Meet C.M. McGuire

Join us in welcoming C.M. McGuire to our Misplaced Adventures branch of the crew. Chelsea’s hilarious take on two women running a tavern in the middle of a swamp will keep you in stitches.

Author Bio

C.M. McGuire may or may not be a cryptid living in central Texas, spoken of only in hushed whispers in small circles. It is said she holds degrees in history and creative writing and, when away from her word processor, teaches. This can only be corroborated by her elderly dog and two cats, but thus far they are tight-lipped.

Asked and Answered

When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

It was a two-part process. The seed was planted by my fourth grade teacher, who taught me that bad handwriting does not equate to bad writing and that, in fact, she thought I was very good at it. Then, in fifth grade, I got to hear David Almond speak. He described running his fingers along the spines of books in a library and pulling one down to see his name. At that moment, I was hooked.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?

Honestly, a lot of writers do a lot of weird things, and a lot of us do the SAME weird things. I will say, in the early part of any concept, talking it through and telling it to someone is often my favorite way to build a story because I can feed directly off an audience and see how they react.

What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

I keep very busy. I like writing, gardening, painting, crocheting, and various other crafts; I’m obviously passionate about movies as well as film, and I’m always looking for something new to try.

What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?

As I write this, I’m still working on Beer For My Corpses which has been fairly unlike other projects. I’m a BIG plotter and seldom write without a detailed plan, but I’m finding that the need to meet deadlines is forcing me to fly by the seat of my pants more than I usually would. As a result, the characters are constantly changing in ways I didn’t anticipate.

What do you think makes a good story?

Emotional connection. If something can connect to you on an emotional story and give you some degree of comfort or catharsis that you need, then I’d call it good. It’s why people can be just as enthusiastic about fanfiction as a multi-million dollar book or TV series.

Did you ever consider writing under a pseudonym?

I do. I use my mother’s maiden name as a way of incorporating that side of the family into myself since I don’t carry the name.

What do you hope readers get from your books?

I honestly just want them to have a sense of fun and familiarity. I want Pick’s Pocket to be that place you want to go in your brain on a bad day because it’s familiar and you want to hang out with a friend.

If you could tell your younger writer self anything, what would it be?

Get comfortable hearing your work out loud, kid. It’s how you grow. And trying to escape your 11th grade English classroom to avoid it is just going to get you in trouble with the assistant principal.

As a writer, what would you choose as your mascot/avatar/spirit animal?

I think my mascot in terms of art and writing might be a magpie. A collector of fun and shiny things. I’ve got notebooks and Google Docs crammed with little ideas, snippets of scenes I came up with that have no story, bits and lines and words from here and there, and a million and one character names in kind of a creative grab bag.

What’s the most difficult thing about writing characters of the opposite sex?

I can’t say I find this too common a conflict for me. I suppose there are times when there are things it wouldn’t occur to me that a man might not think of, but it’s a rare issue.

How do you select the names of your characters?

It varies wildly, though my characters for this series just sort of happen and I tweak them so they sound good next to each other.

Why did you choose Cursed Dragon Ship Publishing?

Honestly, I’d met Kelly a few times. So when my agent said she was looking for authors, I thought it sounded like a fun opportunity!

What was your hardest scene to write?

Come back to me when I finish.

Do you Google yourself?

Not so much anymore, but I used to do it too much.

What is the most difficult part of your artistic process?

Finding time to be still. I’ve always got a million and one things going on and often have the word processor open, intending to write all day and all night. Then I don’t. Learning to close it and NOT think about a story is necessary for the process and is fundamentally very difficult for me.

Does your family support your career as a writer?

I think it baffles them at times, but yes, they do.

A Glimpse at Beer For My Corpses

Which Character could give Chuck Norris a run for his money and why? 

Pickett definitely has a flair for inflating her own reputation in the way Norris’s was.

What motivates your main character, Pickett, and what is most important to her?

Pickett’s just trying to make it by after a lot of misfortune in her life, and she generally keeps people at arm’s length. So, if she lets someone in, then that person is going to be everything and all she does will be to protect them.

If you dropped your characters into the Hunger Games, who would you put money on? 

None of them. If any of them survived, it would be pure luck.

What inspired you to write this particular story? 

I was once joking with a friend about a magical bartender with no craps to give having to handle a horde of zombies. This universe seemed the perfect place to play with the concept.

What drew you to the setting (the swamps)? 

It was available. Honestly. I know my limitations and that I likely won’t be able to read and interweave my work with everything, so I wanted to write a story that could fit into an otherwise unexplored part of Kevin’s world and more or less stand alone. Initially, I planned for this to be a sort of tiki bar in the Paradisals, but when I found out there was already going to be a story happening there, I asked what was available. I actually think the swamps make for a more amusing setting in many ways.

If you were to visit the Pick’s Pocket, what would you order and why? 

The rum is the only thing I’d trust.

Welcome, Chelsea!

If you want to follow Chelsea and her adventures, make sure to check out her website. Her debut in Misplaced Adventures releases in March. We’ll see you then!