Monday, May 25, 2009

Double Digits and An Early Review!

As of today, The Treasures of Venice will be released in 99 more days.

We are down to double digits! YAY!

Plus, a few days ago The Treasures of Venice received its very first review! BIG THANX to Wendy Hines of Armchair Interviews who had this to say about my baby:

"The Treasures of Venice is a captivating story of romance, suspense, and historical legend. Painted against a beautiful backdrop of romantic Venice, Loucinda McGary quickly draws you in with the legend of the Jewels of the Madonna. I was entranced from page one and loved it!"

To read the entire review, just click on the title of this blog entry. And sorry, but I LURVE the cover so much I can't resist posting it every chance I get.

And another little piece of good news -- The Treasures of Venice has been available for pre-order on Amazon for several weeks, but there is now a product description and here it is:

When American librarian Samantha Lewis and Irish rogue Keirnan Fitzgerald set off to find priceless jewels, they become embroiled in a 500-year-old love story that eerily prefigures their own...

In 15th century Venice, beautiful and wealthy Serafina falls in love with Nino, a young Florentine sculptor. They decide to flee to Padua, and to fund the trip, Nino copies a set of jewels that then disappear.

In modern-day Venice, Keirnan needs Samantha's help to locate the jewels so he can pay his sister's ransom. Samantha must decide whether the man she's so drawn to is her soul mate from a previous life...or are they merely pawns in a relentless quest for a priceless treasure?

I'm proud to say that the last sentence is lifted directly from my original query letter. ;-)

99 days and counting...

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Snail's Pace

As of today, my second novel The Treasures of Venice will be released in 104 days. While that isn't a very long time, only a little over 3 months, considering I started writing this story in the spring of 2004, it has been a very looong time coming!

One thing I've learned since I made a serious commitment to becoming a published author, NOTHING in the publishing business moves fast.

For example, I think the timeline for my debut The Wild Sight is pretty typical.

It took me almost a year to research and write the story. But I did a BIG NO-NO in the publishing business -- I sent a query before the manuscript was complete! "GASP!" But this wasn't my first manuscript and I was pretty confident about how long it would take me to finish. Plus, I already knew how very slowly the wheels of publishing turn.

So on Feb. 14th, I sent a query asking if the editor would like to see a partial. Three months to the day, May 14th, I got a positive reply!

I sent the three chapters and synopsis and continued working on the manuscript, secure in the knowledge that "the first editor to read the story never buys it."

A couple of months later, at the end of July, the editor called me and asked for the entire manuscript! Yes, I was a bit thunderstruck (actually the DH was since he took the call) because an editor never called me before, but I was still SURE that old rule about the first editor never buying was true. I hurriedly did some final revisions to the manuscript and sent it off the first week of August.

I got THE CALL six weeks later on September 14th! So much for all those old rules!

But remember I had actually started researching and writing 14 months earlier. Then I got my revision letter, and finished those in the middle of December. Copyedits, galley proofs, and ARCs followed.

FINALLY on Oct. 1, 2008 The Wild Sight was released! Thirteen months after The Call and a full 27 months after I'd first started it. And two weeks ago, at long, long last, I received my first royalty statement, which only covered Oct. through Dec. 31st of last year. Still, it was almost THREE YEARS after I first started writing. This is why "Advances" were created, and why very few authors actually earn a living from their writing.

Why in the world would I put myself through all this toil and tears and very little remuneration?

Because nothing in the world is as exciting as seeing the book I wrote sitting on the store shelf, or hearing from someone who read it that they enjoyed my characters and their story! It's the realization of my long held dream to write books and have other people read them.

Yes, I freely admit, I AM CRAZY! But I'm loving it!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

ARCs and a New Title!

A few days ago, I received my copies of the Advanced Review Copies of The Treasures of Venice, and may I just say they are GORGEOUS!

Somehow, seeing the cover in print on that glossy paper really makes it stand out. Plus, I LOVE the back cover which is dark red with white lettering. This is all subject to change in the final printing of course. But for now... I'm deeply infatuated (rapturous sigh) to the point that I'm sleeping with an ARC under my pillow.

Okay, Aunty can always find a cloud in the silver lining, one tiny little complaint is that this cover does not have a convenient vacant spot for me to put my "Autographed Copy" sticker. The Wild Sight had a perfectly sized blank area right above the word 'Wild'.

But while I'm gushing...

I received an email from my editor a few days ago with the title of my third book which is scheduled to be released in Spring 2010. Since my pubisher never seems to like my titles, I didn't bother calling this story anything other than The New Irish Tale. Yup, it's another one set in Ireland, this time the Republic, and YES again-- another Irish hunk hero!

Anyway, The New Irish Tale has now been rechristened The Wild Irish Sea!

I'm very happy with the title because not only does it harken back to The Wild Sight, but the story takes place on the rugged sea coast of Donegal, so it's doubly appropriate.

Finally, just when I thought it couldn't get any better, my editor's assistant emailed me to ask for my input on cover suggestions for The Wild Irish Sea! Not that the Sourcebooks Art Department has needed any help from me in creating fantastic covers for both my books, but I was very complimented and excited just to be asked. Now all I need to do is FINISH WRITING THE BOOK! ACK!

So with the title The Wild Irish Sea, what do you picture on the cover?

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Gimme 5... Things to Look Forward To

Happy Cinco de Mayo!

Bring out the pinata, guacamole and margaritas! Nothing I like better than a little fiesta. And being in a party mood makes me think about good things to come. There are quite a few things happening in the next few months that I'm really looking forward to. Here are five of them:

  1. The DH and I will celebrate 20 years together in a couple of weeks! Nope, never believed we'd make it this long. HA! So I'm really looking forward to a very special night out.
  2. Writing "The End" on my work-in-progress. Seems like I've been in the deep dark writing cave working on this story FOREVER! (heavy sigh) And yes, I do love my characters and their trials and tribulations, but I'm ready for the light at the end of this tunnel. Of course, I am writing this book under contract so I MUST finish it by my deadline.
  3. Attending the RWA National Conference in Washington DC. OH GOODIE! (rubs hands together with glee) The conference last year in San Francisco was so much fun! Thanks to my CP's hubby giving me a frequent flyer ticket, I WILL be attending the conference this year, and I am so looking forward to seeing all my Banditas and other writer friends. Plus, this year, for the first time, I get to participate in the Literacy signing event!
  4. Seeing my second book on the shelf! YES!!! September 1st is the "official" release date for The Treasures of Venice and I'm almost as excited as I was last year when my very first book, The Wild Sight was released. I do plan to have another launch party and will be doing another blog tour and giving away lots of free copies of the book. Can't wait!
  5. Spending my birthday on a cruise to Acapulco. One of my best birthdays ever was a few years ago, when the DH booked us a cruise to Acapulco and the dining room staff made a fuss over me on my birthday. Well, my DH has done it again! Last week, he booked another cruise to Acapulco and my birthday will happen right in the middle of it.
What are you looking forward to in the next few months?