Hello! Mrs Albert Baker here, otherwise known as The Last Witch Of Pendle. Obviously there is no Pendle any more, since The Chronic Agronauts utterly destroyed it with treacle and sprats, but I’ve set myself up quite nicely here in Lancaster, running this little soup kitchen for the street urchins. There certainly are a lot of them and I’m always looking for helping hands to cook up and serve something delicious!
Helping me this morning is Army Of Brass author Jeremiah Rickert, good morning Jeremiah and what a beautiful sunny one it is! Here, let me take your coat and hat and you can have a seat here by the window and put your feet up while I make the soup for the orphans.
There now, I have heard so much about the Collaborative Writing Challenge and your marvellous book Army Of Brass, tell me how did you first get involved with the CWC?
I believe I saw a solicitation on the CRWOPPS listerv and was intrigued by the idea of both collaborative storytelling and the idea of writing some steampunk fiction.
And what is your favorite part of working collaboratively?
It takes a lot of pressure off of worrying about macro-storytelling. You get to focus a lot of energy on just your chapter.
Yes I imagine that must be a refreshing and unique experience. Who is your favorite character?
I had the most fun with Captain Davenport. I like the idea of a gentleman swashbuckler with a strong well of pragmatism inside of him.
Oh yes I believe he made quite an impression on Max and Collin yesterday! Did you have a favorite setting in the story?
I usually would be seated at the keyboard with a goofy grin on my face whenever the characters were on one of the airships.
Ah yes, airships – I have seen some of my visitors arriving in those although we haven’t quite reached that level of technological advancement here in Lancaster. Did you have a favorite gadget or technology?
The airships with their gas bags and propellers have always been my favorite aspect of Steampunk. They are a ubiquitous in the genre, but they are pretty cool, so I can see why.
Indeed! Did you have much experience with Steampunk before the collaboration?
I had read a few books, but I’m not super dedicated to the genre.
I see, would you mind passing me that sack of onions, Dear? Thankyou, goodness I’ve so much to do today! How often do you sit down to write?
Not with any regularity. I write when I feel like I have something to say.
And what is your ideal setting for writing?
I did most of my writing for this project at a local all-night diner. I have headphones on, but often they are just there to filter the noise a bit. After two hours, I would pause and have a snack, then write until I started getting sleepy.
Oh that sounds marvellous! What is your favorite genre to write?
I like all genres. The key to me is just to have fun characters to play with, no matter what the setting.
Perhaps the reason you write such strong and memorable characters! Are there any genres you haven’t tried but would like to?
I have been sitting on an idea for a pulp-style Space Opera story for a long time. This project has loosened up a lot of the machinery inside me that feels compelled to create.
That certainly sounds like a project that should see the light of day! Who is your favorite character that you’ve created?
I have a finished novel about a noir-style detective who happens to dress like a clown when he’s on the job.
Oh marvellous, perhaps he would like to meet our own anchorite clown Freddy Payne some time! Where do you get your inspiration for these wonderful characters?
Being observant and people watching typically serves as my inspiration. I tend to take a lot of notes with snippets of conversations I’ve overheard or thoughts that have occurred to me. A particularly fertile period for me was when I worked a graveyard shift in a 7-11. I saw a lot of people and things that I am still mining for inspiration to this day.
And are there any writers who inspire you?
The first that comes to mind is Mark Helprin, author of A Winter’s Tale, Soldier In The Great War, and others. I don’t know how he produces such beautiful, descriptive prose, that never seems like a slog to read through. It is sorcery. I am also a huge fan of Cervantes’ Don Quixote, particularly the recent translation by Edith Grossman.
Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?
There are two tips that come to mind: First, read everything you can, as much as you can stand, across all genres, and don’t be afraid of the classics. Second, get yourself some deadlines. The one thing I missed most about college after I graduated was having deadlines. They are highly motivating.
Yes indeed! And speaking of deadlines, our soup here is nearly done and I can hear the urchins clamouring in the street outside so we had better start serving this up. But before we do, where can we find more of your writing?
Most my print and online material appeared in the late 90s/early 2000s and is no longer accessible unfortunately. The Army of Brass collaborative project has re-awakened the urge to write, however, so I anticipate more material appearing soon.
Well I hope you will come back to the soup kitchen some other time and tell us about your next work when it is published!
Thankyou everyone for joining us in the kitchen today and if you would like to find out more about Army Of Brass or purchase your own copy you can follow the links below.
Blessings on your brew my dears!
Order your ebook copy of Army of Brass for $.99 and receive it on Friday, April 27!
Take a sneak peek at the full Chapter 1, read an exclusive excerpt, or check out another interview with writer Jason Pere or Jean Grabow as part of our blog tour, now until May 13. If you want to find out more about collaborative writing, Army of Brass contributors and CWC veterans Crystal MM Burton and Kathrin Hutson shared articles for the tour about the pros, cons, and rewards.
Plus, Join us on Facebook April 28-29 to meet some awesome writers, participate in a giveaway that includes a $25 Amazon gift card, 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 ebooks from our writers.
April 25, 2018 | Categories: blog tours, Soup of the day, Uncategorized | Tags: airships, Army of Brass, authors, blog tours, books, collaborative writing challenge, geek, history, interviews, Lancaster, nerd, Pagan, reading, sci fi, science fiction, soup, steampunk, technology, tips for writers, witch, writing | 5 Comments