A couple of weeks ago I had the opportunity to interview Nadine Brandes, author of the Out of Time series. Nadine was so much fun to interview. I’ve always loved reading author interviews and I had an even better time getting the chance to ask all the questions. 😉 So, without further ado, here we go.
My first question is one I’ve heard you answer before but I thought it would be a good introduction. What prompted you to write your first book, A Time to Die?
It really started when an acquaintance of mine passed away really suddenly while doing ministry in Africa. He was just a few years older than me (at the time, I was 23) and it really shook me. He’d been on the earth just as long as I had, yet it seemed like he’d done so much more with his life for Christ. It was as if something inside him knew he didn’t have long.
That got me thinking about my life. What was I being prompted toward? And…what was I waiting for? The question, “How would I live if I knew I’d die soon?” plagued me. And, because I’m an author, I process through words. Voila, A Time to Die came out and my life has been changed ever since.
Your books have really made me think about that too. What does the word, “Shalom,” mean to you? It’s spoken of quite a bit in A Time to Die and A Time to Speak.
My hope is that my books make everyone think about the same things they spurred in my mind. We need to be thinking deeper…and more intentionally, I think. 🙂
The definition for “shalom” in A Time to Die is, “Wholeness, completeness…the way God intended things to be.” And that’s exactly my definition for it. While writing this book, the campus ministry I was a part of during graduate school was studying this word. Not only did it completely turnaround the themes in my books, but it changed me as well. I just couldn’t leave it out of the story…or my life. [grin]
In short: it means pursuing to /be/ the way God intended us to be. It means to bring that shalom to the world. We are God’s light and He’s given us a mission. A calling. Whenever I start getting mopey like, “I don’t know what God wants me to do for Him right now.” then I just remember…it’s always been to bring shalom. (See Isaiah 42:6-8 and 60:1-3)
[end sermon] ;).
Haha! I think Shalom and its definition should be put on a plaque somewhere for a reminder. You have so many great characters in your series. Do you relate more to one of them than the others?
*begins making plaque*
I definitely relate to Parvin! Well, in reality, Parvin is the personification of all the questions I used to ask as a teen. So she was easy to make personal. While I’m not where she is any longer, parts of her journey are pretty similar to mine that I made a long time ago — you know, I crossed a giant wall, fought wolves, wrote an autobiography….okay not really.
I relate to Reid in that he’s adventurous, I relate to Willow in that she can get fiery (though she lets it out and I hold it in. Sometimes I just /want/ to be like Willow), and I relate to Jude in that he gets geeky about tech stuff. Hehe. I could go on and on…
Love it! I tend to be too much like Willow, myself. I totally need to tape my mouth shut sometimes, lol. So, sort of continuing with that last question, who was your easiest character to write? Who was the most difficult?
The easiest character to write was Parvin, weirdly. I would have thought the main character would be tough. *shrug* I have no explanation for this.
The hardest was Jude. *groan* Seriously, that boy…I re-wrote him more times than I could count. When I first wrote him I hated him. So then I tried to make him more likable. Then he came out /too/ likable which would have caused problems in the story as a whole…especially regarding a certain chapter… *ahem*
Eventually I found a good middle ground. I couldn’t stand his character for so long. Yet now when I read back through the book I’m like, “Juuuude! You’re perfect and wonderful in a fantastically flawed way and…*HUGS*” Yeah.
It obviously worked. I love Jude! Ok, I heard you tried slacklining, which is pretty prominent in your series. What was that like?
Oooh, slacklining is AWESOME! Hubby and I do it all the time now. And I’m still horrible, ha! But a slackline is only a foot or two off the ground, so it’s not that intimidating.
Now…walking a /tightwire/ four stories off the ground…yeah. I tried that, too. (Gotta cover all the bases, you know!) Of course, I had a harness (which was good because I totally fell off) and cheating ropes to hold on to (yes…I cheated. Otherwise I would have just hung there forever.)
I’m not afraid of heights so this sort of thing is actually exhilarating and I love it. Walking a tightwire is /hard/! I barely made it two steps (and those were two /shaky/ steps.) But I’m glad I tried. I watched so many documentaries on tightwire/tightrope/slackline walking that I figured I’d be a pro.
That is so cool. I’m afraid of heights to a degree but would still love to try, someday… So, when you’re not tightrope walking and writing, do you have any special hobbies?
Adventuring. That’s my favorite hobby and includes things like walking adventures, riding my little beach cruiser bike to new places, traveling, exploring, etc.
Aside from that, the more “normal” hobbies I enjoy are playing piano, snowboarding, reading, cooking, and atmosphering. (Atmosphering = decking out the WHOLE HOUSE with a theme…you know, like when hubby and I are gearing up for a Harry Potter marathon. Hehe.)
That sounds great. I think I need more hobbies, lol. I heard you finished writing book three not too long ago. Do you have a personal favorite out of the three?
Well book three is currently my evil rebellious child whom I don’t love at all. 😉 Yet. (That sounds harsh, doesn’t it…?) My favorite is book two — A Time to Speak. I feel like I really got to take Parvin places. Externally. Internally. It’s the book of growth and adventure and I love it to pieces. I’m not even sick of it yet! Ha!
And, I’m hearing from the early readers that it’s better than book one (which is totally how I felt) so at least I know it’s doing its job. 🙂
I couldn’t put it down. My sister is getting ready to read book one because I wouldn’t stop talking about them. And, finally, is there anything you’d like to say to your readers, any glimpse of future projects maybe?
Aww, you’re too sweet! I hope she loves them.
To my readers:
First I want to say…THANK YOU! I mean, what are books without readers? Thank you for picking mine up, for believing in them, for being downright awesome. And for that…I shall continue to write you more books. Hehe.
In my lineup are an apocalyptic type dual-universe book (it’s cooler than it sounds. I promise.) And then a fantasy novel involving a giant labyrinth. That’s all I’m saying for now. Mwahaha.
I’ll be starting the first drafts in January and will be blogging about it (because I’m /not/ writing these in a normal way. Intrigued? Good.) 😉
I’m definitely excited! Thanks for taking the time to answer all of my questions.
Yay! Me too! Thank you so much for hosting me, interviewing me, and putting up with my goofiness. 😉 This was a lot of fun.
You can find Nadine’s books in the links below: