I’m excited to be a part of the Ironspark blog tour today with an interview from author C.M. McGuire!
Q&A with C.M. McGuire
Tell us about Ironspark. What inspired this story?
Ironspark was definitely the result of a few things colliding together. I was 19 and getting ready to transfer to a university, so I had all the complex feelings associated with that. Around that time, I’d stumbled on a Supernatural fanfiction with a female Dean Winchester. I found the characterization really interesting and wanted to explore a girl struggling with herself, her family, and her responsibilities at a similar crossroads in her life. At the time, I was working at the Renaissance Festival as an elf, so a lot of the folklore and even Bryn’s name came as a result of experiences there.
Bryn, Gwen, Dom, and Jasika team up together to fight the Fae. Which character do you relate to the most? Is there a specific trait that one of your characters has that you wish you had?
I feel like I have a lot of all of them in me, but I feel like I’m pretty close to Bryn in a lot of ways, and maybe some Jasika as well. I think more than anything, I strive to have the kind of gentleness that Gwen, Dom, and Jasika each have.
What was your world-building process for Ironspark?
I knew from the get-go that it was going to take place in the US and heavily feature the Fae courts. A lot of the world-building came from my fleshing out the story as needed. For instance, the poorer Postoak road and the woods are the most explored areas, because that’s where Bryn spends her time. But the town of Easterton is much larger than that. It’s just not where most of the characters spend their time.
Love triangles can be so fun, and it’s exciting that Ironspark features a lesbian love triangle. Can you introduce us to the characters in this one?
The center of the triangle would be Bryn, whose biggest weakness is connecting with people. She spends so much time in her own head barreling ahead toward her own goals that she’s bad at feelings. As a result, she spends most of her time around people putting them on a pedestal, feeling guilty, or just not totally knowing what to do. She admires Gwen because Gwen is Bryn’s polar opposite. She’s warm, gentle, and very easily compassionate. Likewise, Bryn admires Jasika because Jasika is kind, smart, and very much everything Bryn wishes she could be as a person. A lot of why she is attracted to both of them is because they represent the idea of being better…but that’s also kind of why Bryn’s kind of a disaster and struggles so much to connect.
And while we’re on the topic, who are some of your favorite love triangles in other books/movie/tv shows?
To be honest, I tend not to care for love triangles. The love triangle in Ironspark was more or less born totally out of happenstance. However, I will say that, if there’s a love triangle that I did enjoy, it was the one in the Broadway musical A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder.
What’s your writing/editing process? Do you have any rituals or listen to any music?
Usually, I’m happiest if I can leave home for a bit, so I’ve struggled with writing in the pandemic. I find my needs and focus vary from day to day. I often have to change the room I’m working in, what I listen to, etc… Though I always create a playlist for brainstorming.
As we wrap up, what’s up next? Will there be a sequel?
I hope! Right now, it seems super optimistic to hope, but I’d love to keep writing with these characters. In the meantime, I’ve got a few other projects in slightly different genres.