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Called 2 Speak: Mission and Passion


What makes you want to speak out?

I’m proud to be part of the Blog Hop promoting A Time to Speak. This hop is to spread the word about Nadine Brandes’s new dystopian novel, A Time to Speak, releasing October 16th. It is also to encourage myself and others to speak out for our passions and against injustice.

I Will Speak Out… about why I’m “an engineer by day and spec fiction writer by night”. Part two of two.

Photo by Gretchen E.K. Engel

Photo by Gretchen E.K. Engel

Last week I shared this diagram and the intersection of vocation and profession. This week I’m talking about my mission-passion, writing fiction, specifically some combination of speculative and young adult.

I’ve always loved writing and been good at it. Passion. Every year from first grade through sixth, one of my favorite things was writing a story for the Young Author’s Book Fair. I can honestly say I’ve had several books displayed in a shopping mall. They just happened to be on tables between the benches where the old guys sit. And weren’t for sale. In high school, I worked hard to write an essay my English teacher would read aloud.

However, writing didn’t become my mission (what you love that the world needs) until four years ago. In something of a mid-life crisis, I took the ideas from the story from a long ago discarded notebook and turned it into a manuscript with two sequels. The finished story bears little resemblance to my original draft but still centers around the themes of perfection and self-reliance. I love encouraging people, especially young women. It’s not easy feeling comfortable in your own skin. I was raised to “be myself” and assured that I would find my place in this world. Not everyone is so fortunate to have that kind of support. I hope through my writing, people see that they are “fearfully and wonderfully made” and that God has a plan for them.

A friend asked me if I planned on writing full-time as a career. It would be my dream to make a living writing fiction. It’s also very unlikely, and I think I’d miss engineering. That doesn’t mean I don’t love writing, or it’s second to engineering. Afterall, writing is my mission-passion, which both focus on the aspect of “love” over “payment”. I would be miserable if I had to give up writing for my job or anything else. I love being a writer – creating stories, putting words on a page, editing, polishing, pitching, the successes, and even the failures.

Of course, I don’t actually like rejections, but I’ve received great feedback from contests where I didn’t place or pitches that didn’t go well. And there’s nothing like seeing your name on a winners’ list for a contest or a congratulatory e-mail. I’ve had two short stories published and two more that will be published next year.

Keeping with the theme of Nadine Brandes’s books, there’s a time for everything. When I asked God why He called me to write now not when I was single or in the years we didn’t have kids, the answer was clear. I wasn’t spiritually ready. I’m waiting patiently and prayerfully for what God wants me to do with my writing. Who knows, maybe I will hear that still small voice telling me that writing will be my profession-vocation as well as my mission-passion. Right now, I’m happy where I am on my writing journey. And as with any form of travel, it’s not worth taking the road unless you enjoy each sight along the way.

Now for the inspiration for this post – Parvin Blackwater from A Time to Die who has a significant calling in A Time to Speak.

What happens when you live longer than you wanted to?

Parvin Blackwater wanted to die, but now she’s being called to be a leader. The only problem is, no one wants to follow.

The Council uses Jude’s Clock-matching invention to force “new-and-improved” Clocks on the public. Those who can’t afford one are packed into boxcars like cattle and used for the Council’s purposes.

Parvin and Hawke find themselves on a cargo ship of Radicals headed out to sea. What will the Council do to them? And why are people suddenly dying before their Clocks have zeroed-out?

Book Two in the “Out of Time” series.

Read about the first book, A Time to Die, here.

Nadine Brandes is a talented author who absolutely captivates her readers from page one to the end. If you haven’t yet read A Time to Die, you should especially if you love dystopian novels, strong heroines, and great adventure.

You can follow Nadine, her books, and writing at:


This stop is the first one on a blog tour with a Rafflecopter giveaway!

Here is a list of the tour dates and locations: #called2speak

9.28.15 – Gretchen Engel

9.30.15 – Nadine Brandes
10.01.15 – Jason Joyner
10.05.15 – Gretchen Engel (part 2)
10.06.15 – Tricia Mingerink
10.08.15 – Gretchen Engel (Scriblerians)
10.09.15 – Emilie Hendryx
10.11.15 – Janeen Ippolito
10.12.15 – Zachary D Totah
10.14.15 – Brittany Valentine
10.15.15 – Andrew Swearingen
10.17.15 – Megan Besing
10.19.15 – Angel Roman
10.21.15 – Lisa Godfrees
10.27.15 – Natalie Walters
10.29.15 – The Artist Librarian
11.02.15 – Rosalie Valentine
11.17.15 – Amanda Fender

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About Gretchen E K Engel

Chemical engineer by day, spec fiction writer by night

3 comments on “Called 2 Speak: Mission and Passion

  1. Love learning more of your story!

  2. […] 10.05.15 – Gretchen Engel (Pt. 2 – Mission & Passion) […]

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