brittni in ink

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

-A Place That Used to Be – Cover Reveal!-

Christian Laforet did a fantastic job designing the cover for A Place That Used to Be! Here’s the grand reveal, brought to you by Adventure Worlds Press!

Adventure Worlds Press

Cover reveal

A couple of months ago we announced that AWP would be releasing author Brittni Brinn’s newest novel, A Place That Used to Be. We are big fans of this book (and of Brittni herself!), and are very excited to see it released into the wild.

Due to the pandemic, some of our launch plans for A Place That Used to Be have been altered. There will still be a traditional launch and reading, however it is postponed until the world opens up enough for such gatherings. In the meantime, there will be a digital launch for the book, so stay tuned for info on that in the near future.

Alright, without further ado, we present the cover reveal for A Place That Used to Be by Brittni Brinn!

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Sequel Update #7 – A quick note

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Photo by Sarah Kivell

Hi friends! Just wanted to fill you in on a couple of developments with A Place That Used to Be:

  • The book has been sent to the printers! After I get the test copies, I’ll be able to put in a full order and narrow down a release date!
  • Christian Laforet put together a stellar cover that we’re both super excited about! Adventure Worlds Press is going to be posting a cover reveal in the next couple weeks, stay tuned!
  • I still have a few copies of The Patch Project available for purchase if you want to be up to speed with the story so far! Although it’s not required to read this book before A Place That Used to Be, it sets up some character points that are important to the sequel.

Hope you’re all doing well out there. If you’re looking for resources on anti-racism or ways to support Black Lives Matter, check out last week’s post for a starting list. There are so many online resources about ways to support the Black community at this time.

 

Sequel Update #6

Hi everyone!

There are many ways to support Black Lives Matter and the anti-racism protests currently happening worldwide. If you haven’t already, consider how you can support with the resources and energy you have available. Racism is alive and well in Canada, and it’s up to all of us to actively speak out against discrimination, hatred, and the system that continues to oppress Black people and silence their voices. Their voices deserve to be heard and celebrated!

Here’s a starting list of resources (Note: I did not create any of these resources):

Anti-racism resources: A living library

Black Organizations And Anti-Racist Groups Canadians Can Support Now

Detroit Justice Center

Ways You Can Help

Dear White People, This is What We Want You To Do

75 Things White People Can Do for Racial Justice

Goodreads List of 2019 Fantasy and Science Fiction Books by Black Authors

Bundle for Racial Justice and Equality (Video Game Content through Itch.io)

 

Sequel Update #5 – Exciting Stuff!

Some exciting stuff happening this week as we get closer to A Place That Used to Be‘s release. We haven’t settled on a solid launch date, the world being what it is, but I’m hoping for late June! In the meantime, here’s where the sequel’s at!

  • Ben Van Dongen of Adventure Worlds Press once again proves he is a rock star at book layout! The manuscript proper is all ready to be sent to the printers!
  • Christian Laforet (also of AWP) is working on a stellar cover design! Stay tuned for the cover reveal in the next few weeks!
  • There’s a book trailer! You can watch it on and share it from my YouTube channel.

It’s so exciting to see all the pieces of this book come together. Ben said it best in the Meet the Publisher post last week: being a writer/ author is not a solo undertaking! I’m thankful for the wonderful people I get to share this book journey with.

Also, I forgot to share a link to the article I wrote for Mirror World Publishing’s positive creativity series. You can read it here.

Until next week, hope you’re all staying safe and healthy out there!

Sequel Update #4: Meet the Publisher!

Last week when I was putting the Q and A post together, I realized that I haven’t been talking much about the group of people who are making the sequel possible: that is, the wonderful folks at Adventure Worlds Press!

Adventure Worlds Press releases fringe titles including horror, science fiction, short story collections, and more! Founded in 2016, they are based in LaSalle, Ontario. And who are the people behind this press, exactly? Meet publishers and authors extraordinaire, Christian Laforet and Ben Van Dongen!

