9/3/09

Guest Blogger - Loucinda McGary - The Treasures of Venice

Happy Thursday! Today is a special day at I Loves To Read, as I am having my first ever guest blogger, Loucinda McGary. As a special celebration in honor of our guest, I am also hosting a book give-away for her brand new book The Treasures of Venice. I have read this book and can testify (as I will tomorrow in my review) that this book is worth it. So enjoy our special blog, and post a comment at the end for your chance at winning your own copy. (I forgot the rules...)
Rule #1: Only comments on this blog post can win.
Rule #2: Name and e-mail please. And if you'd like, a link to your own blog, for my own pleasure! :)
Rule #3: Contest ends September 10th
~Anita

Loucinda McGary, author of The Treasures of Venice
I Loves 2 Read; September 3, 2009

Thank you for inviting me to be a guest on your blog and talk about my new release The Treasures of Venice. This is my second romantic suspense novel for the Sourcebooks Casablanca line and it is now on the shelves of bookstores and available to order online. Like my debut release The Wild Sight, this book is a contemporary romantic suspense with some paranormal elements. It also has an Irish hunk hero, but instead of being set in Ireland, the story is set in Venice, Italy and has a secondary storyline set in 1485.

I’ve recently had several opportunities to speak in person to groups of writers and readers about my writing process in general and both my books in particular. I’d like to share a few of the most frequently asked questions and my answers about The Treasures of Venice.

What gave you the idea for your book?

I heard a piece of music on the radio. I listen to classical music and when an unfamiliar piece came on that I liked, I listened carefully when the announcer said, “That was the incidental music to the opera ‘Jewels of the Madonna’ by Ermanno Wolf-Ferrari.” I went home and googled the opera and the composer, who happened to be a Venetian.

Venice is such a romantic city, and I loved the idea of setting a book there. After I started reading the summary of the opera (which is actually set in Naples), I started thinking “what if…” and the idea for The Treasures of Venice was born.

Did you have a tough time coming up with character names and personalities?

No. Generally my characters show up in my imagination with their names and personalities fully intact. Sometimes it takes me a little while to get to know them. Yes, they really do “talk” to me, and I know far more about their lives than is ever written in their particular book.

I will say that coming up with authentic sounding Italian names for many secondary characters was a bit of a challenge. I try not to name my characters the same name as people I know. But I happen to know a lot of people with Italian last names, and I did ‘borrow’ a couple of them just for fun. I’m happy to report, the people involved got a real kick out of it, too!
Are any of the characters like you? Why or why not?

All of my characters have certain aspects that are like me, even the villains! I can’t help myself, because all their thoughts and feelings are filtered through me. While writing this story I would purposely think, “If I were a young woman who’d never had a father, and her fiancé had just jilted her, how would I react if…?” Or, “If I were a guy whose sister has been kidnapped, what would I do if…?”

So in some respects, they are all me, but then again, not really. I would never do some of the things or get myself into the situations that happen to my characters! Thank goodness.

While writing, are you always focused, or distracted?

I’m easily distracted, but I need to stay focused. That’s why I have set writing times and a writing routine. I don’t listen to music (like so many writers do), and I can’t watch TV or carry on conversations (in person or online) while I’m writing. Rewriting and revising are a totally different story, but getting down the first draft requires a lot of concentration. While writing my first drafts I often say I am “in my writing cave” because I sit at my computer all alone, many times until way into the night. Did you ever think your story would one day get published?

I had just about despaired of this book ever being published because it received many rejections over the course of the two years that I submitted it to agents and editors.

To be honest, it did have a few things working against it, the setting of Venice, Italy for one. Editors really seem to want tried and true settings, and all of Italy is not used that often in novels. It also has that dual storyline set in both contemporary and Renaissance time periods that editors and agents weren’t quite sure how to deal with.

But as the saying goes, “it only takes one yes” and I was thrilled when my editor finally said yes to this story! She loved the setting and the dual storyline and ultimately, I think readers will too.
Do you have any other questions about my writing process in general or about The Treasures of Venice? I’d love to answer them!

About the Author
Loucinda McGary took early retirement from her managerial career to pursue her twin passions of travel and writing, and sets her novels of romantic suspense in the fascinating places she has visited. She was a finalist in the 2006 Romance Writers of America Golden Heart contest in Romantic Suspense. She lives in Sacramento, CA. For more information, please visit http://loucindamcgary.com/.

18 comments :

Helen said...

