Project-Bright-Star_KristinToday we have the great pleasure of welcoming Kristin Durfee to the Brass Rag. Kristin reads and writes in multiple genres and is a member of the Alvarium Experiment, the consortium of award-winning writers reinventing the way readers experience short fiction. Her short story, “Project Bright Star” is available FREE today on Kindle. Follow link to experience her take on the Return to Earth project.

Q: What is the Alvarium Experiment and how did you become involved with their second project, Return To Earth?

KD: The Alvarium Experiment, referring to a bee hive, was developed last year by a number of award-winning authors who wanted to join together to publish an anthology. As a member of the Florida Writer’s Association, I became aware of the project through one of the authors, a fellow writing group member Ken Pelham, and was thrilled when so many of the stories from last year won awards at the FWA Royal Literary Palm award ceremony in 2015. When I heard they were doing a second installment, my brain started buzzing (no pun intended) on how I could worm my way in. Months later, much to my surprise and excitement, Ken heard me read a piece at a writer’s meeting. He approached me after and asked if I wanted to be a part of the next anthology. I tried to play it cool, but inside I was freaking out! I was so happy to be asked and gladly accepted.

Q: What was the inspiration for your Return To Earth story, “Project Bright Star”?

KD: When I first heard the prompt, I fell in love with the idea! I’d never written science fiction before—I stick mostly to fantasy—so I was a bit worried that I wouldn’t be able to come up with something. I sat down and decided to jot a few ideas down. I am a HUGE X-Files fan, so I think the idea of government conspiracies automatically was a good fit for me. I started to mull over how people could be returning to Earth, and if there was possibly a secret the country may be hiding that would be exposed by their arrival. PBS was born. I knew I wanted to follow both sides of the story, both a person on Earth and one returning. Lizbeth and Gladys were natural fits. They are similar in personality even though they grew up hundreds of millions of miles apart. I also liked the thought of a group growing up in a series of bubbles, both physical and mental, and what that would do to the formation of their selves and ideas.

My story was originally much longer, so I had to pair it down quite a bit to hit the 10k range, but I may expand it one day into a full-length novel. The characters have been bugging me, so you never know.

Q: So it sounds like the idea came pretty easily to you after all. Was the writing just as easy?

 KD: As with all writing, it had its moments! Though I did try, much more than I do with some of my other writing, to let my characters meander into the story a bit. My biggest challenge was then reining them back in! The story wanted to be bigger than I had time for. There were a few side plots and stories that had to be cut. I also had to do a bunch of research, something I am mostly able to avoid as a fantasy writer. It was much harder since I couldn’t just make everything up! That’s one of the interesting things about science fiction, sure it is fiction, but it has to feel like it could be real. My goal was to bring that to my story. I hope I leave the reader wondering…does she know something we don’t?

 Q: What does your next year as a writer look like?

KD: Crazy! But I am so blessed and wouldn’t have it any other way. Two Worlds, the second book in my YA Fantasy trilogy, Four Corners, just came out. It follows four years after the last book left off. I am working on the final installment, One Earth, and am hoping to have it to my publisher by the end of October for a late-2017 release. I also am part of another anthology called Thrill of the Hunt 2. My story, Revenge from Within, is about a vigilante killer in Seattle. It was my first time writing a thriller as well, so I have certainly flexed my creative muscles this year!

Q: How can readers find out more about your work?

KD: I try to dabble in as much social media as I can, to varying levels of success. But you can find me on my website on twitter @KristinDurfee, on facebook, and wattpad. I love to hear from readers, so please feel free to reach out! I’d also love if you’d consider writing a review on any work of mine that you’ve read. I am running a rafflecopter giveaway for a FREE Kindle Fire and writing a review gets you two entries! There’s a bunch of other ways to enter, too, head over to my facebook page to click the link to enter.

Thanks so much for taking the time to hear more about me and my writing, wherever in space this finds you, I hope it finds you well!

KristinDurfeeAbout the Author

Kristin Durfee’s debut novel, Four Corners, was published by Black Opal Books in 2015. Book Two in the Trilogy, Two Worlds, is available now through all major retailers.

Kristin grew up outside of Philadelphia where an initial struggle with reading blossomed into a love and passion for the written word. She currently resides outside of Orlando, FL, and when not enjoying the theme parks or Florida sun, she spends most of her time with her husband and their quirky dogs.

