brittni in ink

Author of The Patch Project and A Place That Used to Be

Far, Far Away cover reveal!

Today is the official cover reveal day for Mirror World Publishing’s anthology, Far, Far Away!

Read all about this amazing collection of science fiction and fantasy coming out on June 17th, 2021!

About Far, Far Away:

“In a land far, far away… In a distant galaxy… Once upon a time…

These are all ways to begin fantastical tales of love and adventure. Gateways into the realms of imagination. In this anthology, we bring together authors from all over this world to transport you into the worlds they’ve created.

Travel through space and experience infinity three hours at a time. Explore dangerous caverns for the source of a deadly disturbance. Get stranded on a mysterious island from which no one returns, then learn to survive on a distant planet while you hope for rescue.

In this far-reaching, magical collection love allows you to see in colour, time is vast but fragile, and changing minds and hearts in Ancient Rome is only one stop on an epic journey across time, space, and reality.”

Stories Included in the Anthology:

“Piece of Mind” by L.R. Braden

“Songs and Superstitions” by Shana Scott

“Black Spire Isles” by Barend Nieuwstraten III

“Field Notes from the Unknown Planet” by Brittni Brinn

“The Colour of Roses” by Kelly D. Holmes

“The Prime Crusade” by Buddy Young

“Fatestorm” by Justine Alley Dowsett and Murandy Damodred

From Mirror World Publishing:

“It’s 2021. The pandemic drags on and we’re all stuck inside. Blegh. Reality sucks.

So why not take this opportunity to escape into fiction?

A year ago we ran a contest and we asked writers to submit stories set in other times, places, and versions of reality.

Then we had our judges pick the best ones to include in this anthology. Therefore, the seven stories you are about to read are windows into other worlds, but also into the minds of eight extremely creative and talented individuals. We’ve included their bios and a few words from each of them so you can get to know the people who have created such imaginative stories to take us far, far away, if only for a little while.

So pack your bags, or don’t because you won’t be needing them for this journey. Instead, sit back, relax, and turn the page to find distant galaxies, alien cultures, mysterious magical islands, unknown planets, the value of colour, the fragility of time, and the fickle nature of fate.”

Far, Far Away comes out on June 17th, 2021!

The anthology is now available for pre-order on Mirror World’s website!

a short story

I’d like to tell you the tale of a short story that will be appearing in Mirror World‘s Far, Far Away anthology!

The story is called “Field Notes from the Unknown Planet.” I started writing it back in 2019, when I was working as an admin assistant in a law office. Although the job was good, and the people were great, sometimes the stress was really intense. On my breaks, I’d scribble away or type up things on my super slow tablet. It was a kind of escapism, diving into a world completely outside of the cubicles and file folders and red binders piled up on my desk. I remember typing out the first scene of “Field Notes” and getting completely absorbed by the character stalking through a strange world. How did she get there? What were her goals? What would happen if she discovered another person after being alone for so long?

It was a story that expanded beyond its initial vision, and eventually grew into the space novel I’ve been working on. But for the Mirror World anthology, I edited the first section of the book, gave it a name, and submitted it. I’m still blown away that it was accepted!

I’m very excited for the anthology, and hope you all are too! The anthology launches June 17th, 2021, and includes several science fiction and fantasy stories based around the title Far, Far Away. Stay tuned for the cover reveal later this month!

writing retreat

This month is turning out to be a busy one! With packing and giving away stuff in preparation for our upcoming move, I haven’t had as much writing headspace as I would like, but I’m slowly getting through edits on the space novel.

One thing that helped me get back to the novel is the weekend writing retreat I attended! A group of us checked in with video calls twice a day and cheered each other on as we worked on our respective projects. You can read more about it on the Adventure Worlds Press blog!

Myself, Christian Laforet, Ben Van Dongen, and Elly Blake taking a coffee break during the weekend writing retreat!

I’ve also had a lot of motivation from the writing-related groups I’m part of through social media. It helps to know that I can check in with these groups when I’m sitting down to write or need to find another word for coffee table.

A new development is that I’m working on a new short story. Originally, I was hoping to write something for Augur‘s submission period, but now I’m doing it more for fun. It’s about a character from my space novel solving a murder. Did I mention I’ve been watching a lot of Shetland lately?

Peter and I also attended a zoom wedding, which was beautiful. As much as we wanted to be there in person, we were so thankful to have the technology to share in the celebration!

We dressed up to attend the ceremony – through zoom!

