brittni in ink

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

Tag: scifi

The Patch Project Fan Art Contest

It’s time! In honor of the upcoming summer release of Where Long Shadows End, I declare the Patch Project Fan Art Contest now open!

What is it?

The Patch Project Fan Art Contest is an author-run friendly competition encouraging the creation of art based on or around the Patch Project series! “Art” in the widest sense: everything from visual art, film, found poetry, crochet, comics, songs, to sketches on napkins, whatever medium you thrive in! Let your imagination go wild!

You’re invited to create something based on a character, relationship, or scene from the Patch Project series so far (The Patch Project itself or the sequel A Place That Used to Be) – or, what you’d like to see in book three! Ship your favourite couple, imagine what the S.U.s really look like, or whisk your favourite character away on an adventure of your choosing! 

All skill levels are welcome to enter!

When is it?

The contest will run from Thursday, April 14, 2022 to Thursday, June 30, 2022.

All submissions to the contest must be posted by midnight on June 30, 2022 (EST).

How do I enter?

Once you’ve created your piece of fan art (whatever it may be!), you can post it on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram with the hashtag #ThePatchProjectFanArtContest.

I will leave a like or comment on the pieces that I see – if you’ve posted something and don’t know if I’ve seen it, feel free to tag me: brittniinink on Facebook or brittni_in_ink on Twitter and Instagram.

What can I win?

The fan art that is deemed to be the “best” will win the artist a free signed copy of the third book in the Patch Project series, Where Long Shadows End! Plus bragging rights, of course 🙂

This is meant to be a fun and friendly competition, so the judging process will be casual. I will likely ask the folks at Adventure Worlds Press to help me narrow down the top five (although they don’t know this yet haha!)

Other rules

Only art that is directly based on the Patch Project series will be considered.

Be respectful of the social media platform’s rules you’re posting on. Submissions that are homophobic, transphobic, racist, or sexist will not be considered.

Submission language: English or with an accompanying translation/ subtitles. (This is more for word-based pieces; if your art incorporates words that don’t have to be understood (as in mixed media, for example) no translation is necessary).

Have fun!

Questions?

If you have any questions or thoughts about the contest, feel free to let me know below or message me through my Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram!

[Image description: The Patch Project and A Place That Used to Be books are on a wood surface surrounded by art supplies.]

(Note: This contest is not affiliated with Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.)

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!

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?

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!

limited time

Hi friends! I have a few important updates about The Patch Project for you!

[Image description: four copies of The Patch Project are fanned out on a quilt.]

The Patch Project is on sale for $10 CAD until October 30th, 2020. This includes shipping to Canada and the US, so if you’ve been waiting to pick up a copy, the best time is now! (This sale only applies to copies I am personally selling. If you’re interested, please comment below or contact me through my Facebook page.)

[Image description: Graphic of grey concrete with a patch of green growing from a crack. Text reads “The Patch Project: Audio book read by the author, July 28, 2020.]

The free audio book version of The Patch Project is available for a limited time on bandcamp.com. Listen on the website or download before November 2, 2020 – after that, the audio book will no longer be available.

I’ll have more exciting news about The Patch Project next week!

Happy Halloween weekend to you all!

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)

 

the fourth thursday, wrapping it all up

Here it is: the last post of the Windsor writers blog tour. It’s been a great month of sharing, interviews, and discussions that have spanned blogs and Facebook pages (check out Justine Alley Dowsett, Sharon Ledwith, and Ben Van Dongen‘s blogs for a full recap) and I’m very happy to have been a part of it!

This week, we’re supposed to post about our own books, some aspect of our own work that we want to delve into.

patchprojectcover

The Patch Project is a post-apocalyptic novella about five strangers who develop even stranger powers in the wake of a mysterious event. The story isn’t so much about an exterior threat as it’s about how each character re-negotiates their identity and their relationships throughout the book. I wanted to try something that would be a little different from the incredible volume of post-apocalyptic media and literature currently out on the market. But writing the book was only the first step.

When I used to think about what it would be like to be an author, I imagined hours hunched over a desk scribbling out stories, wired on coffee and ideas. I imagined it would end with a triumphant stack of pages accompanied by a sense of relief and accomplishment. That the book would come in the mail from the publisher and that moment would be the fulfillment of the writing experience. The end.

But as I’m learning now, even if writing the work does involve a lot of coffee and scribbling, receiving the first copy of the book is far from being the end. It’s really the beginning of the book’s new life. What used to be something you maybe shared with only one or two friends, is now out in the world.

People you have never met will read it. Some of them will leave reviews on Amazon or Goodreads. Some of them will like it, some of them definitely will not. You’ll read it aloud in front of audiences. You’ll talk about it with other authors, you’ll post about it on social media. It’s very exciting, but can also be draining. In the three and a half months since The Patch Project came out, I’ve learned that getting your book published is just the beginning of a long term commitment.

And it absolutely helps to have a community of people to share that journey with. Whether they’re readers, fellow authors, event planners, publishers, or friends, their support is invaluable. Sharon, Justine, and Ben didn’t have to do this blog tour with me, but they did. Finding creative ways to build up a writing community is part of what we can do as authors.

So thanks to all of them, and all of you, for creating connections and for reading.

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Want to know more about The Patch Project? Visit www.brittnibrinn.com or Brittni’s Facebook page to stay up to date with events and readings.

The Patch Project is currently available in digital and print formats on Amazon, and can be ordered through bookstores like Chapters. In Windsor, The Patch Project is available at Juniper Books.

 

 

 

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!

The Thinking Machine.jpg

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!

Author Photo ALT (Khoa).jpg

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! **