Interview on Dystopian and YA Literature with Author Nadine Brandes (+Giveaway!)

Back in April of this year, I was privileged to attend a Christian writers’ conference where Nadine Brandes led a workshop (one of the main reasons I registered for the conference).

Nadine_Brandes_InterviewI’d been following Nadine for a while before the conference. I noticed how she was personal and sincere with her readers, wrote fun blog posts, and was becoming well known for her Out of Time series (which I didn’t read until after the conference, and now I’m a fan). She seemed to hold some secret to being an author that I wanted to know.

Thus, I went to the conference with eyes and ears wide open. My expectations were not only met, but blown out of this galaxy.

I was amazed by her workshop, which gave me a vision for where I should take my writing, and I was flabbergasted by her enthusiasm to talk with me one-on-one. Somewhere in that conversation, I asked if she’d be interested in doing an author interview for Kingdom Pen, and she readily agreed. I was doing a happy dance on the inside!

So, without further ado, I hope you catch a glimpse of who Nadine is and are encouraged by her words of wisdom to aspiring authors.

Being an Author

KP: What led you to become an author?

Nadine: The imaginary voices in my head! [wink] Actually, I’m not sure I can narrow it down to just one thing. It’s a mixture of God’s prompting, my dad’s storytelling, my mom’s reading, my big sister’s playacting, and my love of reading. I’d always loved the concept of story and being able to affect someone’s life with it.

Only once I attended my first writers’ conference did I realize I wanted to pursue publication.

KP: At the writers’ conference, you said in your workshop that “being an author is more than just about writing, but about the ministry.” Can you explain what makes writing a ministry? [Read more…]

Profile photo of Rolena Hatfield
Rolena is a country loving girl who wears cowgirl boots and has dreamed of being Cinderella since she was four. She has an explosive imagination that leads her on crazy adventures in other worlds, yet she somehow always ends up back at her desk with a pencil and cup of coffee in hand. Beside writing at late night hours and devouring books, she has a tremendous love of music and musical theater. She blames them both for not being able to stay off a stage since age eleven, becoming a vocal teacher and now directing dramas. Her favorite places to be are up in her library (yes, she has a special room in her house just for books), outside for a romp or any place with people. On her shelf of favorite books you’ll find The False Prince, Once on This Island, Princess Academy and Bella at Midnight. Her favorite thing to do is laugh. Though she has tried to stop writing, she’s never been able too and has no intentions of doing so in the near future. Or ever for that matter.

A Seven-Step Process to Solve Moral Quandaries in Christian Storytelling

When I was younger, I wrote without any intention of showing my stories to anyone outside of my immediate family (and sometimes not even them). The stories were for my enjoyment only, since I was tired of borrowing books from the library that I would have to set down because of bad content.

A_Seven-Step_Process_to_Solve_Moral_QuandariesThen one day I discovered the power of storytelling. Without my knowledge, my grandma loaned the book I’d written to a friend who was an English teacher. Later she told me what she had done, and the feedback I received from the teacher was positive and incredibly motivating. I decided I wanted to share my stories with an audience larger than my relative fan club, so I began to explore how I should approach writing as a Christian. In doing so, I encountered more and more questions concerning acceptable vs. unacceptable content until the list became daunting and seemingly endless. [Read more…]

Profile photo of Rolena Hatfield
Rolena is a country loving girl who wears cowgirl boots and has dreamed of being Cinderella since she was four. She has an explosive imagination that leads her on crazy adventures in other worlds, yet she somehow always ends up back at her desk with a pencil and cup of coffee in hand. Beside writing at late night hours and devouring books, she has a tremendous love of music and musical theater. She blames them both for not being able to stay off a stage since age eleven, becoming a vocal teacher and now directing dramas. Her favorite places to be are up in her library (yes, she has a special room in her house just for books), outside for a romp or any place with people. On her shelf of favorite books you’ll find The False Prince, Once on This Island, Princess Academy and Bella at Midnight. Her favorite thing to do is laugh. Though she has tried to stop writing, she’s never been able too and has no intentions of doing so in the near future. Or ever for that matter.

