[Book Tour + Guest Post + Giveaway] Ironspark by C. M. McGuire

C.M. McGuire
(Swoon Reads)
Publication date: August 25th 2020
Genres: LGBTQ+, Paranormal, Romance, Young Adult

A teen outcast must work together with new friends to keep her family and town safe from murderous Fae while also dealing with panic attacks, family issues, and a lesbian love triangle in C.M. McGuires’s kick-butt paranormal YA debut, Ironspark.

For the past nine years, ever since a bunch of those evil Tinkerbells abducted her mother, cursed her father, and forced her family into hiding, Bryn has devoted herself to learning everything she can about killing the Fae. Now it’s time to put those lessons to use.

Then the Court Fae finally show up, and Bryn realizes she can’t handle this on her own. Thankfully, three friends offer to help: Gwen, a kindhearted water witch; Dom, a new foster kid pulled into her world; and Jasika, a schoolmate with her own grudge against the Fae.

But trust is hard-won, and what little Bryn has gained is put to the test when she uncovers a book of Fae magic that belonged to her mother. With the Fae threat mounting every day, Bryn must choose between faith in her friends and power from a magic that could threaten her very humanity.

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3 things I wish I knew 5 years ago

You’re going to have a meltdown: Lean into it

          A few years ago, I’d been through some of my worst, most brutal rejections. I was questioning whether or not I ought to even be writing. The best thing I ever did was respond to this crisis by finding a few local authors in my area and guests at local conventions. I asked questions. I got advice. One of the best things they told me was that I was lucky I was already melting down: that the older you get, the worse it is. Because I had it younger, I had no problem turning to others for sincerely wonderful advice.

You can do more than you believe

Comfort zones are where we relax. But when it comes to your art, you have to leave it. Are you a writer? Take an acting class. Actor? Vice versa. Think you write only romance? Write a thriller. Westerns? Try science fiction or fantasy. You’ll be all the stronger for it.

And you know how you think you can’t try a new medium? Poetry, graphic novel, screenplay, picture book, you name it. Get over that. Everyone starts somewhere you might as well start now. What’ve you got to lose?

If a grad school or certification program promises to get you published…it’s BS

          I feel like this should be obvious. And I include this because, I admit, I’m still a little salty about a personal experience. But if you go to a grad school program believing this…don’t. It’s seldom true. And if you go the program knowing this is slightly over-promising, you really ought to take anything else they say with a grain of salt.

3 things I wish I’d unlearned sooner

It’s okay to use “said” now and then

          In fourth grade, I adored my teacher. She instructed us to never use “said” or “got” in their writing. I understand why this was something you would say to nine-year-olds. It’s really not as applicable over twenty. Your first short story editor will call you out.

No plant produces 100% of the time (and fewer humans)

          It’s a dumb metaphor, honestly, because I once had a friend whose lemon tree didn’t understand that summer stopped. She’d shove lemons at me in January. I admired that tree’s productivity. And that was so stupid. Metaphors work both ways. Fields need to be rotated. Bears hibernate. Batteries recharge.

          It’s okay to take a break, from your art or from everything. The lemon tree was a strange, unexpected case, and it’s okay not to be the lemon tree.

You write for you

          When I first started bringing Ironspark to my critique group, it was a very different group. I found myself nervous to present a bisexual character in a group of people largely much older and many more conservative than I was. I started censoring the earlier drafts as I brought them in to hide the queer content. It was only after I realized I couldn’t do that and expect good feedback that I gave up. It was uncomfortable. It was difficult. It was absolutely worth it.

Author Bio:

I am a storyteller at heart, and my poor mother was grateful when I started writing. It gave her ears a break. I write primarily science fiction and fantasy intended for the young adult and middle grade audience. Presently, I live in Texas with my two cats.

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