:

    What a great interview.

    The Wild Sight was one of the first books I bought for my iPod. Great subway reading. :) The cover for the new books is incredible. Can’t wait for it. Must be the Irish in me.

    I’m with you on Ladyhawke. I loved loved loved that movie.


  • Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said:

    Hi Mary,
    Thank you for stopping by and for your kind words about The Wild Sight. Thrilled to know you downloaded and read it on the subway!

    I can take no credit for all three of my beautiful covers. The Sourcebooks Art Dept. does an incredible job — good enough for The Treasures of Venice to WIN the romantic suspense category of the Judge A Book By Its Cover contest!

    I had no idea Ladyhawke was such a popular movie, but then again, I’m not surprised. 😉


  • Fedora said:

    Sounds terrific, AC! And hey, if no one steps up to the plate, I’m a firm believer in treating oneself for special (and sometimes ordinary) occasions :) Maybe say, an upcoming release…

  • Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said:

    GREAT idea, Fedora!

    And if I order on Amazon I get FREE SHIPPING with a $25 purchase. I have NO PROBLEM spending $25 on Amazon. :-)

    I’m also giving away an ARC of The Wild Irish Sea on my Aunty Cindy blog, and I’m donating an ARC to Brenda Novak’s online auction that starts May 1st. So if you can’t wait until July 6th, there are a couple of options for you.


  • Anna Campbell said:

    Aunty Cindy, how nice to see you here and what a fabulous interview! Can’t wait for the release of the Wild Irish Sea. And what a hubba hubba cover. You must have been delighted when you saw that for the first time.

  • Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said:

    Thanx for stopping by Fo-Anna!

    Yes, I really LURVE my cover, but it is no more eye-catching than that yellow beauty of your newest release! Can’t wait to read My Reckless Surrender and add it to my Anna Campbell collection. 😉


  • Linda Wisdom said:

    Terrific post, AC!

    You and Marie as cubicle mates? Scary!!

  • Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said:

    LOL, Linda!

    I afraid you’re right. 😛


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