Since I sold my first romantic suspense novel almost two years ago, the question I am most often asked is: Where do you come up with the ideas for you books? I always answer, “Everywhere!” And that is honestly the truth!
Sometimes I’ll read or see something that will inspire me to learn more. Sometimes it is a more nebulous series of events that eventually leads to the development of a plot or character. I never really know what might inspire me, or when inspiration might hit, but I can tell you exactly what led me to write my latest book The Treasures of Venice. The thing that spurred me start writing this story was a piece of music.
I’ve been a fan of classical music since the days when I watched Bugs Bunny slap Elmer Fudd’s bald head with his ears in time to the Overture to The Barber of Seville. My car radio is perpetually tuned to a classical station. Such was the case a couple of years ago when I was out running errands, I was listening to the classical station while driving around town. Suddenly, a lively and interesting piece of music came on, one that I had never heard before – a rare occurrence for a long-time listener like me.
When the music ended, the announcer came on and said, “That was the incidental music to the opera ‘The Jewels of the Madonna’ by Ermanno Wolf-Ferrari.”
Hmmmm. I’d never heard of the opera or its composer, so when I got home I googled both. After reading the libretto (translated into English) of “The Jewels of the Madonna,” I thought it was an interesting story with many possibilities. Then I learned that the composer, Ermanno Wolf-Ferrari was a Venetian, and that seemed to seal the deal. I’d always thought Venice was one of the most romantic settings in the world—a city built on water with a long and often mysterious history. The place left a very lasting impression on me when I’d visited for a few chilly days in February almost a decade ago.
I started to play every writer’s favorite game: What if… And my imagination ran wild. What eventually emerged was the dual storyline for the book that ultimately became The Treasures of Venice! In its final form, the story had very little to do with the opera that inspired it, except that there are stolen jewels and tragedy ensues. The beautiful setting of Venice came fully back to my mind with the help of photos and my travel journal, and all the characters and plot developments took shape with very little coaxing on my part. Though the dual storyline was a bit challenging, most of the writing was a pure labor of love for me, and I’m so excited that my editor also loved the story because I can now share it will all of you!
My good friend Nancy L. called me on her lunch break today to tell me that in spite of having to get up and go to work, she stayed awake reading until 1 a.m. because she just had to see how the story ended! I hope you will enjoy The Treasures of Venice just as much, though I don’t expect everyone to stay up half the night reading. :-) But I would like to know what makes you keep reading a book long past your bedtime? What was the last book that kept you up until the wee hours of the morning?
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
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