Christian Laforet

9568112Raised on a steady diet of horror movies and cheeseburgers, there are two things Christian Laforet knows: how to scare people and that a massive heart attack is nigh. Having foolishly gone to school for animation, which he was just so-so at, he realized one day that animation is hard, too hard. And, since he was quite soft (again, cheeseburgers, folks) he decided to try his hand at writing. Of course, when he wrote his first story, he was saddened to see that it was near-incomprehensible nonsense. It turned out writing is hard as well. But, being too old to try anything else, he decided to stick it out. Over the next few years, he managed to hook up with some other lazy bums, and they made a thing. Specifically, they made Adventure Worlds Press. Feeling pretty good about that, Christian patted himself on the back (not an easy feat after oh so many cheeseburgers) and got on with making more words. He’s had several books published (some co-authored) as well as a handful of short stories picked up by various anthology collections. He is working on his second novel (the first is in the dreaded purgatory known as…re-writes (dun dun DUNNN!)) and expects to be collecting his acceptance trophy for the first ever Nobel Peace Prize for a horror novel some time in the next few years.

Ben Van Dongen

20180311-ben-van-dongen-author-photos_002-e1522426152508Ben Van Dongen is not a robot powered by coffee. He was not programmed by a failed cosmonaut scientist from the future and sent back in time to save the word from an invasion from itself caused by video games and politics colliding in what some have called the worst best game that no one has ever played.
He is a human boy with dreams of going into space, but with none of the boring, dangerous, or scary parts (unless they are for the sake of drama and add something to the story). He is happiest when he’s not working, but feels unfulfilled when he does anything else. If he weren’t so lazy, he would have conquered the world by now given it up in glorious self-sacrifice, returned to right the wrongs of his successors, and finally figured out a way to meet the scientist who didn’t make him (because he is not a robot).
He wanted to make movies because as a human child, good movies would stay with him and keep him company when he couldn’t sleep at night. Then, he realized that making movies required other people and he didn’t want to let them down by not fulfilling his role as screenwriter. Incorrectly thinking that writing books was a solo task, he changed to that then spent the next twenty-years failing.
In 2013, he got together with some human friends and they decided to try again for the hundredth time. They wrote short stories and put them on the internet thinking that it would make them look cool. It didn’t but they kept at it and eventually wrote books that they release themselves. That’s how a group of plucky friends (the human kind) made Adventure Worlds Press.
Since Ben likes short books and working just enough to keep the bad feelings at bay, he started a novella series. The third book was just released in April and is the best thing he’s written, as the latest thing properly should be.
He likes doing layouts even though they are tedious. While he can position words and images on a page, he can’t make the images himself. The words, he can take or leave.
Currently Ben is working on a novel about the Earth being invaded and it’s not a training exercise for when the real thing happens and he fails to fulfill the programming given to him by the cosmonaut.

In Conclusion

And there you have it! A brief overview of Adventure Worlds Press. As you can probably tell, these guys are a joy to work with and I’m super excited to be publishing with them! You can check out all of the Adventure Worlds Press titles on their website. Christian just re-released his short story collection, The Space Between Houses, and Ben’s new book Broadcast Wasteland is available as well!

See you next week for another update on A Place That Used to Be!

Sequel Update #3: Q and A!

Welcome to this Question and Answer post brought to you by: you! Thanks for sending in your questions via Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and even through spoken word. If you have more questions or if you want to see another post like this, let me know!

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Photo by Sarah Kivell

If this is your first time here, welcome! My name is Brittni Brinn (she/her) and I write post-apocalyptic fiction (most of the time). My book The Patch Project came out from EDGE Science Fiction and Fantasy Publishing in early 2018. The sequel is called A Place That Used to Be, and is forthcoming from Adventure Worlds Press.

Without further ado, let’s get into the questions:

Can you tell us how you got your new publisher?

