Grimm Pickings

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IB Cover

Infinite Blue — a collaboration between myself and younger brother cum San Francisco Giants tragic, Simon Groth — has now officially hit the shelves. As this little fabulist novella makes its way into readers’ hands, I thought I might provide some insight into the IB inspiration we derived from our brothers-from-another-mother: Jakob and Wilhelm Grimm.

It’s short.
Despite what Disney would have you believe, The Brothers Grimm fairytales were brief affairs. So brief they crammed 86 tales into the first edition collection. We weren’t into that level of abbreviation — IB comes in at just under 180 pages — but we did want to honour the Grimm tradition of concise legend.

It’s archetypal.
Characters in IB, though contemporary in construct, should still call to mind those populating the pages of Grimm lore. The Caregiver, The Hero, The Villain, The Mentor, The Sage, The Jester, The Orphan. Even water — our constant presence and ‘shadow narrator’ — could be tagged as The Ruler, perhaps even The Lover.

It’s oral.
Okay, IB is a book, so strictly speaking it ain’t oral. But it is meant to feel like something shared at bedsides and around campfires. This is very much in the Grimm wheelhouse. The Children’s and Household Tales were passed-down tales gathered from families all over Germany and beyond. In fact, anthropologist Jamie Tehrani has found 35 different versions of Little Red Riding Hood throughout the world.

BG Cover

It’s seamless.
When you read the Grimm Fairytales, can you tell which brother transcribed which story? No? That’s how it should be in a brotherly collaboration. And if the reviews are anything to go by, it appears we achieved that goal. Though I will say this: I haven’t forgotten who wrote what, and my favourite bits are the ones Simon put together.

It’s magical.
What sort of purveyors of Grimm-esque fare would we be if there wasn’t a reasonable dose of the extraordinary in IB? Translucent limbs, freaky drawings, waking nightmares and the mystical, inescapable influence of water are just some of the magical elements present in Infinite Blue. And the biggest fabulist feature of all? You’ll have to read the book to find out. 😉

Infinite Blue can be purchased here in North America and here in Australia.

You Need To Concentrate

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Yes.  You do.

So, purchase the acclaimed Aussie YA novel from here.  It’s only $3.99.  It will do wonders for your book smarts.

And, as an added little bonus, why not get some insight into the collaborative process of the Brothers Groth via the younger BG, Simon.  Here’s a snippet:

We have tried collaboration before a few times. We tried taking alternate chapters. We tried taking on different characters. Nothing really worked and I consigned the whole endeavour to the ‘revisit one of these days’ file. Little did I know Darren was hatching his own variation on the concept.

What we eventually hit on was taking alternate drafts. The result was similar to writer-editor only with the editor taking a far more active role adding character layers and additional narrative. Our model was less ’50 per cent text each’ and something more like what Joel and Ethan Coen do: share the writing credits where one or the other might take the lead on any individual project. Seems to work well for them. Why not us? We are already brothers after all.

Catch the rest of it at Simon’s fine online home.

Release The Freak

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The North American Kindle edition of the acclaimed Brothers Groth novel Concentrate – titled The Focus and the Freak – is now available.

Quality young adult/crossover writing for the price of a cup of coffee…What reader could ask for more?