Collaborative Writing Challenge

“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much”
― Helen Keller

Army of Brass Meet the Writers

Phoebe Darqueling

CWC Story Coordinator

Gears, goggles, and glamour; Corsets, crafts, and creativity; Sci-fi, silliness, and Steampunk; Dirigibles, dancing, and DIY; Physics, phonics, and phoenixes; Bustles, balloons, and beads; Lace, leather, and life; Fantasy, feathers, and flaws; Paper, piercings, and pirates!

I got interested in Steampunk starting in 2009 but I haven’t had a chance to be as active in the scene as I’d like to be. I thought having a blog where I could store all of the resources I find and share it with the growing community of steampunk enthusiasts would be a great way to start. It’s clear that this is a genre and aesthetic that is exploding and I want to be a part of it.

My background is in Anthropology, Art History and Museum Studies, so I see this site as a sort of living digital museum that I get to curate. For the past 3+ years, my husband, tiny dog and I have been living the lives of vagabonds and bouncing between places as far off as Bulgaria and as familiar as MN where I grew up. We’re in Michigan for the moment, but only Fate knows how long that will last…

Jason Pere

Chapter 1 & 7

A Fresh new addition to the community with “Ark” and CWC’s resident Swashbuckler. Jason Pere is a native New Englander, currently residing in Connecticut with his wife and two rambunctious cats. He has had a long standing passion with the arts. 

As early as the age of six Jason knew that he wanted to do something creative with his life. He tried his hand at several mediums, picking up a strong interest in acting for film and theater at the age of thirteen and focusing on that craft for over a decade. Life directed Jason to drift away from film and theater over the years and pick up writing as a form of creative expression. He began with poetry and journaling. Every so often Jason would scribble down an odd short story or two. Finally in November of 2012 Jason self-published his first book, Modern Knighthood: Diary of a Warrior Poet, a collection of original poetry and philosophy.

After publication of that book Jason took some time away from novel writing to work in the world of collectible card games, board games and other forms of professional Dorkery. He continued to dabble in poetry and picked at competitive short story writing. Jason returned to full length novel writing in October of 2014 with the “Purgatory” series, a dark fantasy title. The first book in the series is set to be published in late 2015. 

Jason discovered CWC early on in 2015 and has been a passionate member since, diving into multiple collaborative fiction projects with other CWC authors. When not writing or enduring his “Real World Job” Jason enjoys, Netflix time with his family, breaking out obscure board games and dorking out with friends, firing up the his game console and surviving a Zombie Apocalypse or indulging in baked goods and sleep.

AJ Millen

Chapter 2

Words have always been AJ Millen’s friends. She started telling stories young, and she’s still at it. During the 1980s, she worked as a reporter in England, but in 1989, she left for a six-month semester in Greece. That was the plan, until a brown-eyed boy from Samos persuaded her to stay. Today, he’s her husband and father to their 20-year-old son.


She lives in Athens and works in Corporate Communications. To date, AJ has participated in two collaborative novel writing projects (with another in the pipeline) and been published in seven anthologies of short stories. Her work has also featured in evenings of tales performed at independent theatres in Brighton, and she was a winner in the AuthorTrope “I Made The Darkness” writing contest.


Read more of her words at http://shemeanswellbut.

Jean Grabow

Chapter 5

Jean Grabow works in an advertising agency and goes from writing copy to writing fiction during the evenings and weekends. She is currently working on two projects, a Young Adult novel and an adult novel based on her work experiences. Jean is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) and holds a Certificate in Fiction Writing from the UCLA Extension Writer’s Program. Jean enjoyed writing a chapter for Wytch Born, her first CWC project, and “Retribution,“ her first collaborative short story. She lives in the Los Angeles, where most things seem like fiction.

Ruth Hernandez

Chapter 6a

Ruth Hernandez is a Sound Editor for movies in NYC. She also teaches Feature Screenwriting and TV Writing at St. John's University in Queens and maintains a steady list of clients as a Script Doctor. She has published her short fiction and thanks to the confidence achieved by participating in the CWC project, she's diving into her first novel.

Jim O'Loughlin

Chapter 6a

Jim O'Loughlin is the author of the flash fiction collection, Dean Dean Dean Dean (Twelve Winters Press). He is the host of the Final Thursday Reading Series in Cedar Falls, Iowa (now celebrating its 16th season) and the publisher of Final Thursday Press. He is currently working on The Cord, a science fiction novel set at both ends of a space elevator. More at

Jone Schlangen

Chapter 4 Writer

Jone Schlangen has enjoyed writing fiction and poetry as long as she can remember. This is her second CWC project. She loves spending time outdoors with her husband, two young children, and their rabbit-obsessed dog. She resides in MN, and works in healthcare as a quality data analyst. Jone occasionally writes on her blog, http://jonebug24., and on the website Wattpad.

Michael Cieslak

Chapter 6b

Michael Cieslak is a lifetime reader and writer of horror, mystery, and speculative fiction. A native of Detroit, he still lives within 500 yards of the city with his wife and their two dogs Tesla and Titus. The house is covered in Halloween decorations in October and dragons the rest of the year. He is an officer in the Great Lakes Association of Horror Writers. His works have appeared in a number of collections including DOA: Extreme Horror, Dead Science, Vicious Verses and Reanimated Rhymes, the GLAHW anthologies, and Alter Egos Vol 1.

He is also the Editor in Chief of Dragon’s Roost Press which has published two anthologies which benefit the Last Day Dog Rescue Organization: Desolation, 21 Tales for Tails and Eldritch Embraces: Putting the Love Back in Lovecraft. Submissions for the third anthology will begin in 2017. Dragon’s Roost Press’ catalog also includes books by Mary Lynne Gibbs, Peggy Christie, and Ken MacGregor.

Michael’s mental excreta (including his personal blog They Napalmed My Shrubbery This Morning) can be found on-line at



Dragon’s Roost Press:

The Great Lakes Association of Horror Writers: