brian francis
Photo by Samuel Engelking
Brian Francis
Break in Case of Emergency
Sunday, Oct. 20 | 2 PM | Forsyth Hall
Break in Case of Emergency is a painful, hopeful coming of age story about family, acceptance and learning to love people for who they are, starring the memorable Toby as she wrestles with her own worth and purpose. Brian Francis will be in conversation with Mia Soetaert and Terry Soetaert of Outloud St. Albert.

STARFest Facts
Brian Francis’s first novel, Natural Order, was selected by the Toronto Star, Kobo, and Georgia Straight as a Best Book of the Year. His second, Fruit, was a Canada Reads finalist and a Barnes and Noble “Discover Great New Writers” title. He lives in Toronto.

Break in Case of Emergency is Brian Francis’s first Young Adult book. Life has been a struggle for 15-year-old Toby Goodman. Her mother died by suicide five years ago and her father abandoned her mother before Toby was born. Now living on a dairy farm with her grandparents and unable to find any light in her world, Toby’s plans to follow in her mother’s footsteps are interrupted when she’s told that her estranged father is returning home. And that he’s gay. And that he’s a world-renowned female impersonator.
brian francis book cover
Terry Soetaert is the executive director of Outloud, which he co-founded with his daughter Mia to bring LGBTQ youth together in St. Albert and surrounding areas. He sits on the Welcoming & Inclusive Community working table, the St Albert Homeless Coalition, facilitates the St. Albert PFLAG chapter and Outloud, and is an active advocate to schools, groups and businesses for LGBTQ rights. He is an avid camper, loves Mixed Martial Arts, and superheroes.

Mia Soetaert has been involved with Outloud since its beginning and has helped facilitate as the group has grown to over 350 youth who have attended Outloud meetings in the past four years. She is a public speaker, a high school council president and leadership mentor, and an advocate for LGBTQ equality. Mia also enjoys reading, movies and, most of all, her music.