Also, if you wanted a signed copy of either of The Patch Project or A Place That Used to Be, please let me know by the end of the month. I’ll be packing up most of my stock for the move at that time. Copies are still available at Juniper Books, Biblioasis, and on Amazon.

moving

A lot has happened in the last month!

For one thing, our landlords have sold the house I’ve lived in for the past several years. We’re being evicted at the end of March, which is extremely inconvenient considering, you know, a global pandemic and all. Thankfully, we have wonderful friends who’ve given us support (and moving boxes!) and have made sure we have a place to live.

Peter and I have decided to move to Nova Scotia. If you’ve known us for awhile, this probably doesn’t come as too much of a surprise. It’s where Peter’s family lives, and we’ve spent some wonderful summer trips by the sea. Plus, Peter’s been accepted to a paralegal program out there, which is really exciting!

[Image description: Red and white lighthouse on a grassy hill overlooking the sea.]

The whole eviction thing has pushed up our moving date, so we’re trying to get on top of things like packing and travel plans ASAP. The stress has gotten in the way of my writing, which I don’t like at all. Still, it’s good to go through our things, reminisce when we find old letters or silly gifts, and give away most of our furniture. If you need any housewares, let me know!

I have been able to write and think about my novel in between all the moving bustle, on good days. I’m getting the space novel ready to send to another reader, and got some great feedback for both it and the other manuscript I’ve got on the back burner. Also, I have some online writing sessions coming up on the weekend with friends, which I’m really looking forward to. Will be nice to set all the life stress aside for awhile and focus on writing.

[Image description: Two books, The Patch Project and A Place That Used to Be, lean against moving boxes.]

As a side note, I still have quite a few signed copies of The Patch Project and A Place That Used to Be available. I’m happy to send you a copy before we move, if you’re interested!

a lot to look forward to

Happy 2021! Hope that you all had a rejuvenating holiday.

The past few weeks have been difficult for many of us. We’ve had to watch the attack on democracy in the States. We’ve had to talk about tough subjects with our friends and family. And although seniors and health workers are being vaccinated (yes! excellent!), it may be a while before vaccines are available for most of us.

Still, there’s a lot to look forward to. I always get reflective around the holidays – not only is it the end of the calendar year, but with my birthday at the beginning of January, it’s also the end of a personal year for me. Thinking back on 2020, there’s a lot I can be thankful for. Even though I stopped working, I had a lot more time to write and make things. Peter and I got to bike and go on river adventures, and we welcomed a housemate into our bubble. I also got to reconnect with friends and family through online games nights, letters, and video calls. It made me appreciate the kindness of others and focus on life-giving pursuits.

[Image description: A mug decorated with figures from famous artworks sits on a notebook, half obscuring the writing and doodles on the page.]

One of those life-giving pursuits is writing. I finished my fifth novel in November. I remember writing ‘The End’ on my first novel several years ago, and the satisfaction of completing something that seemed impossible back then. I don’t want to say that novel writing is easy now, but it feels more familiar. Now, I know that writing a book is going to take time, so I don’t beat myself up if I don’t make my word count goals. I feel more free to experiment and write scenes that are fun. When all the narrative threads come together, or the characters do something unexpected, that’s one of the best feelings in the world for me.

Here I am, standing in front of a cool wooden door in a stone wall, dressed in a long black coat, and being silly. What is my leg even doing? 🙂

That fifth novel is a sci-fi book set in space. I’ve sent the first draft to a few trusted readers. While I wait for feedback, I’m planning on returning to a manuscript that’s been in limbo while I’ve been writing. I’ll try to finish up edits on that one, using some great feedback from previous readers to guide me. Editing is its own process, but in a way is way easier than writing – the material is already there, I can shape and reshape it until it stands on its own. I’m looking forward to polishing these two books over the next year, and possibly starting a new one!

Who knows what 2021 will bring – but we can make it a good one by taking care of each other and our world. And by creating things! What are you looking forward to?

reflect

This past week, an article I wrote was featured on local author Regan W. H. Macaulay’s blog! It’s all about celebrating the holidays in two households when I was growing up. Writing about my family isn’t something I do very much, and it was a moving experience to reflect on how all of my parents made Christmas something special for my sister and I. I hope you give it a read!

[Image description: Two books on a bed of fall leaves. The Patch Project and A Place That Used to Be.]

In book news, I will be taking a break from book deliveries until January 2nd, 2021. You are still more than welcome to order a copy of The Patch Project or A Place That Used to Be from me before then, I’ll just get it to you after the holidays. Copies are also available at Juniper Books, Biblioasis, and on Amazon!

