brittni in ink

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

Tag: local

scenes and encounters

This past weekend, I had the joy of setting up a table at a local craft fair! It’s been so long since I’ve sat with my books and talked to people about them. Really thankful for the opportunity, and for the kind staff and volunteers who welcomed me! I’m pretty sure I was the only author there, so I would’ve felt out of place without all the kind interest and support from the people who came through. Thanks to everyone who came out! I’m hoping to get more involved with community events in the new year!

Here I am at my vendor table at the North Woodside Community Centre craft fair! I had both of the Patch Project books available, as well as some crocheted stars to fit in with the holiday vibe!

I still have copies of The Patch Project and A Place That Used to Be available! Or you can find them at Chapters Dartmouth, the Dartmouth Book Exchange, or on Barnes & Noble’s website!

In other writing news, I’m halfway through NaNoWriMo and, as usual, am super behind on my word count! But some interesting things are coming together for Book Three and I can’t wait to go back and make sense of all the random scenes and encounters!

A close up of The Patch Project and A Place That Used to Be.

Also want to take a second to congratulate fellow Adventure Worlds Press author Christian Laforet on his recent publication announcements! Wonderful to see his stories and novels get picked up, and looking forward to seeing them in print!

I’ll be announcing a special holiday offer on A Place That Used to Be next week, so stay tuned for that!

Thanks for stopping by, and take care out there!

ideas when they surfaced

After two weeks visiting family, I’m back in my office, listening to Cobra Poems, drinking coffee, and making plans.

I didn’t get much writing done while I was away. I got back in the habit of carrying around a notebook and scribbling out ideas when they surfaced: waiting in the car, falling asleep, or early in the morning when my mind had room to wander. I had a bit of a breakthrough on the flight home about a major plot point for the third Patch Project book.

My inspiration shelf: fake quartz, a silver triceratops figure, a slice of aquamarine, a shell, a skeleton key, and a pillar of picture jasper.

But before I get back to working on the novel, I’ve got a few works in progress to read and give feedback on. It’s one of the best things about being a writer, this mutual community of creative people I can share the journey with! I also have some agent queries to check in on – some agents email, but many submissions time out after 8 weeks or so. I’ve learned a lot through the querying process, and I hope it’ll make my next batch of queries that much better.

Also, I’m thinking about making some short videos to include on my Ko-fi page as a thank you to donors. Extra special coffee thank you to everyone who’s supported me through that platform so far, it really means a lot!

I’ll hopefully have a vlog post up early next week with more updates. A reminder that if you order a copy of The Patch Project from me before October 1st, it’ll come with a free book or pin!

facing the future

Well, it’s been awhile! Most of my summer was spent at a cottage with poor internet. But I’m back in a city with a lot more connectivity, and some exciting updates!

Pinot, by artist and author Al Hess

Please join me in marveling at this stunning portrait by the wonderful Al Hess! When I saw he had a commissions spot open, I knew I had to ask him to draw Pinot. It was a lot of fun discussing Pinot’s character, and getting to see a little of what goes into making a portrait like this one! I’m so happy with how Al captured Pinot and the detail and care that went into the commission. I’m planning on hanging the portrait in my office, to inspire me as I start work on the third Patch Project book!

[Image description: A two-shelf desk at sitting level holding a laptop and assorted knick-knacks.]

Speaking of, I’m very fortunate that our new place has a room that I can use as an office space! I built a little desk to use for my writing, and so far, it’s been a good set up. Lots of room to put rocks and shells and things 🙂 I’m waiting to hear back from agent queries and short story submissions, and now that we’re (mostly) unpacked, I’m getting back into a writing schedule. I’m looking forward to online writing sessions with my friends, and starting on the new novel.

The Patch Project book amongst leaves!

I just unpacked a ton of copies of The Patch Project! If you’d like a signed copy, let me know. I’m offering a free pin or original printing copy (your choice!) with each order for as long as my supplies last. You have to order from me though, not Amazon. If you’re interested, you can send me a message through Facebook!

That’s all for now! I’m hoping to get back into regular posting, maybe once every couple weeks. It’s exciting to be facing the future here in a new place, with a new novel project about to begin. I’ll do my best to keep you updated! Until next time!

far, far away anthology review

Hello everyone! I usually don’t post book reviews on my blog, but I’m making an exception for Mirror World Publishing’s new anthology Far, Far Away.

In today’s post, I’ll be giving a quick review of each story including a content warning (cw), so you know what to expect if you pick up a copy of the anthology.

And folks, it’s going to be my legit reviews. I encourage you, if you read this book, to also post your reviews on whatever platform you use, even send them along to Mirror World. They’re planning a volume 2 of this anthology, so I’m sure they’d appreciate the feedback.

