brittni in ink

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

Tag: ontario

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!

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!

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!

a good secret

So I’ve been keeping a secret from you all, which is why I’ve not been posting here very much over the past little while. It’s a good secret, which made it even more difficult to keep.

But now that the period of silence is at its end, I can happily announce that I am one of the recipients of the Windsor Arts, Culture, and Heritage Fund!

The ACHF is a grant given to local artists in all kinds of mediums working on all kinds of amazing projects. (You can find a full list of the recipients on their website.) I never thought I would actually receive funding – applying for it was kind of a long shot. I’m super grateful for this opportunity to work on a novel with the support of this grant.

If you’re a writer, artist, creator, or community builder, you should check out the next round of applications (in August/September, I believe). Once applications open, you can apply online, which I found super convenient.

I’ll write more about my project next week. For now, I’ll just say that I’m excited to be starting a new novel!

Also, I have to remember to add this to all posts related to this project:

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Windsor’s a pretty cool place. Just saying.

 

starting a full-time job and how it’s affected my creative life

A month ago, I started a full-time job. Up until this point in my life, I’ve mostly worked part-time, fitting in shifts around my university studies and creative projects. Since moving to Windsor, I’d avoided even considering positions that required over 25 hours of my time per week. I thought full-time work would be a drain my creative life. Now that I’m in a full-time position, my ideas on this are changing.

This picture is currently the lock screen on my phone:

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The Diggers by Vincent Van Gogh

I set it as a joke after my first week at the new job. Kind of like a “hey, this is my life now lol.” When I consider the image today, I think about it a bit differently. The figures in the painting are working, and the work is hard and time-consuming, that’s true. But there are also fields and trees and birds to enjoy in the midst of it. They’re working to accomplish something. And they don’t work alone. I find that my shifting attitudes towards this painting reflect some changes in perspective I’ve been experiencing since starting a full-time job.

I appreciate the sense of routine. Eventually, it may become tedious to get up in the morning and make breakfast and catch the bus, but right now, it’s invigorating. I’m sleeping better and eating better. I like that I know what to expect when I show up, and I also really like being able to leave at 5.

Leaving work at work is maybe the best part of the job so far. I’m used to jobs where people can reach me anytime, either through email or social media. Convenient, yes, but  also a constant energy drain. With this job, I’m not expected to do any work outside of office hours (emotional work included) and that is incredibly freeing.

And as much as I was worried about losing my creative energy, I find that I’m more intentional with my time after work. I don’t have swaths of free time to clutter with unnecessary Facebook scrolling or other forms of procrastinating. Once I get into writing a new novel my restricted schedule may prove to be a problem, but for now I find that I value my creative time all the more.

I know that I’ve only been at this job for a month, but so far, full-time work doesn’t seem to be all of the soul-crushing things I thought it would be. It definitely helps that the people I work with have been welcoming and supportive. Having less stress about finances is also huge. I’m thinking about attending a few conventions this year, which I would not have been able to even consider a month ago.

All that being said, I realize that every workplace is different, and that full-time work legit sucks for some creatives out there. Finding a job that fits can be really tough – I’ll have to find out if full-time work is the best fit for me. It’s a new season.

Now that I’ve settled into this new routine, I’m going to be getting back to weekly blog posts. Next week, I’ll have some news about my current projects, and the Windsor Small Press Book Fair!

 

 

holiday draw

Congratulations to Sarah O. for winning The Patch Project Holiday draw! You can watch the draw video here.

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The Green Bean Festive Market was a wonderful event! All of the vendors were cool and friendly, and there was a steady flow of people mingling and checking out the tables throughout the day. I’m very happy to report that all of the copies of The Patch Project I brought to the event sold! I still have buttons and copies of “Showing Her Teeth” available, so if you’re interested in picking up a locally-created illustrated story, let me know!

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This’ll be my last blog post of 2018. Thanks to everyone who read, reviewed, or gifted a copy of The Patch Project this year. Thanks for coming out to events, or meeting up with me to talk about the book. Thank you for hosting book discussions, for requesting copies for your local library, for sharing and commenting on my social media – for all of the ways you’ve reached out and supported my journey as an author. I couldn’t do this without all of you.

Hope you have a wonderful season of Christmas and holiday celebrations, and wishing you all the best for 2019!

 

“intellectual gore”

If you haven’t listened to Daniel Romano’s new track, check it out and tell me what you think because I’m a little obsessed. “…compliment the colours of our intellectual gore” is a lyric I keep coming back to. So good!

Anyway! Hello, and here is a quick reminder that The Feminist Fair is taking place this Saturday, October 27th from 10:00 am – 4:00 pm. It’s going to be at the Green Bean Cafe, one of my favourite spaces in the city. Apart from the location, I have no idea what to expect! Many of the vendors are bringing arts and crafts and zines, with a focus on feminist literature and empowerment. I’m looking forward to being a part of it and meeting everyone!

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Hope to see you there!

 

 

 

the first thursday, featuring Ben Van Dongen and The Thinking Machine

For the next four Thursdays, I’ll be featuring a different book by a local author – and they’ll be featuring The Patch Project! It’s our version of a book exchange-style blog tour, and should be a lot of fun!

First up is Ben Van Dongen, with his new cyberpunk novella, The Thinking Machine!

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The Thinking Machine follows an outsider named Zed, a new arrival to the massive metropolis that spans most of the Eastern seaboard. The purpose of his visit is to hunt down a machine who, strangely, shares his name. A cyberpunk novella infused with Zed’s personal sense of mythos, this tale of humanity’s relationship with technology is full of suspense and intrigue.

It reads like a detective novel. Zed follows leads, passing through the less frequented corners of the bustling city. Ben Van Dongen’s cities are usually gritty and unforgiving places, riddled with back alleyways and dangerous doorways. This city is no different. The distinct locations of each scene create an impressive thematic atmosphere. Zed’s impressions of the city and the intermittent thoughts of his home in the forest, along with references to why he entered the city in the first place, really put muscle on the bones of this story for me.

The beginning of the book includes a couple of stereotypical side characters you would expect from an 80s dystopian film like Bladerunner, and there is a lack of multi-dimensional female characters. Until Belle, that is. I found that the interactions between Zed and Belle kicked this story up a notch, and created another layer of tension.

Also of interest is the implant which Zed receives in the city. I asked Ben about the role of technology in this book. “I write a lot from the hip,” he replied, “so the implants came from me thinking it was a neat idea that could push the story forward during an early writing session for the book. The idea of mechanical and technological prosthetics terrifies me. I am excited for the possibilities for people who need them, but when fake eyes out perform real eyes, how long will it take before people opt to get the new tech? Will that keep the people who don’t want augmentations behind? It’s a personal fear that I can see on the horizon.”

Overall, The Thinking Machine is a well-paced and engaging read. I’m really excited to see what Ben writes next!

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Ben Van Dongen was born in Windsor Ontario. He likes to think that if he tried harder he could have been an Astronaut, but he is happier writing science fiction anyway. He co-authored the books No Light Tomorrow and All These Crooked Streets, and is one half of the founding team of Adventure Worlds Press. You can read more crazy notions on his website BenVanDongen.com

**Next Thursday’s featured author is Justine Alley Dowsett with her newest co-authored novel, Mirror’s Deceit! **