Hi Aunty Cindy

I am still jumping up and down that you are a multi published author I loved The Wild Sight and am so looking forward to reading TTOV I know I am going to love Keirnan who doesn't love and Irishman and the tour I will get of Venice old and new is going to be awesome.

Have Fun
Helen

Eva S said...

Hi Aunty Cindy,
love following you on this blog tour to read more about this great book. And thanks for all these great blogs to visit!

eva.silkka at gmail.com

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Hi Helen!

(Aunty waves madly to her #1 fan!) I am really looking forward to what you have to say about TToV. And you KNOW I agree with you about appealing Irishman. But then, my DH is Irish so I could be just a tad biased. :-)

AC

Anna Campbell said...

Hi Anita! Hi Aunty Cindy! You look so charming and sweet in that photo. Clearly you would NEVAH wield a crop in the Romance Bandits lair. Yeah, right! ;-)

I'm so excited about this book coming out. I remember you telling me about it back when we were Golden Heart finalists together back in 2006. And I thought then, this story sounds fantastic!

Jane said...

Hi Aunty Cindy,
I would like to see more romances set in Venice. I'm shocked to learn that there's a little of you in the villain.
janie1215 AT excite DOT com

Mary Margret said...

Sounds like a fun read. I just got a 15%off coupon from Barnes and Noble. I guess we know what I'll use if for. :-)

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Hi AC! Swinging over from the Bandit Lair to say howdy-doodle. I love reading about your process and, of course, I ADORE Treasures of Venice.

Having had the privledge of reading it early on...woot for me!...I have to say, FAB-U-LOUS!!!

Love the story of hearing the opera. I know you'd mentioned that, but I'd forgotten. :>

flchen1 said...

Hi, AC!! Hi, Anita! How exciting to be the first guest blogger! ;) You're a wonderfully adventurous trail-blazer, AC, so this is just another exciting visit for you!

Your work style sounds similar to mine (not that I'm a writer, but when I do settle down to do work)--can't have other things going on or I definitely get distracted! I had to uninstall some games, actually, because I tend to while away hours procrastinating!

Anyway, can't wait to read TToV! Did you do anything especially fun or exciting in the research for it or any of your books?

Thanks again for visiting!

--Fedora
f dot chen at comcast dot net

Sharon Lathan said...

Your first guest blogger is Cindy! How awesome is that?

Hey, multi-pubbed Cindy! Great interview. It is always fun to read what other authors think. I nod in agreement at most points, although sometimes I am surprised.

Keep up the great job on your blog tour. :) I'll be stalking you! Sharon

Cheryl Brooks said...

Hi Cindy! Got my copy yesterday. It's next on the TBR list. Looking forward to going to VENICE!!!!! If only in a book...

jo robertson said...

Great guest, Anita! I'm so glad you chose Loucinda McGary as your first ever guest.

Cindy's a great writer, as anyone who's read THE WILD SIGHT knows.

I just picked up my copy of The Treasures of Venice today and am eagerly looking forward to reading it.

As a very nice surprise, I saw that an excerpt from THE WILD SIGHT is posted at the back of the book, so anyone who hasn't read Cindy's first book, order it from Amazon. You won't be disappointed.

Cindy's has a great flair for capturing places, but doesn't let it overload either the suspense or the romance.

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

WOW! We've got Banditas and Buddies and Casa-Babes -- OH MY! Thanx to all of you for coming out to support me and to show Anita how fun it is to have a guest blogger. ;-)

AC

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Fo-Anna and Le Duchesse Jeanne,

Thanx bunches for popping over from the Bandit Lair!

Moi wield a riding crop, Fo?!?! Only when absolutely necessary to insure order. ;-)

And THANK YOU Jeanne for your lovely quote for TToV, which can be found on my website.

AC

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

WOO HOO! MM, Sharon, and Cheryl -- THREE CasaBabes dropping by -- as Ms. Brooks would say, "That is definitely COOL BEANS!" Thanks so much for your kudos for Wild Sight and I hope you all enjoy TToV.

AC

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Eva, Jane and Fedora,

BIG HUGS and Thanx to all of you (along with Helen) for following me along my blog tour! GOOD LUCK in the contest and hope you all enjoy TToV!

AC

Razlover's Book Blog said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Razlover's Book Blog said...

Hi Aunty Cindy,

Great post and interview!

Hopefully one day I will visit Venice!

Razlover(at)hotmail(dot)com

Howl Trueno said...

Hello Anita & Loucinda

Thanks for the contest. The treasure of Venice sounds very interesting. I will enjoy reading it!
Good luck!