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UNT student creates a world of her own with self-published science-fiction books

UNT student creates a world of her own with self-published science-fiction books

UNT student creates a world of her own with self-published science-fiction books
December 07
12:30 2018

It is rare to find a college student who is not sharing their thoughts on social media or a blog of some sort. Psychology freshman Brittney Dear has taken it a step further and formed her ideas into two novels.

Her books, which she describes as “psychological thrillers,” are a vehicle to express both her fascination with the human mind and her own feelings.

Brittney has been writing for as long as she can remember, completing a 50-page novel in first grade with a small notebook. Though her writing skills have always been strong, reading did not come as easily for her. Writing was a way for her to improve.

“Believe it or not, I was still reading picture books [in fifth grade],” Brittney said. “My reading level was very low, so I don’t really know how I started writing. I didn’t actually start reading books until eighth grade.”

The inspiration for her first novel came from a series of books about wild cats named “Warriors” by Erin Hunter.

“I never actually read the books because they were above my reading level, but I just really liked the idea of creating characters and giving them backgrounds,” Brittney said. “My first novel was the same concept. It was [about] snow leopards. I just remember loving the idea of creating characters like that.”

Brittney views writing as a chance for her to work through things that are happening in her life — almost like a diary.

“Sometimes without meaning to, I’ll write stories and realize all the characters reflect something that’s happening in my life,” Brittney said.

Brittney has published two novels under the pen name Brittney Kristina (her first and middle names): “Forsaken” and “Fifty Days.” “Forsaken” was self-published, which Brittney says was an easier feat than one would imagine.

“[It is] kind of scary because anyone can post anything, but it’s also kind of good because anyone can do anything,” Brittney said. “I just didn’t really want to sit around and wait and do all these query letters and stuff. My mom’s friend has a self-published a book, so I found that through her, too. It is as easy as getting a cover and submitting a file. I think the main struggle is making sure it’s a good cover and a good file.”

Her newest novel “Fifty Days” was published through an independent company. Through both avenues, the actual publishing of the books did not cost her any money. The costly aspect came from editing, buying copies for resale and the book’s cover.

“I don’t remember exactly what I had to spend, but I do know that I was a lifeguard all summer, and by the end I didn’t have a dime because I spent all of that on my book,” Brittney said.

Becoming an author has taught Brittney the importance of having an intriguing book cover, something she realized people judge more than they think.

Forsaken and Fifty Days are the two novels that UNT Freshman Brittney Deer has written and published. Ashley Gallegos

“When you’re reading, you don’t really think about it, but if you go to a bookstore and you look at the cover, you are going to pick up the book that is most appealing to you,” Brittney said. “I spent more money on the covers than I actually did on the editing just because I wanted to have that really appealing cover.”

Both of the novels she has published deal with psychological suspense and present questions of reality and existence — a favorite topic of hers to explore.

“I’ve always envisioned myself being like somewhat the next Stephen King, but not as scary [and] not as gory — that would be a dream,” Brittney said. “I also really like non-fiction. I have a blog, and I like to write about self-help things. If I end up being a counselor, I could see myself writing books to just help people.”

Brittney does not know of many women, particularly young women, who write about things like alternate realities and the inner workings of a character’s mental state. She said most of her friends who are writers primarily write romance, a genre she finds entertaining but could not see herself taking on.

“I write what sparks my interest, and that to me is the weird, unique, mystery-type books,” Brittney said. “I also really like more in-depth things, like meanings and metaphors and [how] they reflect the purpose of life, and all that stuff. I feel like I couldn’t be as simple as just ‘boy meets girl.’”

Her mother Kristi Dear values the mysterious tone of her daughter’s books.

“I like how it engages the reader and you are kind of left on the edge of your seat wondering,” Kristi said.

She believes her daughter was born with a talent for writing.

“It has allowed her to just play on her strengths and allows her to be creative and express herself and kind of live out her passion,” Kristi said.

Brittney’s grandmother Karen Tyndall is proud of the dedication she has to her work and the way she encourages readers to think.

“She knows her purpose,” Tyndall said. “She knew that at the very beginning since she was very young.”

Kristi hopes her daughter continues to write more books in the future and wants one of her books to be adapted into a movie, a vision that Brittney shares.

“When I go to the movie theater [and] I see the trailers, I like to envision my book is that trailer and I just like to picture it up there,” Brittney said. “It’s always been one of my dreams: to go to a premiere of a book I’ve written.”

Featured Image: Britney Deer sits with her two published novels. Deer is a freshman here at UNT. Ashley Gallegos

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Nikki Johnson-Bolden

Nikki Johnson-Bolden

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