Today I’d like to welcome award-winning author Loucinda McGary as the special guest blogger here at Thoughts in Progress as she tours blogdom.
Loucinda’s latest release is THE WILD IRISH SEA. Thanks to her and Danielle at Sourcebooks I have two copies of THE WILD IRISH SEA to giveaway. Please see the end of the post for the giveaway guidelines.
Loucinda was kind enough to answer some questions for me about her latest book, as well as giving some insight into her writing style.
What inspired you to write The Wild Irish Sea?
It wasn’t any particular thing like it was for my previous novel, The Treasures of Venice (which was inspired by an opera), but a combination of several things. My editor asked me to write another story set in Ireland and I was happy to oblige. I’d recently watched the movie The Secret of Roan Inish, which was filmed on location in County Donegal with some of the most beautiful cinematography ever. I decided to set my new book in Donegal and to use some of the selkie legends hinted at in The Secret of Roan Inish.
Finally, I’d been interested in twins and their relationships for about ten years, ever since my niece gave birth to the first set of twins in our immediate family. I thought it would be fun to write about a pair of twins. I mixed that idea with my setting in Donegal and the selkie legends, and eventually The Wild Irish Sea emerged.
How did you go about doing research for this novel?
I’d already done quite a bit of research on Ireland (past and present) for my first novel, The Wild Sight. I did do some research specifically about County Donegal, and bought maps of the area to keep handy when writing (I usually do this).
I had run across some legends about selkies when I was researching The Wild Sight and when I decided to incorporate them into The Wild Irish Sea, I read more. Since most of the legends tended to be dark and have tragic endings, I decided to put my own spin on selkies in my story. I also did some research on seals and sea lions to have my fictional versions behave in fairly realistic ways.
Do you have a writing schedule or method you use?
I’m a linear writer. I start on page one and keep going until I reach “The End” some 350 -- 400 pages later. At least that’s the way I write my first draft. When I start revising, I skip around all over the place.
As far as a writing schedule, everyone who knows me (or has visited any of my blogs) knows I am NOT a morning person! I function best between noon and midnight, so most of my writing is done then too. I write every afternoon except Sundays for at least four or five hours (sometimes more). I don’t normally write on Sunday unless I’m really “into” my story or I’m facing an impending deadline. Of course when I am under a deadline, then all bets are off.
What is next for you, maybe a sequel to The Wild Irish Sea or a new storyline with new characters and location?
Thus far, all three of my books have been stand alone stories. I would not be adverse to writing a sequel or using characters from any of my books, but that is an editorial decision, not mine.
My current work-in-progress (WIP) is the first in what I hope to be a series (again, not entirely my decision) set on a fictional cruise line. In my WIP, the cruise ship is sailing around the Mexican Riviera (the west coast of Mexico), a route I’ve cruised about a dozen times, so my “research” for this one has been relatively easy. I plan to set future stories in the series on Alaskan and Caribbean cruises (yes, I’ve been on both).
I know you enjoy traveling. Is there any place you haven't been yet that you're looking forward to visiting?
Definitely! Many places, as a matter of fact, but number one on my bucket list right now is Egypt. I’ve wanted to see the pyramids up-close and personal for a very long time.
A close second on my list (and I’ll probably see it first) is the Panama Canal. My father was in the Navy and stationed on an aircraft carrier. One of his favorite stories was how his ship scraped the sides of the locks going through the Panama Canal, that’s one reason I’d love to see if for myself.
The Wild Irish Sea was made into a movie, who would you like to see play these characters selecting from past and present actors?
Ideally, I’d like to see unknown actors cast in the parts because then viewers (including me) wouldn’t have a preconceived notion about them. In essence, the actors would “be” those characters. I think it’s a real handicap when an actor plays a particular role or type of role, he or she becomes typecast. I believe that is going to be a real problem in the upcoming film of the first Stephanie Plum novel. Readers (including me) have created their own personal image of what Stephanie, Joe, Ranger, Lula and all the rest look and sound like, and well-known actors are going to have a hard time living up to those images.
Of course, I did have several actors in mind when I wrote The Wild Irish Sea (I usually do when I write my stories). Most of them are actually the wrong ages to play the parts in a movie, but I pictured Kevin as a younger Christian Bale (I know, I know, he’s not Irish), and Gemma Arterton, as she appeared in Quantum of Solace, as Amber (and she’s not American). Parker was the easiest, he was a younger version of Luke Wilson.
Anything you'd like for readers to know that we haven't covered?
Readers are what makes this whole writing business worthwhile! I write my stories with the hope that I will entertain whoever picks up one of my books and reads it. I love to hear from readers, whether it is a comment on one of my blogs, an email, or an honest-to-goodness snail mail letter. Readers don’t realize how very encouraged we writers feel when we receive feedback from them. Even just a line or two can really make my day! If you read one of my books and like it, please take a minute and let me know. You can contact me via my website: www.LoucindaMcgary.com
My most sincere thanks to you, Mason, for hosting me on your blog today. I really appreciate your support and it was fun doing the interview!
Loucinda, it was my pleasure having you here and best of luck with your writing. I’ll have to agree that a younger version of Luke Wilson would be a perfect Parker.
Here’s a brief synopsis of THE WILD IRISH SEA, which went on sale this month:
Drawn to a force he can’t resist…
Former police officer Kevin Hennessey is running from his past—choosing to battle smugglers instead of dealing with his personal demons. When a desperate, rain-drenched American woman appears on his doorstep with wild tales of danger, Kevin is drawn to helping her, despite his reservations...
She never saw him coming…
Amber O’Neill knew without a doubt that her brother was in mortal danger. Rushing heedlessly to the rocky shores of Ireland, Amber was stunned to find her rescue mission derailed by a gorgeous, but deeply flawed Irishman...
The tumultuous sea, the intertwined fates of the coastal villagers, and unearthly tales of a hidden selkie prince bring Kevin and Amber together in a connection of mind, body, and soul that neither can deny...
For a little background on Loucinda. She took early retirement from her managerial career to pursue her twin passions of travel and writing. She sets her novels in some of the fascinating places she has visited. She was a finalist in the 2006 Romance Writers of America Golden Heart contest in Romantic Suspense with the manuscript that eventually became her second novel, The Treasures of Venice. Her first book, The Wild Sight won the Best First Book category in the More Than Magic contest. She lives in Sacramento, CA.
Now the guidelines for the giveaway. I have two copies to give to two lucky visitors who comment on Loucinda’s post between now and 8 p.m. on Friday, July 23. Be sure to include your e-mail address in your comments if it’s not included in your profile. Just so you know, I don’t share or use the e-mail information for anything other than awarding the giveaway.
So now, say hello to Loucinda, ask questions if you have any and be entered to win a copy of THE WILD IRISH SEA.