brittni in ink

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

Tag: q and a

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!

send me your questions

Do you have questions about A Place That Used to Be? I’d love to answer them in a future vlog post!

Front cover

The book is currently available on Amazon! You can also request it through your local library or bookstore if Amazon’s not your thing.

I’ve been blown away by the interest in the book so far! Thank you for your support and excitement as A Place That Used to Be enters the world!

Also wanted to mention that brittnibrinn.com has recently been updated! Thanks to Peter Brinn for making it look amazing!

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!

turn out well

It’s been a full week of events, editing, and interviews!

Friday, I was happy to be a part of the “Amazing Adventures in Strange Lands” reading at Biblioasis. I got to meet Elly Blake, a best-selling YA author who also happens to be super nice! Christian Laforet and Ben Van Dongen, the superstar organizers of the event, also read! I always enjoy the human tension in Christian’s short stories, and Ben read one of my favourite parts of his cyberpunk novella, The Thinking Machine. The event was MC’d by Vanessa Shields, who added a lot of insight and humor to the evening. The Q and A following the readings involved the audience and brought up some interesting questions for all of us readers to speak to. All around a great event!

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Photo by Janine Marley

At the event, I met a couple of people who were there to record the readings for their podcast, All Write in Sin City.  They invited me out for an interview! Yesterday, we recorded some segments, also featuring Elly Blake and Alexander Zelenyj! It was a bizarre experience, in that I’m used to being on the other side of table. I co-hosted Hardcover: A Literary Podcast for two years, so answering questions instead of asking them was a mind-twister for sure! I enjoyed hearing Elly and Alex’s insights on writing and fiction, and was impressed by Sarah and Irene’s interview skills – Not an easy thing to compile a bunch of information and research into conversational questions!

And today is the day (I hope!) where I finally finish my final draft of my work in progress. Editing this book has been a nourishing creative experience. Taking my rough ideas and smoothing them out brings a sense of satisfaction and wholeness that I didn’t feel with my first book. So it’s new and exciting and I’m hopeful that it’ll turn out well.

 

the third thursday, featuring Sharon Ledwith and Lost and Found

Welcome to week three of our blog tour! Four local authors have joined forces to share their stories and answer questions about their writing process.

This week, I asked YA author Sharon Ledwith some questions about her newest book, Lost and Found!

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About Lost and Found

“The Fairy Falls Animal Shelter is in trouble. Money trouble. It’s up to an old calico cat named Whiskey—a shelter cat who has mastered the skill of observation—to find a new human pack leader so that their home will be saved. With the help of Nobel, the leader of the shelter dogs, the animals set out to use the ancient skill of telepathy to contact any human who bothers to listen to them. Unfortunately for fifteen-year-old Meagan Walsh, she hears them, loud and clear.

Forced to live with her Aunt Izzy in the safe and quiet town of Fairy Falls, Meagan is caught stealing and is sentenced to do community hours at the animal shelter where her aunt works. Realizing Meagan can hear her, Whiskey realizes that Meagan just might have the pack leader qualities necessary to save the animals. Avoiding Whiskey and the rest of shelter animals becomes impossible for Meagan, so she finally gives in and promises to help them. Meagan, along with her newfound friends, Reid Robertson and Natalie Knight, discover that someone in Fairy Falls is not only out to destroy the shelter, but the animals as well. Can Meagan convince her aunt and co-workers that the animals are in danger? If she fails, then all the animals’ voices will be silenced forever.”

 

The Q and A

Brittni Brinn: Can you tell us a little bit about Fairy Falls?

Sharon Ledwith: Would love to, Brittni! When I ‘built’ the mythical town of Fairy Falls over ten years ago, I drew from all of my childhood and adult experiences from vacationing and living in cottage country. When you think of a small, northern tourist town, what emotional cord does it strike? Vacationing with the family when you were young? Visiting your grandparents at their cottage? Camping in the backwoods with your friends? Living the dream on a lake? Whatever vision you conjure, I’m sure you have plenty of happy memories of that special place. That’s the basis for creating the town of Fairy Falls.

I also knew I didn’t want to lose that ‘small, tourist town feeling’. True, change is good, but there’s something about going to a tourist town and connecting with the people living there that somehow leaves you feeling better than you did before you arrived. I also wanted to be realistic in the fact that growth is a necessary part of life, and Fairy Falls will have to deal with all kinds of challenges that will create conflict and divide the residents, believing that they are doing what’s best for their hometown.

