posted by Aunty Cindy aka Loucinda McGary
Not long ago, Aunty Cindy and Marie were sharing a cyber-cup of tea and discussing The Wild Sight (Marie enthusiastically holds two thumbs up in endorsement). Just about the time the discussion got lively, a couple of the characters from TWS also happened by. Thought you might like to listen in:
Marie: In The Wild Sight, you have two things you don't often see in a romance: a hero and heroine who, for a while, think they might be brother and sister, and a man with "the Sight." Tell me how you decided to take these risks with your story and if you think they made the book easier or more difficult to sell.
AC: Well, technically the hero never believes she's his sister since he is instantly attracted to her. She suffers some real angst for awhile, however. (evil grin) I knew this possible siblings angle would be a make or break issue for the book. Luckily my critique partners were very supportive and told me, "Can't wait to see how you get around this obstacle."
Giving a male character "the Sight" was the concept that started the whole story! I couldn't recall seeing any books or stories with a male character who was clairvoyant and I thought the idea intriguing enough to write an entire book with that character. Did it make the book easier or more difficult to sell? I honestly don't know.
Marie: You said that your critique partners said of the possible sibling conflict in TWS: "Can't wait to see how you get around this obstacle." I love those challenges presented to us as writers! Is there anything more fun than a big, hairy pickle with no way out? Ahem, realizing there's any number of ways you could answer that question (evil grin) and knowing how my Aunty's evil, twisted mind works, we will move on from big, hairy pickles...
(Aunty snaps her riding crop and frowns imperiously) AC: DECORUM PLEASE! Obviously Aunty only likes big hairy pickles when they happen to her characters. As for Aunty's evil, twisted mind, need I remind you of my sub-genre? I dare say, evil and twisted are requirements for romantic suspense.
Marie: Okay Aunty, your character, Donovan O'Shea (a YUMMY name for a YUMMY guy) has a few questions for you, so I hope you don't mind putting down that intimidating crop and giving the lad a few minutes of your time.
Donovan: Hello, Loucinda. I hear our book is out for everyone to read. Rylie and I are looking forward to hearing what people think of our story. So here's a question for you. I love being a swashbuckling Irishman taking on the evil lurking in the fens. That's definitely "me." What I can't picture is my life as an accountant in New Jersey. (Marie interjects to say: That career made me snort a little snort as our fearless Donovan tried to convince Rylie that accounting is in fact sexy) So I ask you, dear Loucinda, how did you decide to make me an accountant?
AC: Need I remind you of Irish guilt, m'dear? When you moved to America at the ripe old age of 17, you didn't have so much as a punt to your name. Remember? And remember who took you in, gave you a bed to sleep in, and food to eat? Your Aunt Fiona and her husband Uncle Isadore. (Donovan looks thoughtful and squirms a little.)
You were a struggling college student who was studying art, of all the guaranteed to result in a "Do you want fries with that?" career! Then along about the end of your second year, when your uncle gave you a summer job in his accounting firm, you got smart. That plus your uncle telling you that you were the closest to a son he would ever have led to a change in your major. (Donovan squirms a bit more.)
Aunty can understand how being twitter-pated with a beautiful girl might lead to memory loss, but is any of this starting to sound familiar to you? Besides, I happen to think accountants can be very sexy! Don't you agree, Rylie?
Rylie chimes in... Yes, Aunty, I agree that some accountants can be very sexy! Whenever Donovan gets out his calculator and spreadsheets, I get all, um, hot and bothered. And he has these glasses....sigh.... (Aunty and Marie's eyes start to glaze over.)
Anyway, I have to say, Aunty, I was a little worried when you taunted me with the possibility that Donovan might be my brother. I was reallllly relieved when I could jump him guilt-free! (She gives Donovan The Look.)
When you were writing our story, what came first for you, the plot or the characters?
AC: Plot? There was a plot? Sorry, but Aunty tends not to notice such superficial things when there's a hunk with a brogue on the scene.
Marie (fans self): Did someone mention hot and bothered?
Donovan: Yes, Aunty, Rylie and I spent a lot of time HOT and BOTHERED in The Wild Sight. That was a pretty hot scene in the car the night we spent broken down by the side of the road... although I was seriously frustrated after that near miss. (He gives Rylie The Look.) Why do you writers feel so compelled to torture your characters the way you do?
AC: Donovan, dear boy, it is all part of the Secret Writers' Creed, Thou Shalt Torture Thy Characters at every available opportunity. At least in a romance you know (as does the reader) that you will eventually get your happily ever after. Feel free to thank me for that at any time!
D&R in unison: Thank you, Aunty!
AC: Ah, it’s nice to know they appreciate some of the things I do for them.
What about you? Do you have any questions for Aunty, Donovan or Rylie?
And be sure to check in tomorrow at Jennifer’s Random Musings, when Jennifer interviews Donovan’s sister Doreen.