Thursday, July 15, 2010

Guest Blogger, Loucinda McGary

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:

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.


  1. Hi Aunty Cindy,
    Congrats on the new release. Egypt is on my bucket list, too. I definitely want to see the pyramids and visit The Museum of Egyptian Antiquities in Cairo.

    janie1215 AT excite DOT com

  2. I write from page one straigt through to the ending as well.
    And I hate mornings. They need to start later in the day.

  3. Loucinda, thanks so much for guest blogging here today. I enjoyed finding out about your writing methods.

    Jane, thanks for stopping by.

    Alex, I think a lot of us are 'late' morning people.

  4. I used to write late in the evenings to early morn. About the time I was going to bed, my husband who's a very early riser was getting up. I ended up being the one to change.

    Thanks for the interview!

    Straight From Hel

  5. Mason, what a great interview. You are the queen of interviews in my opinion.

    Loucinda, I am interested in twins also as my dad is a twin. Such an interesting experience. Your book sounds very interesting.

    My best writing time is from 8pm to around 1 or 2am but that sort of hinders my getting up for work the next morning. So I write when I can mostly in the mornings before work and evenings.


  6. I find mornings work best for editing--probably because of all the internal pressure to get "caught up" on email and other household stuff. New stuff seems to flow better later in the day, again, probably because all the 'real life chores' are done.

    I agree that I don't like to think of real people portraying my characters. I'd rather readers create their own images. (Not that there's a snowball's chance in hell that one of my books would ever be picked up for a movie!)

  7. Selkies are very cool! I'd love to go to Ireland to do research - awesome! :)

  8. Your book sounds compelling and unusual. Travel is wonderful and the best experience ever. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

  9. Hi Jane!
    (Aunty waves madly at her most loyal fan) I tried to reply to you last night but blogger decided it didn't "recognize" me. HUMPH! Anyway, I can't remember this morning what I said last night but I'm sure it had something to do with you, me, Eric B. and the pyramids. ;-)


  10. Alex,
    For someone who hates morning, you sure posted a comment early! LOL! And I admire people who can skip around and write pieces of their story here and there. I'm afraid I'll never be that person, so I'm glad to know I have company!

    Thanks so much for hosting me and for the GREAT interview questions!


  11. Helen,
    I hear you on the early-rising DH. Mine is the same. :-( And of course THEY aren't going to change. Poor babies just are not very flexible, I'm afraid. :-P

    My sympathies on the DDJ (dreaded day job). Don't ya just HATE when real life interfers with writing?!?!


  12. Hi Terry!
    Nice to see you here.

    NOBODY'S book has a snowball's chance in H*LL of being made into a movie. :-P But a few do make it... Not enough to make me hold my breath, but a few...


  13. Jemi,

    Ireland is one of the most beautiful places on earth! I hope you get a chance to visit there someday!


    I hope you are living up to your "name" and seeing lots of fun and fascinating places. Hope you enjoy The Wild Irish Sea!


  14. Hey Aunty Cindy :-)

    I'm excited to curl up and relax with a copy of The Wild Irish Sea. You're stories are so strong and enticing!! As one nighttime writer to another, I loved reading about your writing process.

    I think a cruise series would be fascinating!! Its so cool how your travels play into your stories :-)

  15. Hey Tawny!
    (Aunty waves madly at her Bandita) Glad you like the idea of a cruise series -- from your lips to some smart editor's ear! ;-)

    Thank you for your kind words about TWIS. I hope you get a relaxing day or two to read it, since I know how VERY BUSY you are writing your own fabulous and sassy stories!


  16. Your book sounds great and I'd like to read it. I appreciate your choice of "unknowns" if you were casting it as a movie. Too often well-known personalities take-away from an author's careful planning for her characters. Egypt and the Panama Canal both sound interesting, and, since I've just returned from a trip to Scotland, I can highly recommend it as another place for your list.

  17. Hi LSUReader!

    I appreciate you dropping by to read the interview and comment. I've only been to the lowlands of Scotland, so the highlands are definitely on my list of places to visit! Men in kilts... Need I say more?!?!


  18. Hi, AC! I have to agree with Tawny--I'm completely onboard with the cruise series concept! You're writing, right?? Go, AC!

    I love that your stories can take me some places I haven't had the pleasure of going myself yet--armchair traveling's fun, too! ;)

    f dot chen at comcast dot net

    Hmm... my verification "word" is "nakily"--that sounds naughty, somehow...

  19. So happy to catch you here, Loucinda. Thank you for sharing your behind-the-scenes to your new release. I certainly am looking forward to getting my hands on it.
    The last book I read of yours, The Wild Sight, I lost sleep over it trying to finish it. *g* Loved it.
    armiefox at yahoo dot com

  20. Whoo Hoo Aunty Cindy another great blog I do love reading all the interesting posts.

    Your books always entertain me with fantastic stories that keep me enthralled from start to finish. I would love to see stories about characters from your books as I have said before Parker would make a great hero, and your new WIP sounds really great.
    Visiting Egypt sounds great those Pyramids would be awesome to see.

    Have Fun

  21. Aunty Cindy, you take the most fabulous trips! Reading your books is kind of like vicariously going along. I'm looking forward to diving into this one.

  22. Hi Fedora!
    Nice to hear that you enjoy your armchair trips via my books. :-)

    Hmmm, I think "nakily" is how we want our heroes to appear! ;-)


  23. Armenia,
    So glad to 'see' you here today! I know it is selfish of me but I LOVE to hear when a reader lost sleep because they couldn't put down one of my books. ;-) I hope you enjoy The Wild Irish Sea equally as well.


  24. Hey Helen,
    Thanx for popping by and commenting today! Thank you for 'leading the charge' to get Parker his own book. :-) He was such a fun character to write!

    Hi Nancy!

    Thanks for dropping over from the Bandit Lair. You've taken some great excursions across the pond too. ;-) Hope you enjoy TWIS!


  25. Great interview!
    The Wild Irish Sea sounds like a wonderful book!

    chey127 at hotmail dot com

  26. Hi Chey,
    Thanks for stopping by to read the interview and I hope you enjoy TWIS!


  27. Hi Mason and Loucinda .. interesting to know how you plan your stories .. well ideas come along, sit and then get melded together .. twins have always interested me - because they can be so diverse .. and not always in good ways .. Travelling certainly opens up the eyes to other areas - & seeing the coast from afar as early travellers used to .. til they landed.

    Thanks - enjoyed reading this the the Wild Irish Sea around Donegal is sure to inspire .. Hilary

  28. Hi AC !!

    i would really like to read your next book, coz you are one of my favorite authors:)

    uniquas at ymail dot com

  29. Hi Loucinda!
    'The Wild Irish Sea' looks like a great book. I love books that are set in Ireland. As I read them, I can hear the characters talk in an Irish brogue & it makes the book all the more interesting. Thanks for the chance to win a copy!
    megalon22 at yahoo dot com


I'd love to hear your thoughts on today's post. Thanks for dropping by.