Tuesday, August 25, 2020


When C.M. McGuire was a child, she drove her family crazy with her nonstop stories. Lucky for them, she eventually learned to write and gave their ears a rest. This love of stories led her to college where she pursued history (semi-nonfictional storytelling), anthropology (where stories come from) and theater (attention-seeking storytelling). When she isn't writing, she's painting, crocheting, gardening, baking, and teaching the next generation to love stories as much as she does.

McGuire applied the Page 69 Test to her new novel, Ironspark, and reported the following:
On page 69 of Ironspark, we see Bryn in poor health with one of her peers in a mild panic over how to help her. I can’t say much more because it does spoil some of the scenes immediately before it.

I wouldn’t say this gives a full idea of the whole book, but I do think it nicely introduces some of the themes of connection. Bryn struggles to accept help and can even be blasé about needing it at all. The people around her tend to have a more realistic understanding of what is and isn’t okay to put yourself through. Much of her struggle in the book is going to be learning to let people in, as well as how far she’s willing to go to protect her family (for better or worse.) So, I suppose the test would get a B for Ironspark.

I think, if I had to choose a better section to represent the book, it would be a section where Bryn is struggling more with herself than with someone else, since the whole story is about Bryn coming to terms about how she relates to herself and others, as well as the pressures and responsibilities she puts on herself. I think, inevitably, every teenager has to come to terms with this sort of thing. Luckily, the typical American teenager doesn't have to fight fairies in addition to their personal growth.
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--Marshal Zeringue