The psychic teenagers in each of my stand-alone books in the Mysterious Tales from Fairy Falls series will have their fair share of adversity and prejudice to deal with. They truly believe they’ve arrived in a place so foreign, so backward, that they try so hard to find a way to leave, only to realize in the end that Fairy Falls has been waiting for them to finally come home to themselves. Welcome to Fairy Falls. Expect the unexpected.

BB: Are the animal characters in Lost and Found based off of animals you know in real life?

SL: Absolutely! All the shelter animals in Lost and Found are based on an animal I cared for in some capacity while working at the Animal Shelter for Huntsville, a Muskokan tourist town three hours north of Toronto. Now, trying to come up with each animal’s unique voice wasn’t that hard for me, since I went by the personality of the cat or dog. I observed certain quirks, how each animal behaved, what were they afraid of, what they liked, and so on. What I found was that every animal (even kittens born in the same litter) was different. Just. Like. People.

When I was ready to sit down and write their story, I compiled a list of shelter animals that readers would emotionally relate to and connect with. Many came to me as a surprise, others were firmly planted in my imagination from the very beginning.

BB: Why did you choose to write about an animal shelter?

SL: During my year-long stint as an animal care attendant, I learned so much about the procedures and daily routines of working in an animal shelter. Then, one day, I found myself wondering what the animals would say if they could talk? How they would act and sound? What did they really think of humans? So, chasing down the animal voices frolicking in my head, I decided to write their story. The result is, Lost and Found, the first book in my teen psychic mystery series, Mysterious Tales from Fairy Falls.

BB: Who was your favourite character to write scenes for?

SL: Hard question, Brittni! But if I had to choose it would be Whiskey, a cantankerous, old calico cat who doubles as the Fairy Falls Animal Shelter’s observer and sage of the shelter. In real life, Whiskey was named Whiskers, but I thought that might be confusing when describing the cat’s anatomy, so I changed her name. I guess I just love the fact that Whiskey doesn’t take any crap from any of the animal or human characters in Lost and Found, and she makes decisions for the good of the whole, not the one. Now that’s one smart kitty!

BB: Do you have any words of wisdom for YA writers who are just starting out?

SL: Life is short, so follow your heart, regardless of the challenges ahead of you. Let’s face it. Life is full of challenges and obstacles. Those are the things that makes us stronger, better, faster. That’s what our characters face every time we writers drag them through the muds of hell. Then, like us, our characters evolve and grow. Writing is a tough gig, but so rewarding when you write those final two words ‘The End’. It’s a badge of honor, and feels wonderful and uplifting, like you’ve reached the pinnacle of super hero status. Never give up on your dreams.

BB: Thanks for giving us a glimpse into Lost and Found, Sharon!

SL: Thanks so much for having me on your blog, Brittni! I really appreciate your support and kindness in helping out a fellow Windsor writer share her reading wares. Cheers and happy writing!

 

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Sharon Ledwith is the author of the middle-grade/young adult time travel adventure series, THE LAST TIMEKEEPERS, and the teen psychic mystery series, MYSTERIOUS TALES FROM FAIRY FALLS. When not writing, researching, or revising, she enjoys reading, exercising, anything arcane, and an occasional dram of scotch. Sharon lives a serene, yet busy life in a southern tourist region of Ontario, Canada, with her hubby, one spoiled yellow Labrador and a moody calico cat.

 

Learn more about Sharon Ledwith on her WEBSITE and BLOG. Look up her AMAZON AUTHOR page for a list of current books. Stay connected on FACEBOOK, TWITTER, GOOGLE+, and GOODREADS. Check out THE LAST TIMEKEEPERS TIME TRAVEL SERIES Facebook page.

BONUS: Download the free PDF short story The Terrible, Mighty Crystal HERE

 

Book info:

The Last Timekeepers Time Travel Adventure Series:

The Last Timekeepers and the Dark Secret, Book #2 Buy Links:

MIRROR WORLD PUBLISHING ׀ AMAZON ׀ BARNES & NOBLE ׀

The Last Timekeepers and the Arch of Atlantis, Book #1 Buy Links:

MIRROR WORLD PUBLISHING ׀ AMAZON ׀ BARNES & NOBLE ׀

Legend of the Timekeepers, prequel Buy Links:

MIRROR WORLD PUBLISHING ׀ AMAZON ׀ BARNES & NOBLE ׀

 

Mysterious Tales from Fairy Falls Teen Psychic Mystery Series:

Lost and Found, Book One Buy Links:

MIRROR WORLD PUBLISHING ׀ AMAZON ׀ BARNES & NOBLE ׀

 

***Check back next Thursday for the last post in our Windsor writers blog tour!***