In terms of writing, my current work in progress is a space novel, the same one I was working on during NaNoWriMo last month. I’m hoping to finish edits by the end of January so I can send it out to my first readers and start working on another book!

Thank you for all of your support this past year! Wishing you all a peaceful and hope-filled holiday season!

chapter 1

After the word-writing frenzy of National Novel Writing Month in November, I took a week off to recharge and do all the things I put off while working on my NaNoWriMo project. But now, I’m back, and am super excited to share the first chapter of my novel, The Patch Project, with you!

[Image description: A hand holds a book in front of a festive wreath. The book cover features a forest half-obscured by fog and reads “The Patch Project, Brittni Brinn.”]

The Patch Project is a character-driven post-apocalyptic novel about five survivors who develop strange powers in the wake of a mysterious global event. It was originally published in 2018, and a revised edition was just released from Adventure Worlds Press.

The story begins on a quiet Christmas Day…

Chapter 1: Candles

” May was leaning against the kitchen sink, staring through the broken glass window. Her hands, still wrapped in strips of cloth, held a chipped porcelain mug to her chin as a faint whisper of mint wound its way around her face. As far as she could figure, they had enough tea to last a month, maybe two if they re-steeped the used tea bags. After that, they could mix the herbs into rice, use the filters for fuel. They had to keep everything now.

Isak stole in behind her, his arms warm around her midsection, his chin digging pleasantly into her shoulder. He saw what she did: a dull copper plain under a slate sky with nothing else for miles.

“Hey,” he said, rubbing her pale cheek with his dusky one. “Know what today is?”

“The end,” she replied, leaning away to sip at the weak tea. It loosened her throat, and she cleared it with a tense cough. Isak remained silent. She returned her attention to the dreary panorama that had once featured a fenced-off soccer field ringed with houses. 

“Happy Christmas.” He slipped something into the pocket of her cardigan as his arms vaporized into air. A couple seconds later she heard him appear in the living room with a gasp as his body settled into the back of the couch.

“I didn’t think it mattered anymore,” she said loudly enough, but he didn’t reply. Placing the mug on the counter, she reached up a bandaged hand to trace the hole in the glass. Through it, the sky was solid cloud, as if bolt after bolt of gauze had been draped over them; there had been no other sky, not for months. Not since that day. “

(Excerpt from The Patch Project by Brittni Brinn, 2020)

You can hear the rest of the first chapter over on my YouTube channel. If you’d like to read more, I have signed copies available or you can pick up a copy through Amazon.

Wishing you all a safe and peaceful holiday season!

most wonderful time

It seems like the holidays are happening earlier this year as we all look for ways to make this current global season a little bit brighter! Christmas lights are going up, carols are playing in the grocery store, and masks are starting to sport festive patterns. Calls to shop local and support small businesses are ringing loud and clear all over social media.

If you know a person who makes things and sells them, consider supporting them this season! If you have a favourite local shop, consider picking up something – many places have curbside pick-up or delivery options available. There are also many free ways to support local artists and businesses alike! Share their work on social media (make sure you tag them!), leave a review online, or send them an encouraging message!

What are some of your favourite local businesses? Do you have a local artist or creator to recommend? Let’s share our resources and support in the ways that we can so this can be a wonderful time in a year that really needs some holiday cheer.

book launch q and a part 2

Thank you so much for everyone who submitted a question during the Facebook event! There were so many, I had to make this into a blog post!

Janine asked what surprised me the most during revisions for this edition.

I was really surprised by how prevalent of a character Ed was! Working on the sequel, I kind of focused on May and Pinot’s role in the first book more, so it was a surprise to go back and realize that Ed’s story is a huge focus in The Patch Project.

Joe asked on Instagram: Ever wonder what writing will be like in a post-pandemic world? Are all things changed?

Writing in sci-fi and post-apocalyptic genres, the future, and the way that the future might and will change, is an integral element to the stories we want to tell. I think all things are changed, and we won’t know how until we’re through this and can look back on it. Hopefully, we’ll change how we treat the Earth on a large scale, we’ll write about human connection in a way we couldn’t have imagined before. The global event has touched us all individually, and writers can hopefully voice some of those perspectives to help heal the post-pandemic world.

Elly asked, what reader feedback surprised you the most?

I think the reactions to the different characters! May and Ed are pretty polarizing characters it turns out! Some readers find May bland, while others find her fascinating. Some people like Ed’s arc, some don’t like him at all haha!

