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S2E8: Modern Magic Making with special guest Dana Swift

Photo of special guest Elayna Mae Darcy and episode title, Write Away S2E5 - NaNoWriMo 2020: What in the COVID?

Debut author alert! Join us for a fun conversation with Dana Swift and get some behind-the-scenes insight into the making of her first young adult fantasy novel, Cast in Firelight (see links below to order your signed copy!), where two royal heirs arranged to be married make their own arrangements instead.

You'll hear about:

  • Writing Community news

  • The unboxing of Nat’s December Fairy Loot and P.J.’s November OwlCrate (YouTube episode only)

  • Special guest and debut author Dana Swift on her writing process, her whirlwind journey to getting her first novel published, and how she chooses which ideas to write


  • Pre-order your signed copy of Cast in Firelight - When ordering in the comment section you can say who you want the book personalized too (for the winner) or just note that you just want the book signed!

  • through Dana Swift's website

  • from Dana Swift's local indie bookstore, Books and Books

  • Check out reviews - and leave one yourself - on Goodreads

  • Follow Dana on social media: Twitter @swift_dana, Instagram @danaswiftbooks

  • Linktree with all relevant links:

  • If you don't order through Books and Books, consider supporting other indie bookstores by ordering your books through And if you're an audiobook person, supports indie bookstores, too.



Imagine it’s early 2020 (sorry), and your first book is on track to come out in November. Then the pandemic hits. You’re not too worried at first – November is toward the end of the year and you’ve got plenty to do to pass the time between now and then, working with the publisher to put final touches on the book, learning the marketing plan, collaborating to get your awesome book cover designed by one of your favorite cover artists, Charlie Bowater. But as your author friends’ 2020 releases are delayed one by one, you have to wonder if it will happen to you…

Welcome to the recent life of debut author Dana Swift. But we’re happy to say that as of this post, we won’t have to wait much longer for Cast in Firelight, a lush, non-western fantasy with distinct character voices that are so fun to read! We were captivated by the visual and vast magic system, not to mention the way main characters Adraa and Jadin drew us in from the beginning with their conflicting life paths and motivations.

Dana talked with us about what inspired the novel and her writing life. We dished about what it’s like to have a 2021 debut when most of the lead-up took place in cray 2020. Dana shared her advice about writing romance and what her favorite tropes are. And we got a little peek into what’s next in store for her.

We also tried a new segment in the vlog edition of this episode, where we unboxed our first installments of the reading/writing subscription boxes we just signed up for. Nat has a Fairy Loot subscription, and P.J. has one from OwlCrate, and we couldn’t wait to show you which goodies came in our boxes!

Let us know if there’s anything you want to hear about later this season. Until then...

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