I e-met my next guest, Nadine Brandes, as a newbie writer on the ACFW Critique Loop. I loved her writing so much, not to mention the suggestions she had for mine, I begged her to join my first critique group. She’s been on this blog before, telling us about her editorial services—which I’ve gratefully used—but today, she is here to promote her debut novel, A Time to Die.
Nadine, so good to have you here talking about your book. To start us off, tell us three things about yourself that would surprise your readers.
I play drums for my church…
I don’t like romance novels…
Gasp!!! <says Connie the romance author> You know I still love you <wink>.
…and I was once a sea cook for a week. [grin]
I can see you with the cute little hat now. <grin back>
As a child or teenager, did you ever dream of being an author?
No. I always thought I wanted to be a school-teacher, but I dreamed about someday just sitting and writing and creating. For some reason, I never connected writing the stories in my head to being an author. It wasn’t until I went to a writer’s conference with a friend that I found my true dream of writing for life.
Wow, and you’re so gifted at it, too.
What is your favorite genre to read?
Speculative fiction, easily. But I’m very picky about it. I don’t read too much sci-fi, I’m more on the fantasy side of things and I love virtual reality books. After speculative fiction, you’d probably find me immersed in non-fiction theology books.
Share something about your day-to-day life that might help a reader to feel as though they know you a little better.
My two constants every morning before I can possibly expect my brain to function, is to make a cup of Yorkshire tea (three sugars and a dash of milk, if you please) and to play my piano while waiting for the water to boil. More and more, I’ve come to believe that music is one of God’s ways of watering the imagination.
What are you working on right now?
Book two in my Out of Time Trilogy. It’s due the moment I finish it and will hopefully release next fall. Hurray!
You mean I have to wait a whole year?—sigh! Okay, I’ll be patient.
In three words describe your style of writing.
Metaphor. Metaphor. Metaphor.
That’s…um…really the same word <grin>.
Okay, kidding, but I’ve been told there are a lot of metaphors in my writing. I can’t help myself! Here we go: metaphorical, authentic, clippy. (I made that last one up. Interpret how you will. [grin] )
What are your favorite themes to write about?
Pursuing life instead of letting it pass by (aka. Living intentionally). Also, I try to incorporate the concept of shalom into everything, which means the way things God intended them to be. That is connected to our purpose in life.
Well, this is how I see it. I think, “Oh, my character needs to learn to walk a tightrope,” so then I go find a tightrope and give it a try. One way or another pretty much everything is drawn from real life. I think that’s one reason I love going on adventures and traveling — everything is story material!
I’m thinking with that in mind, my characters would never learn to walk a tightrope—eek!
What would you be doing if you weren’t writing—besides walking tightropes, that is?
Editing. That’s what I already do. And if I wasn’t editing, I’d probably try to get a job in acquisitions with a publishing house. Something regarded to writing. It’s what I was made to do. BUT, if I had to pick something other than writing, then I’d just focus on being a stay-at-home mom (when I have kids) and drawing.
Your kids will be very lucky to have such an artsy-creative mom.
Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?
Go to a writer’s conference! That’s advice part one. There is nothing—no book, no writing partner, no online class—that can compare with what you’ll learn at a writer’s conference.
Advice part two: don’t use writing as an escape. Instead, go experience life and then pour that into your writing instead of using writing to fill your life. I hope that makes sense. Creating should inspire us to live! Not replace our lives.
Great advice, Nadine. Thanks for stopping by today.
Readers, if you’d like to enter for a chance to win a copy of A Time to Die, check out the Goodreads giveaway…
How would you live if you knew the day you’d die?
Parvin Blackwater believes she has wasted her life. At only seventeen, she has one year left according to the Clock by her bedside. In a last-ditch effort to make a difference, she tries to rescue Radicals from the government’s crooked justice system.
But when the authorities find out about her illegal activity, they cast her through the Wall — her people’s death sentence. What she finds on the other side about the world, about eternity, and about herself changes Parvin forever and might just save her people. But her clock is running out.
Nadine Brandes writes stories about authentic faith, bold living, and worlds soaked in imagination. She lives in Idaho with her husband and works as a freelance editor. When she’s not writing, editing, or taste-testing a new chai, she is out pursuing adventures. A Time to Die is her first novel.
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