Interview with Nadine Brandes

Nadine Brandes is our latest author to sign the slam book. Her debut novel, A Time to Die, releases September 23, 2014.
For some reason, people started calling me “Dine” (pronounced like Dean) wherever I went. Sometimes I also get “Nadia.”
Dystopian (aka. Hunger Games, Divergent, The Giver, etc.) for Young Adults & Adults
Personal Philosophy:
Life & God are meant to be pursued.
Favorite Scripture:
This changes every day. For now: Jeremiah 29:11-14
Favorite Quote:
I really don’t have a favorite quote. They are mostly verses. But one that inspires me as a writer comes from J K Rowling: “There’s always room for a story that can transport people to a different place.”
In high school I was an…
Oddball! I really was. I had very few social skills and an unusual personality. I zoned out during classes and conversations and had very few friends. (Small high school.) Still, in my own ignorance, I was very happy. I learned much about being content in Christ, even in my oddity. 🙂 I also learned that “few” friends can still be the strongest friends who stay with you your entire life. Among oddity, I was a bookworm, a member of the track team (yay discus!), an awful (but enthusiastic!) basketball player, and an avid snowboarder.
Do you see yourself as a Christian author or an author of Christian fiction? What do you think the difference is?
I see myself as a Christian author. My faith shapes my writing. Concerning the difference: an author of Christian fiction doesn’t necessarily have to be a Christian. Just like I could write a book about some other religion, it doesn’t mean it’s my stance in life. By being a Christian author, my faith affects everything I do and shapes the stories into what they need to be.
A Time to Die is about a girl who knows when she’ll die. What inspired this perspective? A young peer of mine passed away very suddenly and I started thinking about his life. He was always running at life full-speed, pursuing purpose and making a difference. I remember thinking, “Something inside him knew he didn’t have a long time. Somehow, it pushed him to live life to the fullest before he ran out of time.” Those thoughts got me thinking about how I would live if I knew. How would the world live if everyone knew when they’d die? It was kind of like writing a bit of my own story.
Parvin is a talented designer and seamstress. Is this a talent you share with your heroine? Actually, no. I like to write about characters who love things I don’t know about. It forces me to broaden my horizons. Surprisingly (or maybe not so much) I have since purchased a sewing machine and started exploring the world of sewing. I blame Parvin. 😉
Jude is an interesting character. Is there something you can reveal about Jude that doesn’t appear on the pages? He has a LOT of secrets. He is also very passionate about family. If he grows close with someone to any extent, they become family to him. He sees it as his duty to take care of them, protect them, lead them, etc. 
Reid is another great character I didn’t get to know very well. I’ll ask you the same thing. Is there something you can reveal about Reid that doesn’t appear on the pages? He’s always been an insecure leader, which may be surprising because he’s so confident and happy. But in reality, he was always asking himself how to be a better brother/son/husband, etc. It was an enormous internal struggle for him that we don’t really see on the pages.
How long have you been writing? I’ve always been writing books and trying to perfect the craft, but I didn’t view it as a future profession (or start pursuing publishing) until about 17 or 18-years-old. That’s when the dream to do it long-term and have my books published really formed.
A Time to Die is a dystopian novel. What is your favorite dystopian book or series? Hunger Games hooked me the most and was the first dystopian series I really read (aside from some old dark classics.) But Cinder, by Marissa Meyer (The Lunar Chronicles) is probably my favorite. It’s the most well-rounded, intriguing, and strongly-written dystopian I’ve read in a long time.
Who is your favorite literary hero? Harry Potter. Hands down. His story played an enormous role in my passion for writing, story, and fantasy.
A Time to Die has a very satisfying ending, but there are just enough loose ends for me to ask…Will there be a sequel or companion novel/novella? Not only will there be a sequel, but there will be two! At this point, The Out of Time Series is a three-book set. I’m almost finished with the first draft of book two. I think it will bring a lot more closure to those who still have questions at the end of book one. (I’d be surprised if readers didn’t have questions!)
Thank you for having me!
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.

This is book one in the “Out of Time” trilogy (subsequent volumes coming in 2015 and 2016).


Nadine is having a blog hop all answering the question. What would you do if you only had a year to live? Lisa, Karen, and I (Gretchen) all take our turns along with several other bloggers.

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