Cover design by Mirror World Publishing

“Piece of Mind” by L.R. Braden

An interstellar ark for human minds goes on a journey to save the human race. But as time drags on, what makes the minds human begins to degrade.

Really enjoyed the concept of this one, though I felt like the story could’ve been a bit longer. Strong P.O.V. and deft writing made this one a solid starter for this collection.

cw: isolation, memory loss, violence

“Songs and Superstitions” by Shana Scott

Now an outsider, Krem returns to his home planet to work a job with his best friend Max and her insufferable companion, Commodore McFlufferton. When the job goes wrong, they discover that they’re not alone in the underground tunnels.

This may have been my favourite story of the collection. The characterizations are strong, there’s a vibrant streak of humor throughout, and the world-building feels effortless. There were so many little details that made this story a delight to read, as well as a satisfying arc overall.

cw: underground, cave in, guns

“Black Spire Isles” by Barend Nieuwstraten III

Shipwrecked on an island no one ever leaves, the group of survivors uncovers centuries-old secrets. There is magic at work here, but will they find out the truth before it’s too late?

I wasn’t sure about this one when I started. The preamble before the story was a bit much to take in, and the writing had an archaic flavour common to high fantasy stories. However, as the story got going and the style loosened up a bit, it really drew me in and became one of my favourites from the collection. It reminded me of parts of the Odyssey. And the end was satisfying, very well-crafted. My only qualm was that the people already living on the island are portrayed as a group, with little individual characterization apart from their roles in the community. Given that it was a short story, though, I’ll give it a pass.

cw: gender roles, shipwreck, injury recovery, themes of loss

“Field Notes from the Unknown Planet” by Brittni Brinn

When Idylwild finds herself on a dangerous planet under strange constellations, she’ll have to use all of her skills as a surveyor to survive the resident predators.

I wrote this one, so I’ll leave the reviewing to you all!

cw: isolation, childbirth, death

“The Colour of Roses” by Kelly D. Holmes

In a world where only Soulmates can see colours, a young woman discovers the nature of soulmates isn’t so obvious after all.

Think of the part in The Giver where the kid sees red for the first time, then move that concept out of a dystopic YA novel and set it instead at a supportive writing group in the suburbs. It was a sweet story, and fit nicely in the middle of the book. Some stand-out imagery work, especially playing with the title. Given that this is Holmes’s first publishing credit, I say bravo.

cw: heteronormativity, themes of loss

“The Prime Crusade” by Buddy Young

Time travelers aboard the Hindenburg fight to save time itself in the face of impending disaster.

So. This is a story that takes place almost entirely on the Hindenburg, an airship that crashed in 1937. This is fine. It’s a historical event that would definitely draw time travelers to experience the famous airship before it was destroyed. The story itself is well-written, with attention to detail and historical tidbits ingrained into the story. And who doesn’t love a good time travel story? Well, I did not love the part where the heroes wore Nazi armbands and their main contact was a time traveler pretending to be an SS officer. You could argue that they were all just playing a part and their use of Nazi imagery didn’t mean anything. But the thing that really stood out was how not one of the time travelers wanted to punch the Nazis on board. Even if it didn’t matter in the grand scheme of the story, shouldn’t at least one time traveler be there for the sole purpose of punching Nazis? If Indiana Jones had time to fight Nazis, I should think someone on that airship would have made time to do so too.

It CONFOUNDS me that this story was chosen to be included in this anthology. With fascist ideologies gaining more ground in the United States and Canada, these “harmless” and “neutral” stories featuring Nazi imagery aren’t really that neutral at all. If memory serves, this author had two stories shortlisted for the top ten stories that were submitted. Why was the one featuring Nazi imagery, as window dressing as it was, chosen? Maybe this doesn’t bother anyone else, but I found it concerning. And don’t even get me started on the Crusades.

cw: Nazi imagery, sexual harassment, war, violence, the Crusades

“Fatestorm” by Justine Alley Dowsett and Murandy Damodred

When her village is destroyed by a colonizing military force, Deneige tries to help her people by falling in love with the soldier in charge.

The framework of a Roman-esque soldier leading a massacre of a village, enslaving the survivors, and taking their spiritual leader captive doesn’t really feel like a set up for a love story to me. But, to each their own.

cw: genocide, slavery, colonization

And that’s the anthology! I told you these would be my legit responses. I also wanted to provide a place for content warnings, because I believe it’s important to recognize the elements that may be triggering to readers. If I missed anything, let me know! I hope that if you pick up this anthology, that you’ll join the discussion about the stories inside. Words are how we shape the future as writers and as readers, after all.

anthology launch

This Thursday, June 17th, Mirror World Publishing is launching Far, Far, Away, a sci-fi/fantasy anthology including seven stories of escape and adventure! And one of those stories is one that I wrote!

Mirror World Publishing is hosting the all-day launch on Facebook, including a Live event at 5 pm EST. I’m excited to hear more about the stories and authors who contributed to this collection! You can join the event here.

The anthology is available in paperback and e-book formats, and can be purchased on Mirror World Publishing’s website.

A peek inside the anthology! Here’s the opening page of my story “Field Notes From the Unknown Planet”!

Now that you know everything I know about the launch, I can tell you a little bit about my story, “Field Notes from the Unknown Planet!” I’ve been working on a space novel for a little over a year, and when Mirror World posted about an anthology contest last summer, I thought, what the heck, and sent them the first section of the book as a short story. (Edited up a little of course to make it a self-contained narrative.) I was really proud of it: I’d been reading a lot of Ursula K. Le Guin and wanted to write something that was small in scope, and focused on relationships in space: relationships to the environment, between strangers, and to death. How does the need to survive shape these relationships?

[Image description: A hand holds a copy of Far, Far Away: 7 Stories in 7 Realms of Science Fiction and Fantasy (Vol. 1) in front of a pebble-scattered beach. The book cover features an astronaut, a pocket watch and a suitcase suspended over a tilted horizon.]

I don’t know if I succeeded in emulating Le Guin, but something about the story must’ve worked, since it made it into the anthology. I’ll be interested to read the other stories and think about why they were picked as well!

Hope to see you at the book launch!

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!

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!

meet A Place That Used to Be

Today is the Adventure Worlds Press Virtual Book Launch! From 10:00 am to 5:00 pm (EST), we’re posting all kinds of sweet book content on the Facebook event page. If you just came from there, welcome! I’m going to give you a brief intro to A Place That Used to Be and talk about a special offer and an upcoming giveaway!

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I’m Brittni Brinn, by the way. I like coffee and reading and old neat things like typewriters. I’ve written two post-apocalyptic books, The Patch Project and A Place That Used to Be. I also have a Master’s degree in Creative Writing from the University of Windsor, and believe that you don’t need a degree to be a great writer! My friend Sarah Kivell took this photo the last time we met at a coffee shop. Remember when sitting in coffee shops was a thing? I miss that.

Front cover

Anyway, more about A Place That Used to Be! It’s a post-apocalyptic novel featuring an ensemble cast, a wasteland, and a restaurant in a forest. The book is technically a sequel to The Patch Project (you’ll recognize some of the characters if you’ve read the first book) but also reads just fine as a stand alone story. It’s introspective and character-driven. I’m really excited for people to read it! Christian Laforet designed the stunning cover!

Copies are available at Biblioasis and Juniper Books. You can also order through Amazon, or directly from me.

Here’s the part you were waiting for! If you order a copy of A Place That Used to Be from me directly today before 8 pm (EST), your book will come with a sticker featuring the cover! (Only 25 copies available, one sticker per person). You can comment below, or message me on Facebook. 

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Also, be sure to visit the Facebook event page around 3:00 pm (EST) as I’ll be posting about a giveaway!

If you have any questions, or want to hear the first chapter of A Place That Used to Be, I’ll be hosting a Facebook Live discussion at 7:00 pm (EST) tonight! Hope to see you there, and throughout the day as we celebrate Adventure Worlds Press and some really awesome books!

a day of books and cool things

Coming up this Friday, August 21st, 2020, Adventure Worlds Press is hosting a virtual book launch! Celebrating The Space Between Houses, Broadcast Wasteland, and A Place That Used to Be, this all-day event will take place on Facebook, featuring readings by the authors, Q and As, and more!

I’ll be posting throughout the day, including details about the Patch series giveaway! Also, if you order a copy of A Place That Used to Be from me directly during the event, your copy will come with a sticker featuring the stunning cover designed by Christian Laforet!

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I’ll also be hosting a FB Live reading and Q and A at 7 pm (EST). If you can’t make it, feel free to send questions beforehand!

Hope to see you there for a day of books and cool things!

book launch

Adventure Worlds Press will be hosting an online day-long celebration of the three books they’ve released this year – including A Place That Used to Be!

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Image from Adventure Worlds Press

After a couple of date changes, we’ve settled on FRIDAY, AUGUST 21st, 2020 as the day for the book launch. The launch will be held online through Facebook, with posts throughout the day, readings, and a giveaway! I’m also planning a FB Live Q and A around 7 pm. For more updates, follow my Facebook page.

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Thank you so much to everyone who has contacted me about buying a copy of A Place That Used to Be! Your support has absolutely blown me away. Signed copies will be available on August 21, 2020 as part of the Adventure Worlds Press book launch celebration.

Copies are currently available at Juniper Books and Biblioasis if you’re in the Windsor-Detroit area!

If you have any questions about the book, or publishing, or whatever, let me know in the comments and I’ll answer it during the book launch! Hope to see you there!