She is a member of the Florida Writers Association.

About Return to Earth

Return to Earth is the second project of the Alvarium Experiment, a consortium of accomplished and award-winning authors.

The stories do not need to be read in any particular order; each story is an entry point into the overall story.

Return to Earth stories & authors are:

“AOB” by Bria Burton. Aona, an Alien-Operated Bot (AOB), suffers a malfunction that could jeopardize her mission on Earth and could lead to the extinction of an entire species from another planet.

Visit Bria at

“The Paradoxical Man” by Bard Constantine. Albert Rosen is one of five explorers who vanished on a deep-sea expedition into the Bermuda Triangle. He returns to Earth centuries later, transported across space and time through a mysterious wormhole. However, Earth is not the home he remembers. Humankind has been evacuated, and the survivors lie in hibernation aboard the Locus, an orbiting space station. Rosen is forced to match wits with Deis, an artificial intelligence determined to keep humanity in stasis until he is convinced they are fit to return.

Visit Bard at

“Children Of The Stars” by Charles A. Cornell. In Japan, an American medical researcher discovers the deadly secret behind an eighty-year-old woman’s ageless appearance and incredible fertility, and her connection to the bizarre disappearance of the freighter the Ourang Medan in 1948.

Visit Charles at

“Project Bright Star” by Kristin Durfee. A once thought failed secret mission to colonize a distant planet, named 0X3B1, is discovered to have been successful when descendants of that mission return to Earth fifty-one years after their grandparents left, much to the surprise, and fear, of the world.

Visit Kristin at

“Recovery” by Veronica Helen Hart. When a virus threatens the lives of everyone on board a transfer station for intergalactic travel, it’s up to Dr. Candace Bertram to retrieve the only known vaccine from Earth. The risky, untested method of transport could mean catastrophic mission failure, and grave danger for Dr. Bertram.

Visit Veronica at

“Coming Home” by John Hope. Finally achieving his dream of being an astronaut on the Jupiter missions, Jasper’s mind is elsewhere, on the recent loss of his stepfather, Bud. But Jasper’s space mission is interrupted when he is sucked into a wormhole that transports him to a different time, 30 years in the past. And now, doctors don’t believe where he’s from. Fortunately, his loving nurse at his side comforts him and a love builds. That is, until he realizes that his nurse’s son is Jasper as a young boy.

Visit John at

“Someday Loyal” by Elle Andrews Patt. Alien invaders are lobbing fireballs at Peoria, but Grandmama is holding tea. When the military arrives in search of Mrs. Suniol, Alice is drawn into the mystery of Lake Snow, a missing husband, and securing the key to an entire civilization’s survival.

Visit Elle at

“Under The Whelming Tide” by Ken Pelham. The Aethir, space-born descendants of the mythical planet Earth, are returning home at last to fulfill their destiny. But not all believe the great homecoming will be the heaven they have been promised.

Visit Ken at

“Social Experiment” by Tracie Roberts. For the past two years Dr. Olivia Tate had led a satisfying life with her alien spouse, Kya Dumont. As a scientist and cancer survivor, Liv is on a mission to discover a cure for the deadly disease. But something equally deadly has put Kya’s people, the Oo’mahn, in danger of extinction. With an order to evacuate Earth, Kya struggles between helping her people and remaining with the woman she loves, especially now that Liv has also fallen ill. Now Kya’s ship is approaching and the couple must not only find a cure for Liv and the Oo’mahn, but also devise a plan to remain together despite the objection of the aliens.

Visit Tracie at

“Gaia Returning” by C.L. Roman. Pirates steal things. It’s what they do… When Captain Irina Demyanov’s first mate disobeys orders and steals the crown jewels of a vengeful alien race, she knows she’s out of options. Desperate to escape, Irina takes her chances on a dangerous vortex leap and lands near an unnamed, yet strangely familiar planet. The gamble may have paid off, but between hostile inhabitants and inevitable discovery by their pursuers, the pirates’ chances of survival appear slim. Can the human remnant find refuge, or will their enemies put a permanent end to the human race?

Visit C.L. at

For additional info about the stories and authors, visit the website:

Facebook Fan Page: The Alvarium Experiment


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