Magical Musings is happy to have Loucinda McGary as our Debut Interview today. The excitement of first sale is something we love sharing with all of you, and believe it’s a cause for celebration. Loucinda will be giving an autographed copy of her book, The Wild Sight, to a lucky commenter today. We know you’ll enjoy hearing about her journey…
We’d love to hear your call story.
I never tire of telling this story, because it really does prove that truth is stranger than fiction!
I was lucky enough to final in the RWA Golden Heart contest in 2006, so of course, I attended the National Conference in Atlanta. My roommate and I had a room on the 20th floor, and one morning as we were going down to breakfast there was a woman already in the elevator. She introduced herself as an editor, noticed my Golden Heart finalist ribbon and asked about my entry. I told her that I was a finalist in romantic suspense. Then she said, “I’d really love to read your manuscript.” And handed me her business card! Later, my roomie said she couldn’t believe how calm I was and I said, “I was so sleepy I thought I was dreaming!”
When I returned home, I sent her that manuscript, which she ultimately rejected. However, she expressed an interest in my current work-in-progress and I sent her the first four chapters of what would become The Wild Sight.
A couple of months later, she called my house (!) and asked me to send the entire manuscript. After I stopped hyperventilating and emailed her the whole story, I convinced myself that nobody ever sells their manuscript to the very first editor who reads it. I am happy to say I was WRONG WRONG WRONG! On the morning of September 14, 2007, the editor called to say she loved my Irish book and wanted to buy it!
So truth really is stranger than fiction. I really did meet my editor in an elevator during a writing conference. She was the very first editor to see my book, and she bought it.
Did you have an agent when you sold? If not, did you send this to an agent prior to selling?
No, I did not have an agent at the time that I made my first sale, and I’m still unrepresented at the present time. I signed with an agent in 2006 but we parted ways a year later when he couldn’t sell my first romantic suspense.
About 20 agents had already passed on the manuscript when I sold it to Sourcebooks. Matter of fact, I received a rejection from one the day after I sold!
How long were you writing, and how many books before you sold?
Basically I’ve been writing all my life. However, I only began to seriously pursue publication after I quit my Dreaded Day Job at the end of 2003. I had joined RWA in 2001 and took lots of classes and attended workshops, but in and around my career and other hobbies. At the start of 2004 I decided to devote my full attention to writing and started my first contemporary romantic suspense novel. The Wild Sight was my third completed manuscript in three years and it sold to the very first editor who requested it.
What type of books do you write?
I write what I call “romantic suspense in exotic locations.” I grew up reading the great Gothic novels of Victoria Holt, Phyllis A. Whitney, and Mary Stewart, and those writers have been a very definite influence on my work.
Near the end of my previous career, I developed a great love of travel and have visited 47 states and over two dozen foreign countries. I loved talking about my travels and all the wonderful places I’ve seen, so when I sat down to write my first romantic suspense, I decided to set my stories in some of the places I’ve visited.
I set my first book in the most romantic city I could think of, Venice. My first published work, The Wild Sight, I set in another place near and dear to my heart, Ireland. I have had many readers and reviewers comment that while reading The Wild Sight, they felt as if they were actually in Ireland – the ultimate compliment!
Can you tell us about your debut book?
I’d love to! The Wild Sight: an Irish tale of deadly deeds and forbidden love (that was not my original title, by the way) is a romantic suspense with paranormal elements set in contemporary Northern Ireland. It was an October, 2008 release from Sourcebooks Casablanca (their first romantic suspense release), and it received a starred review from Publishers Weekly. It was also recently nominated for a CAPA (Cupid and Psyche Award) from The Romance Studio.
The hero of my story, Donovan O’Shea was born with a psychic ability he couldn’t control, so he fled to America, where his “gift” never manifested itself. As the story opens, his father’s illness has forced him to return to rural Northern Ireland and the family homestead on the edge of the fens of Lough Neagh. When Donovan was a child, his mother disappeared into those fens and was never seen again. Now the same fens are offering up secrets, both ancient and modern, and restoring a terrible legacy, which just might drive Donovan mad. And if that isn’t trouble enough, a beautiful woman walks into his life, claiming to be his half-sister.
American Rylie Powell never knew her father. Her mother would only say he was a handsome Irishman who seduced her, married her, and then abandoned her and their baby daughter. But after her mother’s death, Rylie finds tantalizing clues about her father that lead her to Northern Ireland and an encounter with an attractive man who can’t possibly be her half-brother.
What are your plans for the future? What can we look forward to from you?
I’m thrilled to say that I recently signed a new contract with Sourcebooks Casablanca for two more romantic suspense novels! The first book will be on the shelves this coming Sept. or Oct. and is actually my first book, Jewels of the Madonna. This is the story that finaled in the 2006 Golden Heart and started a whole cascade of exciting events for me. It is set in Venice and features a yummy Irish hero who must solve a 500 year old mystery in order to save his sister’s life.
My third (as yet untitled) book will be a new Irish tale with a pair of telepathic twins, one of whom witnesses a murder. I’m working hard on it right now as it is tentatively scheduled for release in Spring, 2010.
Do you have a website?
Yes, of course! And you can read excerpts from The Wild Sight and Jewels of the Madonna here. If you’d like to read more excerpts and keep up with my latests news, please join my Yahoo Newsletter (you can sign up on my website).