Tools for Overcoming Writer’s Block

Tools_PinterestAs a Christian writer, my writing is a gift to be used by the Lord, so when times of writer’s block come, I feel like my stories are useless and I’ve wasted my time on the parts I’ve already completed. But in these cases, I’m learning to use certain tools in order to overcome writer’s block and continue to press on, to write for His glory.

Tool Number One – Taking Action

When I think about taking action, I envision a knight wielding his sword and climbing atop his horse. Or a farmer hoeing his dry crops as he sees gray clouds in the distance; a baseball player gripping his bat and stepping up to the plate.

All of these men prepared for their task using their different tools, expecting that the tools they used will bring them success in the goal of their task. The knight wielded his sword for battle; the farmer hoed his field before the rain; the baseball player gripped his bat to wait for a good pitch. That’s taking action.

Taking action as writers means you‘re preparing to not let writer’s block get the best of you; instead you’re picking up a tool and working towards the success of your goal; overcoming writer’s block.

[Read more…]

Profile photo of Rolena Hatfield
Rolena is a country loving girl who wears cowgirl boots and has dreamed of being Cinderella since she was four. She has an explosive imagination that leads her on crazy adventures in other worlds, yet she somehow always ends up back at her desk with a pencil and cup of coffee in hand. Beside writing at late night hours and devouring books, she has a tremendous love of music and musical theater. She blames them both for not being able to stay off a stage since age eleven, becoming a vocal teacher and now directing dramas. Her favorite places to be are up in her library (yes, she has a special room in her house just for books), outside for a romp or any place with people. On her shelf of favorite books you’ll find The False Prince, Once on This Island, Princess Academy and Bella at Midnight. Her favorite thing to do is laugh. Though she has tried to stop writing, she’s never been able too and has no intentions of doing so in the near future. Or ever for that matter.

Writing For Christ By His Guidelines

I always need renewed vision when I’m writing. I’m constantly needed to be reminded of my purpose in why I’m writing in the first place. And recently I’ve been challenged to stop and think…

Why is writing so important to me? Why do I spend hours at a time clicking away at the keys to add words to another page?

Or maybe the question should be: why should writing be so important to me?

Is the answer “because I love it” good enough? Or “because I have something to say”?Writing For Christ Pinterest

Should these be the answers that justify the hours and hours of time we pour into our stories? I suggest that they should not. There is so much more to writing than our love for it and because we have something to say. And it all lies on this one fact; that we belong to Christ. (“For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if One died for all, then were all dead: And that He died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto Him which died for them, and rose again.” 2 Cor. 5:14-15) Therefore we represent Him in all that we do.

So how should we reflect, nay, radiate whom we represent?! I would like to propose this idea, which has given me new inspiration to continue writing for Him.

Why not let God’s Book be our inspiration?

Think about God’s Book. Since God wrote it, the book is perfect; therefore He is a perfect author. And we don’t have many of those in our culture today, do we? In fact, He’s the only perfect author I know. Which also means His book is the ultimate example for me, in everything I do, including how I write.

So how do we create our books in light of His perfect Words? How do we radiate His Words in the words we write?

[Read more…]

Profile photo of Rolena Hatfield
Rolena is a country loving girl who wears cowgirl boots and has dreamed of being Cinderella since she was four. She has an explosive imagination that leads her on crazy adventures in other worlds, yet she somehow always ends up back at her desk with a pencil and cup of coffee in hand. Beside writing at late night hours and devouring books, she has a tremendous love of music and musical theater. She blames them both for not being able to stay off a stage since age eleven, becoming a vocal teacher and now directing dramas. Her favorite places to be are up in her library (yes, she has a special room in her house just for books), outside for a romp or any place with people. On her shelf of favorite books you’ll find The False Prince, Once on This Island, Princess Academy and Bella at Midnight. Her favorite thing to do is laugh. Though she has tried to stop writing, she’s never been able too and has no intentions of doing so in the near future. Or ever for that matter.