brittni in ink

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

Tag: SFF

book three delay

Although the Patch Project Fan Art Contest is well underway, I’m a little behind on finishing up the final draft of Where Long Shadows End.

But it’s all good! I’m still on track to release the book this summer, so stay tuned for a release day! I’m hoping for sometime in July, barring other weird changes to my schedule or major life events. This past year has been a lot about being gentle with myself and adapting!

Weekends are when I write the most! Here’s a photo of me drinking all the coffee during a writing session. This week’s goal is to finish filling in the chapters in the second half of the book!

Speaking of, it’s been one year since I moved to Nova Scotia! With summer just on the horizon, I’m starting to get excited for cottage visits and ocean adventures. The winter here was very hard-I’m thankful for my wonderful friends and family and the life-giving experiences that got me through the worst of it.

Are you going to enter the Patch Project fan art contest? All you have to do is make a piece of art inspired by the series and post it to social media with the hashtag #ThePatchProjectFanArtContest by June 30th! You could win a free copy of book three!

That’s the update for now! Between working full time and settling into a new space, there’s been a lot to get used to, but writing continues to bring me a lot of joy and clarity. As the Patch Project series comes to an end, I’m starting to get excited for new ideas and projects-but that’s another post for another day!

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.)

Book three title announcement and more!

Alright! Finally back on the blog for an update! Things are going really well with first reader feedback on Book Three of my series. I’m expecting to hear from a few more readers by the end of the month, and after that, I’ll be reworking the book and getting it ready for a final draft!

Speaking of Book Three, the title was announced on Adventure Worlds Press’s site this past week: it’s going to be called Where Long Shadows End!

No release date as of yet, but I’m hoping it’ll be available sometime this summer. Of course, that all depends on how revisions and layout go, and what printing times are like. So stay tuned!

Books 1 and 2 of The Patch Project series – what will book 3 hold?

And in the meantime, you can get your art skills ready – about a month before release, I’m going to run a fan art contest! Draw, animate, or create something based on a character, relationship, or scene from the Patch Project series so far – 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! The winner will receive a free signed copy of Where Long Shadows End!

I’m really excited for this book and I can’t wait for you all to read it!

If you want to keep up to date on release dates, giveaways, and events, you can follow me on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. My website has been having a lot of problems lately, so it will be down for the foreseeable future.

Oh! And I wanted to mention a couple of books that I’ve been reading this month, including Bugs from the Black Box! by the weird and wonderful mind of Alexander Zelenyj and The Beginning Place by the incomparable Ursula K. Le Guin. I also had a list of some of my favourite science fiction published online, including the incredible Broken Earth trilogy by N. K. Jemisin.

Bugs from the Black Box! by Alexander Zelenyj published by Foxhill Press

The month continues to be busy, but I’ll try and have another post up soon! If you have questions about the book or the fan art contest, let me know!

Thanks for reading!

awaiting feedback

Two things to report!

One: the first draft of Book Three of The Patch Project series is complete! It’s a book now! I’ve sent it out to first readers and am (totally not anxiously) awaiting feedback.

Although I’m curious to hear how people find the book, I also like this period of waiting. I get to work on other things (to distract myself from thinking about people actually reading a thing I wrote) and be creative in other ways.

Two: I came to the kind of sad conclusion that my space novel is not ready to be sent out to publishers. I had a particularly excellent one in mind, but while getting the manuscript ready for the open submissions call, I realized there were just too many parts that needed to be filled out. There are some parts of that book that I absolutely love, but it needs an overhaul to rework the book’s structure and characters to make it a more consistent read. For now, it’s on the backburner.

I also started working from home last month, so that’s taken some adjustment. But the work is writing-related, and I love getting to set my own hours and taking coffee breaks when I need to. It made me realize that I used to dread going to a workplace-even if the job wasn’t bad. Just something about a space where I was not myself, but a function, expected to behave in certain ways and ignore my own comfortability and needs, that really was hard to deal with. Working from home has been so low stress in comparison. I feel very fortunate to have found something that suits my needs at the moment.

So there’s good stuff happening. I also finally got to visit a thrift store (since I have my booster now) and found the comfiest shirt!

The aforementioned comfiest shirt: a red oversized flannel with small white and black plant fronds patterned across it.

More changes are on the horizon, but for now, just trying to stay grounded and thankful in the present. And be patient while I wait for feedback! Hopefully, I’ll be posting again sooner than later with more book and writing related things!

holiday offer

Announcing a special holiday offer! It’s my first winter on the east coast, and so I wanted to do a little something to thank the folks who buy my books from near and far away! The offer is this: order a copy of A Place That Used to Be from me, and receive a photo for free!

Pictured above: Order a copy of A Place That Used to Be and receive one of these photo prints free!

What’s so special about a photo, you may ask. Well, the photos are part of a series directly inspired by the novel, and were taken by the incredible Sarah Kivell. She takes these amazing, dreamy film photos of everyday things and people, capturing stories with her camera. If you want to see the kind of work she does, check out her Instagram – I believe she even has a sale on some of her photos at the moment!

Here are all the details about this offer:

What: Order a copy of A Place That Used to Be directly from me (message me through my Facebook or website) and receive a free photo inspired by the book!

When: November 26, 2021 to January 5, 2022 (or as long as the limited supply lasts!)

Where: Anywhere! Shipping cost dependent on where you’d like the book sent.

How much: The book is $15, the photo is free, and shipping is $4 in Canada.

And there you have it! If you have any questions, let me know. To stay up to date with upcoming offers and events, follow me on Facebook or YouTube. Thanks, and take care!

The book, the photos, and some holiday cheer!

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!

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!

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!

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!