THE BOOK: Fractured.
PUBLISHED IN: 2015
THE AUTHOR: Erin R. Britt
THE EDITOR: N/A
THE PUBLISHER: Erin R. Britt/Create Space
SUMMARY: Fractured is a collection that examines brokenness. Through poetry, short fiction, and the personal nonfiction essay, I look at the ways life breaks apart, from the literal breaking of objects to the shattering relationships and of self.
WHY THIS TITLE?: I came up with the idea for the collection after I wrote the title essay, Fractured. I realized that this was a theme in a lot of my work, so I started curating pieces for the collection from there. It seemed natural that I would name the book after the essay.
WHY SOMEONE WOULD WANT TO READ IT: There’s a lot of emotion involved, so even if someone hasn’t experienced the exact situation, they will be able to relate to the emotion of it. We’ve all experienced brokenness at one time or another. It helps to know that we’re not alone.
“Fractured” examines the cracks that run through all our lives. It is engaging and very real. It draws the reader in and holds them until the final page. Erin Britt shows us that we are all fractured and gives hope that even though the cracks are there, being fractured doesn’t have to be a fatal flaw.”– Lori Hicks.
AUTHOR PROFILE: I started writing horrible poetry at age 12. I fell in love with language, so I continued to write horrible poetry into adulthood. It wasn’t until I was a single mom in college that I considered taking a creative writing class. Since then, I’ve earned a BA in English-Creative Writing from Indiana University and will receive my MA in English from there in May 2016. My first novella, CELIA, was published in 2013 through Rainstorm Press. I’ve had several personal essays published in various collections and original academic scholarship published in the university’s Graduate Research Journal. My poems “Howl” and “Your Secret Admirer” are included in the horror anthology HIDDEN IN PLAIN SIGHT, and “Your Secret Admirer” won the Editor’s Choice Award for poetry. I have a short story, “Blood and Rain,” coming out in 2016 in the suspense anthology EDGE OF DARKNESS from Dark Chapter Press. I’m also the editor of Erindipity Editing.
AUTHOR COMMENTS: Of all the pieces in the collection, “Fractured” was the hardest one to write. It is probably the hardest one to read, as well. I put parts of myself into everything I write, but as a nonfiction personal essay, “Fractured” is entirely me and what I was feeling in that situation. It’s scary to put so much out there, but you have to bleed on the page to make a connection. This collection left me with more than a few cuts.
SAMPLE CHAPTER: “Leaves on a Tree.”
“Do you have any siblings?”
I’ve always hated this question. It’s innocent enough on the face of it, just a way to get to know someone better, but I don’t how to answer it without explaining more than I’m comfortable with. I’m an only child, yet I’m the youngest of three; I’m the oldest of two but I’m the second youngest of four; I’m the second youngest of five until I’m the second youngest of four again; I’m the third oldest of seven. All of this was my father’s doing, shedding wives the way that reptiles molt, collecting and losing children along the way.
I didn’t meet Lorrie, his first wife, until I was a teenager. My mother was his second wife. I grew up knowing I had an older brother and sister living in Ohio, but they didn’t know about me. I guess Lori thought it was easier to pretend I didn’t exist. I think she still does. I met my older siblings when I was seven. It was the beginning of our yearly summer ritual. I spent most of my time as the oldest of two, so it excited me to try being the second youngest of four for a while. I idolized my sister and I followed her around the way smoke follows a fire when it moves: she was brightness and warmth; I was soot and suffocation. She humored me with artificial patience and as soon as she was no longer obligated to do so, she tolerated me no longer. My brother was my hero, and his ego appreciated that. Still, he rarely went out of his way to be my brother, so when it was no longer convenient to be so, he claimed me no longer. We didn’t spend time writing letters or making phone calls, so except for those summer visits, they didn’t exist at all. I still counted them.
Ruth was his third wife. That was her middle name, Ruth. Her first name was Nila, the same as my mother, and going to the doctor or checking the mail became problematic because “Nila Britt” could mean anyone. Many a time I heard my mother say, “No, I’m the other one” into the phone. Ruth was his wife in my earliest memories and her daughter, Kristy, was my sister. She was never my step-sister, although that’s exactly what she was, and Ruth was never Ruth. She was my mother, to hear her tell it, though she was dedicated to her hatred of me. To my knowledge, I did nothing wrong beyond existing in the first place. Calling her anything other than “mom” guaranteed some form of punishment from my father, and Kristy liked to tattle. She resented me, so she made sure they knew every slip, every “your mom” instead of “mom.” My father divorced Ruth when I was twelve; Kristy was no longer my sister, step or otherwise, and Ruth was finally Ruth whether she liked it or not. My father blamed us, Kristy and me, for his divorce. Our inability to get along was too much for his delicate marriage to endure, and he made sure to tell us as much. It had nothing to do with his affair with Tami.
Tami is his fourth wife. To his credit, he actually married his mistress, and remained married to her. He was terrified to be alone, always lining up a new woman before abandoning the old one. She brought three children into the marriage, two step-brothers and a step-sister, so my sibling count doubled. I was six years older than her oldest child, and my older sister was six years older than me, so my father obliviously created a certain symmetry. Tami was always Tami. She didn’t try to be my mother and I never encouraged her to try. Like Ruth, Tami didn’t much care for me; unlike Ruth, Tami didn’t put much effort into making sure I knew it.
We’re all grown now, the seven of us and the one I lost along the way. My older sister serves in the Army. Beyond a few strands of shared DNA, there is nothing that connects us as sisters. When she rejected our father, she rejected us all. My older brother works in IT and fathered nieces I have never met. We don’t talk very often, but it’s not hostile. Kristy is living her life as a wife and mom. We’re Facebook friends, but we don’t talk. My younger brother is a mechanic. He lives in town, and while we
don’t interact much, I do see him during holidays and at funerals. The last three are out there somewhere. I had my youngest step-brother in a speech class once and he either never realized who I was, or did and hoped I had forgotten him. I didn’t, but I said nothing anyway.
Do I have any siblings? Yes, I have one, and I am the oldest.
LOCAL OUTLETS: Online only
WHERE ELSE TO BUY IT: BarnesandNoble.com http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/fractured-erin-r-britt/1122285511?ean=9781515004172
CONTACT THE AUTHOR: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, twitter.com/erinrbritt, facebook.com/erinrbrittofficial, erinrbritt.com, erindipityediting.com