Interview with Nadine Brandes + "A Time to Speak" Cover Reveal

I have had the honor of doing a live interview with author Nadine Brandes!  She has one book out right now and another book on its way to being out!  Before I show you the interview, here is the cover for A Time to Speak.

Isn't it so pretty?

Without further ado, here is the interview:

Welcome, Nadine!  Thank you so much for agreeing to visit my little corner of the internet!

 It's a very pretty corner, if I do say so myself. I adore elvish forests.

Thank you very much!  So, when did you start writing?

This might sound like a cop-out, but I really think I was born to write. I made my first journal when I was 7 years old and started documenting my life from then on out. I've always thought and processed life in terms of stories. It wasn't until I was a teenager when I decided I wanted to write a full book. Then in college I decided to write seriously and go after publication. Frankly, I had no idea what I was doing. I just knew I wanted to write.

Seems like most authors were born to write.  :)  What has been your greatest resource along your writing journey?

Hmm...I'd have to say my greatest resource -- aside from prayer -- is actually a person. Jeff Gerke is a writer and editor and the former owner of Enclave Publishing (my publishing house!) back when it was Marcher Lord Press. I met him at a writer's conference as a teenager and then attended his classes every time I returned to that conference. He remembered me and always gave me great advice and ended up offering me my first contract. Now that I'm published, I frequently shoot him e-mails asking for advice or just general questions. He's been a fantastic mentor (and I'm not sure he even knows it!) So...what can others take away from this? Probably this piece of advice: go to a writer's conference (even if it's small) and don't be afraid to meet people! Especially the "professionals" because you never know how they'll help you down the road. :)

That's an excellent piece of advice, Nadine!  Do you listen to music while you write?

I do! I put together a new playlist for each book, and even organize the songs according to scenes. I'm one of the weird authors who listens to music with words. I can't do soundtracks because they connect me to strongly to a different movie, so then I start picturing that. I noticed this problem with my first book (not published.) I'd be listening to Lord of the Rings music and suddenly I'd be writing an epic battle scene or wistful traveling when it didn't even fit the story! Ha! So, I learned my lesson. Besides, I get a lot of inspiration from lyrics as well, and -- oddly enough -- they don't distract me.

I usually can't write with words.   Do you find yourself a lot like any of the characters in A Time to Die?
I'm definitely like Parvin. Or, at least, I was. She was built from a lot of questions that I wrestled with as a teenager. And, while there are definitely differences between her and me, she goes through struggles that I did when I was younger and I wanted to capture that because I figured there might be other readers who asked the same questions I did.

I have found that characters in books have parts of their author in them.  :)  What do you do when you aren't writing?

I think every book reflects a bit of its author. :-) When I'm not writing, I'm usually editing. I have my own editing business and there's yet to be a day that felt like work. Other than that, hubby and I like to be adventurers. We travel the world when we can (or just travel around in our small valley) and I read every moment I can! Some other odd things I like to do is hunt for morel mushrooms (in the spring) and huckleberries (in the fall) and we make our own vanilla extract! Occasionally selling it at farmer's markets.

Yum!  I bet it makes good ice cream.  :)  At what age did you become a Christian?

Yes, the ice cream is delicious! (We also make homemade ice cream every summer in July.) I was very blessed to be raised in a Christian home. My dad is now a pastor and my mom either homeschooled us or put us in Christian private schools. But it wasn't until I was 17 that I really understood what it meant to have Jesus as my personal Savior. I didn't really have a deep relationship with Him yet, though I did believe in Him. So at summer camp I re-dedicated my life to Him and it's been a wonderful journey of growth and friendship every since. (Though not without its trials!) *grin*

Homeschool rocks!  :)  This is a little bit of a random question.  Have you ever tried a tutorial from the Internet and had it backfire?

Well, we all know that Pinterest is deceptive. Everything on there looks beautiful, but if you try it yourself....*wince*. One Christmas I saw this gorgeous picture of colored ice balls made by filling water balloons, adding food coloring, and letting it freeze, then taking off the balloon. Sounds simple, right? Uh....NO. They didn't freeze all the way through and the color bled out, staining the porch. Ha! But it was worth a try. Also, all those pictures of stunning hollowed out lightbulbs filled with flowers and things? Have you ever tried to hollow out a lightbulb? It takes forever! I guess to answer your question in short: YES...I've had more backfires than successes, but I still enjoy DIY things. (Like vanilla extract!)

I have had a DIY from Pinterest not work either.  Lol.  I agree, Pinterest is deceptive.  What is your favorite movie snack?

Well, aside from the oil-buttered popcorn that I inhale with jalapenos (seriously...try it with jalapenos), I'm a sucker for over-priced cherry ICEEs (not the over-priced part, but the ICEE part.) The only problem with these is that I have a tiny bladder (too much information?) and can never make it through a full movie if I have an ICEE! Still...I get them anyway. *grin*

Popcorn is the best!  :)  Most authors like either coffee or tea.  Which do you like better? 
TEA! Not just any tea, but genuine British Yorkshire tea (you can order it online) with milk and sugar. I also drink it while having shortbread on special writing days. I used to love coffee and I'm a complete geek when it comes to /making/ coffee (I was a barista for a long time, trained in a cafe in England! Doesn't that sound exotic?) but then I discovered I am lactose intolerant. Unfortunately, they just don't make lactose free Hazelnut creamer. *sigh* I was introduced to "proper" tea when in England...and I've been a goner ever since. I also love chai, which is a tea-based drink.

Wow!  That sounds amazing.  Favorite book and author?
Well, since we're on the topic of things I'm geeky about...I'm a total Harry Potter super-nerd. Those books are what made me want to write fantasy and science fiction. My favorite author is Jill Williamson -- she writes Christian fantasy (and was an Enclave author at one time!) I've yet to read something by her that I didn't like. Oh! Oh! You didn't REALLY think I'd give just one favorite, did you? Marissa Meyer is growing on me as a favorite author. I've read only her first book, Cinder, which is a dystopian fairytale retelling of Cinderella and it's amazing.

I like Jill Williamson too!  And the final question: If you had one year to live, what would you do?

Well, this is the answer that I hope everyone eventually arrives at after asking themselves that question. I'd....do exactly what I'm doing right now. I'd write what I felt God called me to write. I'd spend quality time with hubby and family, doing ministry. Granted, I'd probably add a few things -- like writing letters to family or jotting down my life story but for the most part, I don't ever want to feel like I am doing something I shouldn't be, or spending my time the way I shouldn't be. If I'm pursuing God the way I believe I should be, and I'm obeying Him in the things He calls me to, then I should be content dying in a year without changing too much of how I live. I should be content dying tomorrow, even.

Thank you so much, Nadine for joining me today!  I will be looking forward to the next book in the Out of Time series!

Thank you so much for having me, Alea! It's been a pleasure to be a guest on your blog and to let you (and the awesome readers!) into a bit of my world. :) Book two (A Time to Speak) comes out in the fall! All updates come through my newsletter.

And that's it, folks!  I hope you enjoyed it as much as i did!  Until next time, tally ho!

About Nadine

Nadine Brandes learned to write her alphabet with a fountain pen.
In Kindergarten.

Cool, right? She dealt with ink splotches before even knowing how to spell. She never decided to become a writer. Her brain simply classified it as a necessity to life -- like bathing, eating, and sleeping.

Nadine is an adventurer, fusing authentic faith with bold imagination. She writes stories about brave living, finding purpose, and other worlds soaked in imagination.

When she's not taste-testing a new chai or editing fantasy novels, Nadine is out traveling, finding new music, and pursuing active life.

Her debut dystopian novel, A Time to Die, released Fall 2014 from Enclave Publishing.

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