Collaborative Writing Challenge contributor Jean Grabow stopped by for an interview as part of the Army of Brass blog tour. She not only signed up for the original collaboration, but stepped up her game by becoming a part of the “Finishing Squad” who helped me plan and write the finale. CWC writers have no contact with one another as they write; the chapter you must do is always a mystery until 5 days before it is due.
PD: How did you first get involved with the Collaborative Writing Challenge?
JG: A writing friend encouraged me to sign up for Wytch Born – we both had a chapter published.
PD: What is your favorite part of working collaboratively?
JG: I love seeing where other writers take a story line I contributed to, and then challenging myself to do the same.
PD: Who is your favorite character in Army of Brass?
JG: I’d have to say Elaina, she’s is full of surprises.
PD: For the readers who don’t know, the book is set in a fantasy world with a lot of cool locations. Did you have a favorite setting in the story?
JG: Aletha’s hut is very cool. It’s her control center, but the setting the hut is in is very rustic.
PD: How about the gadgets and other tech. Anything stand out to you?
JG: The airships are very cool and it was fun to write what it was like to see them in the air and fly in the. I also loved imagining what was in the Tinkerer’s Guild. So many opportunities to describe cool gadgets.
PD: Did you have much experience with Steampunk before the collaboration?
JG: None! But I love the genre and did some research to better understand it.
PD: How often do you write?
For my fiction writing, every weekend. I write a lot at work, I run an ad agency.
What is your ideal setting for writing? Do you like it quiet or loud? And do anything special to get into “the zone”?
I love making coffee and sitting in my office at home. Sometimes quiet, sometimes with music depending on what I’m writing.
PD: What is your favorite genre to write?
JG: Right now I’m writing a fantasy.
PD: Are there any genres you haven’t tried but would like to?
JG: Yes, I’d like to write contemporary fiction.
PD: Who is your favorite character that you’ve created?
JG: I didn’t create any new characters [in the CWC books]. I find with these collaborative projects can get too many characters to keep track of. I try to work with the existing characters and try to deepen the readers connection to them. I wrote mostly about Elaina, Tom, and Jack.
PD: Are there any writers who inspire you?
JG: So many! I really love John Irving. But there are so many I’d have to make a list! But his writing is so engaging and he always surprises you.
PD: Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?
JG: I’m not sure I’m the best person, but really it’s about a lot of bad writing until you pull the good stuff out of yourself.
PD: Where do you get your inspiration?
JG: Life experiences, my kids, and things I believe in. Right now
PD: Thanks for the interview Jean! Where can we find more of your writing?
JG: I wrote chapters in Wytch Born and Esyld’s Awakening. Starting on April 27, all of the CWC’s books will be $.99 to celebrate the launch of Army of Brass. It’s a great time to stock up on a lot of amazing collaborative fiction!
Pre-order your ebook copy of Army of Brass for $.99 and receive it on Friday, April 27!
Read the description, take a sneak peek at the full Chapter 1, read an exclusive excerpt, or check out an interview with another CWC writer, Jason Pere, as part of our blog tour. It’s going on now until May 13.
Plus, Join us on Facebook April 28-29 to meet the writers, participate in giveaways, and more!
Speaking of giveaways, we’ve got one going on for the entire blog tour, so between April 13-May 13, enter to win e-books from our writers.