Thursday 19 July 2018

Celebrating #Windsor Writers: Authors in the Limelight featuring Brittni Brinn…

Windsor author, Brittni Brinn had the awesome idea to cross-promote with four authors in the area, and graciously invited me to participate to be one of those guinea pigs…er authors. I jumped at the opportunity of course, so for the next three Thursdays I’ll be hosting Brittni, along with Ben Van Dongen and Justine Alley Dowsett. I’ll be the author featured on the fourth Thursday, sharing a ‘behind the scenes’ post about the process of writing the first book in my Mysterious Tales from Fairy Falls teen psychic mystery series, Lost and Found. For Brittni’s post, I decided to resurrect my ‘Authors in the Limelight’ interview series, where I get to ask an author eight questions about their newest book, and how they deal with life as a writer. So, without further ado, let’s get this interview started…
Welcome, Brittni! How long have you been writing?

I've been writing since I was pretty young. I suppose I started writing because my parents gave me a journal when I was 7. It had a lock with a small key, and I loved it. But writing stories I think started more around grade five. I had a teacher who encouraged me to pursue writing and a classmate who wrote beautiful stories she would read aloud. I read a ton of books at that age too. A lot of those influences shaped my interest in storytelling. So, after I decided not to be a scientist, I decided to be a writer.

A scientist, eh? Makes sense that you followed your heart and wrote in the science fiction genre! Where did you get your idea and inspiration to write The Patch Project?

It started with a short story I wrote in my undergrad. Just a small piece about a married couple spending Christmas in the apocalypse. I took it to a Sci-Fi conference for writers and submitted it to an editor panel. One of the editors expressed interest in the story and asked to see a manuscript. So I started writing a novel. I'd been reading A Canticle for Leibowitz and Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? around that time, and the post-apocalyptic genre appealed to me. But I wanted to do something different.

Okay, so what sets The Patch Project apart from other books in the same genre?

The aspect that most sets it apart from contemporary post-apocalyptic novels is that The Patch Project isn't about an exterior threat. There are no zombies, no monsters. No incurable epidemic. The event that wipes out most of the world is mysterious. It's the resulting isolation and character shifts that drive the story. Characters are dealing with new abilities as well as personal loss. The main questions become Who am I, now that this has happened? What should I do now?

Wait…no zombies? Now that’s refreshing! As an author, what is your writing process, Brittni?

I take naps? Those help, but I suppose writing just happens. When I'm on the bus or after watching a play. Sometimes I write something because I'm inspired. Sometimes out of boredom. But it usually starts with a specific image or a specific character. Once I have that in mind, I write how the first scene plays out. Then I leave it for awhile, think about it, come back to it. Usually it's a struggle to get myself back in the writing chair. Sometimes I use writing exercises like free-writing or following a character's stream of consciousness. I rarely map out my stories; I like to garden. Let the characters and story grow as I go along. Then go back afterwards, transplant, weed, and add some fertilizer where the growth is thin.

Well, I hope you harvest many stories that way, Brittni. How long did it take for you to start and finish The Patch Project?

From the original short story to the first draft of the novel was about two years. After the manuscript was rejected by a publisher, I put it away for awhile. When I went back to it in 2016, I did a full edit of the story and the following summer did three further rounds of editing with EDGE's house editor, the wonderful Heather Manuel. And here we are, a year later! Altogether, The Patch Project was about 6 years in the making!

Now that’s staying power! Do you have any advice for other writers, Brittni?

I don't know if I have any advice, but I would suggest finding writing friends. Having people to really talk to about writing has been invaluable to me. Plus, it's good to see that there's not just one way to be a writer. We all go about it differently, tell our stories in ways unique to us. And that's good! We all have so much to learn from each other.

Having a support system in this business is a must for sure. What’s next for Brittni Brinn the author?

Well, there's a sequel to The Patch Project in the works! (Hooray!) I'm also hoping to work on some collaborative film and graphic novel projects in the near future as well!

All the best with your future writing endeavors, Brittni! Okay, here’s one for me, since I’m writing a time travel series—If you could time travel anywhere into Earth’s past, where would you go and why?

Time travel is such a fascinating concept! Not too far back for me. The 1980s maybe? Could see some New Wave bands, have 80s hair, buy a walkman, it'd be fun.

About The Patch Project:

May and Isak live on what used to be Holly Street. But when a mysterious event wipes out most of the earth's surface, they find themselves the sole survivors of a once thriving neighbourhood. Another survivor, Ed, is stranded at a highway gas station. Pinot and Miller wander the wasteland, scrounging for supplies. Some of them have developed strange new abilities; some of them have experienced unthinkable loss. In this post-apocalyptic novella, each of them will have to come to terms with who they've become, and what they've done, in order to survive.

Book Info and Links:

You can find The Patch Project on, through EDGE Science Fiction and Fantasy Publishing, or locally at Juniper Books.

Meet the Author:

Brittni Brinn is a writer and playwright. She has a Masters degree in Creative Writing and Literature. Her interests include rocks kicked up by the ocean, books from friends, and comfortable sweaters. She currently lives in Windsor, along with her husband and two cats.

Connect with Brittni Brinn:

Instagram: @brittni_in_ink
Twitter: @brittni_in_ink

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