Nico (and Owen!) asked what I learned the most between editions.

Probably how important and difficult it is to market a book to a wider audience! The whole world that opens up after a book is published – it continues to be a lot of work. Writing the book isn’t enough it turns out in most cases, which is sobering and also exciting – the book is constantly gaining new life from new readers.

Hanan asks the hardest question: what is my favourite cover of my three books?

Can I say all of them? I really like this reimagining of The Patch Project, I think it and the sequel cover really compliment each other.

Caitlin asks: how did Peter make the cover?

I’m not entirely sure! There was a computer involved, and we talked about what kind of image to include. Then he did some design magic, and there it was!

Jennifer asked about an audiobook or movie.

I would love for this book to find another iteration as a movie or animated show or audiobook! Maybe after the pandemic, we can get some actors together and make one happen!

Thank you so much, everyone! Your support tonight was so appreciated! Hope that you enjoy this new edition of The Patch Project, you can find it on the Adventure Worlds Press website or on Amazon!

from Adventure Worlds

Welcome to the humans behind Adventure Worlds Press, Ben Van Dongen and Christian Laforet! I’m going to be asking them some questions about publishing and how the new edition of The Patch Project came to be!

Ben Van Dongen is the author of The Thinking Machine, The Neon Heart, and Broadcast Wasteland and co-authored the books No Light Tomorrow and All These Crooked Streets. BenVanDongen.com

Christian Laforet lives in LaSalle, Ontario with his wife, Lady, and his two girls, Lelaina Blue and Delilah Sunshine. When not writing books, he spends an exorbitant amount of time watching horror movies and playing video games. ChristianLaforet.com

1. What was your first contact with The Patch Project? Did it leave an impact, or how did the book strike you?

Christian:  The Patch Project came across my radar fairly quickly upon its release. Being that the book was post-apocalyptic (a genre I enjoy), and that I knew the author, it became must-read material.

Ben: If I remember correctly, my first contact with Patch Project was hearing that it had been picked up by your first publisher (EDGE Science Fiction and Fantasy Publishing). I have a memory of you talking about the story that you had in a shoebox that you had started in university and had decided to finish it, but I’m sure that the story was done and the project was far along by the time I heard about it. Maybe I’m making up the memory or confusing it with a dream. It wouldn’t be the first time.

2. Why did Adventure Worlds Press release a revised edition? What was it like preparing this book for release?

Ben: I find your ideas and perspective compelling. We write in the same genre but you come up with very different stories and I’ve enjoyed what I’ve read so far. So, I liked the story. Not just that, but I personally was interested in reading more and since we were able to help you publish the connected story, A Place That Used to Be, I was eager to see both books together in a similar format and available to the public.

Christian:  With Adventure Worlds Press releasing the companion book, A Place That Used to Be, and with you regaining the rights to The Patch Project, it sort of felt like a no-brainer to release a revised edition of the first book. The nice thing about prepping The Patch Project was that it had already been through the editorial wringer with the previous publisher. Everything was quite clean. And with a fantastic cover design in place (thanks to Peter Brinn), we were off to the races.

3. Do you have a favourite character or part of the book?

Ben: While Pinot is fun and becomes more interesting as the story goes on and we learn more about her, I was always fond of May. Her quiet strength, desire to keep going despite the difficulties in her new life, and her reluctant leadership felt very central to the story.

Christian: My favourite character is the first we meet in the book: May. Her journey resonated with me on several levels. Having to face both the near-end of everything, as well as her relationship with Isak (which is full of its own hardships. Read the book, you’ll see what I mean!), May keeps on going. She sees the beauty in a world decimated.

4. Anything else to say about The Patch Project or Adventure Worlds Press?

Christian:  I am thrilled to have The Patch Project under the AWP banner. Your writing is both beautiful and haunting. The Patch Project and A Place That Used to Be are exactly the kind of stories we (at AWP) love to read.

Ben: I’m so glad to see a new perspective coming from Adventure Worlds Press. For a while, it’s been mostly Christian and me. You are fantastic to work with and have been as helpful to us getting our books out as I hope we were to you. I can’t wait to see what’s next.

A book event from the past, featuring Christian Laforet, Elly Blake, Brittni Brinn, and Ben Van Dongen. [Image description: four authors stand in front of a bookcase, each holding their books and smiling at the camera.]

Thanks so much to Christian and Ben for the interview! And thanks to everyone who participated in the online launch event!

Copies of the newly released edition of The Patch Project are available on the Adventure Worlds Press site or Amazon!