Yes! Adventure Worlds Press is a Windsor-based publisher that specializes in genre fiction. I got to know Christian Laforet and Ben Van Dongen, the co-founders of the press and authors in their own right, through local book and writing events. When I found out that A Place That Used to Be wasn’t going to be published by another press, they offered to publish it as an Adventure Worlds Press book!

Did you find the second book easier to write than the first?

Writing A Place That Used to Be was a very different experience from writing the first book. I wrote The Patch Project over a long period of time: I initially wrote it in 2011/2012, and didn’t revisit it until I reworked the manuscript in 2016/2017. It was the first novel I actually finished writing, which was a huge breakthrough for me. Knowing that I could write a novel from beginning to end made writing the second one a lot easier.

A Place That Used to Be took around 8 months to write. After a break, I took a few months to edit the manuscript. I had a better idea of the world I was writing in, and had learned so much from publishing the first one. But the second book came with its own challenges too.

Do you have an expected release date or pre-sale?

At this point, I’m hoping for a June release. Given our current global situation, it’s hard to be sure of a date since so much depends on printing and delivery capabilities. As soon as I know, I’ll post the release date. Hopefully, we’ll have an online launch around that time as well!

What was your favourite part of the book to write?

I really enjoyed writing a dream sequence that features in the latter part of the novel. It felt like it was a dream I was personally experiencing (and I suppose in a way I was—isn’t fiction like a shared dream?) and I didn’t change much about the chapter once it was written. There’s a kind of freedom writing about the surreal, describing visions of the subconscious.

Have your views on love and romance changed from the first book to the second book within the post-apocalyptic world?

When I wrote The Patch Project originally, my experience with romantic relationships was mostly observational. I am older and wiser now (am I?) and am married, which I think did change how I wrote about relationships in the second book.

But I’m not sure if my portrayal of love and romance in the post-apocalyptic world has changed: relationships that are built on mutual survival and opportunity. People in a world like the one in these two books sometimes go weeks or months without seeing another human being. Many of the characters crave words, touch, thoughts, from someone outside of themselves. To be seen by another. A connection with someone tangible, even if it’s not for very long. And I think that’s what brings people together most in the world I’m writing about.

How do you feel the book engages with Road Trip and Western genres?

It’s an interesting question, because I think that the Post-Apocalyptic genre as we know it today, especially in North America, grew out of these two genres. Thinking of books like The Road or Station Eleven, the main plot driver is movement. Moving through the wild lands between settled places, in search of safety or belonging. Road trip epics like On the Road are pervaded by this restless searching for the self through experience. The Western looks at ideas of civilization and wilderness, often portraying a colonialist view – for example, the show West World demonstrates the colonial Western fantasy and upends it. All of these genres are traditionally male-oriented or focused.

I think A Place That Used to Be especially engages with and hopefully challenges the expectations that come with the Post-Apocalyptic genre by including varied points of view and different ways of organizing communities.

How much change do your books go through from early drafts to final draft?

Early drafts are often skeletal: I tend to want to get the main gist of a scene down before I forget. Sometimes these appear simply as snippets of dialogue scrawled in my notebook with a couple of trailing notes at the end of things I want to add. Editing is mainly filling in the scenes, ordering them, and reordering them. With another book I’ve been working on, this has included writing extra chapters and expanding on areas of the plot that are not clear enough. I don’t do a lot of planning before working on a novel, so the plot is often the thing that changes the most. The characters grow along with the book, and they generally stay the same between drafts.

Any sneak peeks?

You’ll have to wait a little longer, but I’m hoping to feature a reading of chapter 1 in the near future!

 

Thank you so much everyone! Feel free to send more questions along, and stay tuned for next week’s update!

A Place That Used to Be – Update #2!

Hello fellow humans. I’ve reached that state of self-quarantine where my husband and I made up a fake band based on our DnD campaign and recorded a song. It was impromptu and truly one of the greatest things we have ever done.

