Army of Brass: A Collaborative Steampunk Novel

Way back in ye olde summer of 2016, I became a story coordinator for the Collaborative Writing Challenge. It took over 18 months of blood, sweat, and tears (okay, maybe more like sore fingers, eye strain and a dollop of Save the Cat), but Army of Brass is now a reality!

58 writers submitted 75 chapters. In the end, 21 writers and 41 chapters were chosen for the book, including a few by yours truly. Usually, story coordinators don’t contribute chapters, but as the collaboration was wrapping up it became clear we couldn’t reach our “big finish” if I didn’t intervene and write some of the finale myself. Around 25% of the story was added after the formal collaboration ended, so the final twists and turns will be a surprise even for the contributors!

What is Army of Brass About?

When the mad conqueror haunting Elaina’s dreams invades her adopted homeland, the real nightmare becomes what she’s willing to do to stop him.

The dreaded Hunter Baron has landed on the shores of Mailderet, but Master Tinkerer Elaina Gable believes she has the solution. Giant automatons sit rusting in the valley, waiting for someone with the drive and ingenuity to bring them to life. But the king, swayed by the destruction his ancestors wrought centuries before, harbors a deep-seated fear of the machines. Though he will not allow the alliance of Tinkerers and Smiths to complete the work, Elaina resolves to bring the machines back to life in secret—with the help of a famous airship pilot.

From the safety of the swamps, a woman with silver skin jealously guards the secrets of the automatons. Though the Silver Woman also wishes the past to remain buried, she must weigh the value of secrecy against the thousands of innocents her hesitation might send to the grave.

As they discover the link between the toxic valley and the inner workings of the automatons, Elaina and her allies are drawn into a web of deceit threatening the balance of power across two continents—and proving the truth behind the deadly legends surrounding the Army of Brass.

Blog Tour

I organized a blog tour for the launch, which means several websites hosted guest posts, wrote reviews, interviewed the writers and more. I’ll keep updating this page with the stops through May 13.

4/13 – A Sneak Peek at Chapter 1 by Jason Pere

4/14 – Launch announcement

4/15 – Interview with contributor Jason Pere

4/16 – Memes in the Making

4/17 – Excerpt by Jim O’Loughlin

4/18 – The Pros and Cons of Collaborative Writing

4/19 – Interview with contributor Jean Grabow

4/20 – Collaboration is the Future by Kathrin Hutson

4/21 – Excerpt by Michael Cieslak

4/22 – Excerpt by Dorothy Emry

4/23 – Review by Penny Blake

4/24 – Character interview of Captain Jack Davenport

4/24 – What’s in a Name? Steampunk Before “Steampunk”

4/25 – Steampunk: The First 10 Years

4/25 – Interview with contributor Jeremiah Rickert

4/26 – Steampunk: The Second Decade

4/27 – Steampunk: The Last 10 Years

4/27 – Excerpt by Phoebe Darqueling

4/30 – Review by Victoria L. Szulc

5/1 – Prim & Proper? Not These Steam Age Murderesses by Phoebe Darqueling

5/2 – Excerpt by E.A. Hennessy

5/4 – Interview with contributor Johnny Caputo

5/8 – Interview with contributor E.A. Hennessy

5/9 – Review on Tales to Tide you Over

5/10 – A Swimming Swan, a Defecating Duck, and other Amazing Avian Automatons guest post by Phoebe Darqueling

5/11 – Review on Growing up Stephanie