As promised, here is your weekly update on how the sequel progresses:

  • Full book edits were completed by the incomparable Amilcar John Nogueira! I’m now going through the suggested changes. Also trying to decide if I should restructure the entire first section. I deleted a chapter, which felt amazing. Also, I’ve cut down the number of times people smile and look at each other. Important tendencies to be aware of.
  • I’ve heard from the majestic Sarah Kivell that film is on its way to be developed! I’m eagerly awaiting the photos she took for the book cover. I love collaborative creative things like this.
  • I received some advance comments for the book from Alexander Zelenyj and Elizabeth J. M. Walker! I’m so thankful for their willingness to read the manuscript at this stage and provide their thoughts!

Coming up this week, Mirror World Publishing will be featuring a guest blog post I wrote about writing during self-quarantine. I’ll post a link here as part of next week’s post, or you can follow my Facebook or Instagram for a link the day of.

See you here next week for more sequel developments!

coming soon

The sequel to The Patch Project is due out this summer! Maybe not the greatest time to be releasing a book, but having a goal to work towards is helping me through isolation. Also online game sessions with friends and going through old letters. Snail mail is the best!

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As the sequel enters the last part of the publishing process, I’ll be posting weekly updates! Here’s what’s happening this week:

  • The manuscript is going through one final round of edits with the amazing Amilcar John Nogueira
  • Sarah Kivell, the wonderful photographer who took my author photo (pictured above), is taking pictures to be featured on the book cover
  • I just learned that email newsletters have to include the creator’s address in the footer of each email. I haven’t found a way around this; I feel uncomfortable having my address available to people I don’t really know. Therefore, you’re all stuck with my blog posts 🙂

Also, I’ve been blown away by the number of orders for The Patch Project that have come in over the past few weeks. I’m down to my last 25 copies, so if you would like to purchase a signed book, let me know!

sequel

It’s happening! It’s here! Adventure Worlds Press just announced that they will be releasing the sequel to The Patch Project this summer!

Here’s what I can tell you about the book: it’s called A Place That Used to Be, and takes place in the same world as the first novel. I’m super excited for you all to read it. Hopefully, it satisfies some of your questions, maybe brings up some new ones?

I’ll be posting about the details of its release and the process of getting it published here, on my Facebook and Instagram pages, and in a weekly newsletter (you can sign up for it here).

Thanks to everyone for your support as I’ve been working on this book. It’s wonderful to have some good news to share, and I’m looking forward to hearing what you all think of it!

out of print

The past few weeks, I did a couple of things I’d been putting off. One major step was posting about The Patch Project going out of print. There’s a long story to this, but suffice to say that the book is no longer available in ebook format and can no longer be ordered through the publisher. There are still some copies at Biblioasis, and a couple on Amazon, but aside from that, the last box I ordered is all that’s left of The Patch Project. It’s a wonderful thing to have a published book, and I am truly grateful to the publisher and the staff who worked so hard on making the book a reality. I posted about it on Instagram a few days ago, and was thankful for the messages I received. Thank you also to everyone who’s ordered a copy the past couple weeks as well! If you’re interested in a copy, let me know and I can mail or deliver (in the Windsor area) one out to you!

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I also signed up for a free online course about modern art through MoMA. There are excellent art resources and activities for learners of all ages on their website. I always regretted not continuing with art history in my undergrad, and I feel almost giddy when I sit down to go through a module. I’ve also been writing away for Camp NaNoWriMo, and a few writing friends and I have been writing together (while in our own homes, of course, gotta keep that social distance) almost daily, which has been immensely helpful and encouraging.

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Sometimes it feels like I’ve been home for months. Then I realize it’s been three weeks. I acknowledge the privilege of being able to stay at home, when there are many people who do not have that as an option. Admiration and solidarity for people who go out daily to deliver groceries or protest for the return of the bus service in Windsor. Also the people working in essential services and healthcare. Also the artists and creatives who are facing the challenge of cancelled events and performances. It sometimes feels unreal, the major changes that have been implemented in our lives. Hopefully we can approach these changes with compassion and take care of each other, even in the simple act of washing our hands.