Monday, December 1, 2014

Interview and E-Book Giveaway with Nadine Brandes

by Jeff Reynolds


 If you knew how long you had left to the second, how would you live your life?

This is the premise of A Time To Die by Nadine Brandes, who I have the privilege of interviewing this month. We'll be giving away an e-book copy via Rafflecopter -- note the rules below.

Jeff Reynolds:  Welcome to Sleuths and Suspects, Nadine. How did you get interested in writing?

Nadine Brandes: 
Thanks for having me, Jeff! I’ve always been interested in writing. From the moment I knew what “story” was, it wormed its way in to everything I did. I used to tell stories to my younger siblings whenever we were on long road trips and eventually they said I should write books. That idea stuck and eventually set me on the road of being an author

JR:  You've just released your debut novel, A Time To Die, the beginning of your "Out of Time" Trilogy. Would you be interested in telling us about your book and the series? And any chance you'll be the first author to answer this question "No"?
NB:  LOL, no. As in, no, I won’t be the first author to answer “no.” :) A Time to Die is about a world where everyone has a Clock showing them exactly how long they have to live. My main character has only one year left to live when she realizes she’s wasted her life. She spends the book trying to discover purpose by rescuing others from her town’s crooked justice system. But things don’t go as planned (of course) and her time is running out.

JR:  What inspired the concept for this story?

That’s a story in itself. But in short, an acquaintance of mine died and, through his death, I started asking myself how I was living. Was I living with purpose or was I wasting time? Then I thought, “How would I live if I knew when I’d die?” Thus the concept was born.

JR:  This book is published by Enclave Publishing, previously known as Marcher Lord Press. This company specializes in what's called "speculative fiction" -- I interviewed your fellow EP author Kerry Nietz. (I don't know if anybody remembers me talking about his book Amish Vampires In Space.) How would you define specualtive fiction?

Speculative fiction is fiction written without boundaries — these stories (fantasy, sci-fi, etc.) are free from the constraints of time, of space, of species, of laws, and of anything else that we’ve used to define the functions of our universe. Some people call it “the weird stuff”  because it is the most unusual genre.

JR:  This book is in the sub-genre dystopian science-fiction. When I had the privilege of critiquing some of the early chapters of this book, I asked what that was. Could you describe it to the readers? And is it a genre that should encourage us that things could get worse than they are, or more of a warning that things probably will get worse? Any implications for the Christian in this genre?

  Dystopian fiction are novels set in s society that is under the power of a single oppressive force, like a government. Basically, if you break down the Greek roots of dystopia, it literally means “bad place to live.” Think Hunger Games, Divergent, 1984, etc.

I think it’s always been too much of a stretch to view dystopian futures as predictions or warnings. I wrote my own dystopian book more to encourage believers that, whatever may come in our world, it can still be withstood with Christ as our foundation. Mine certainly isn’t an implication of the future.

The Christian has a huge opportunity to portray hope in this genre. Dystopian books are often hopeless but, if we have Christ, there is always hope. That’s something that is only just beginning to be captured in dystopian literature now that the CBA market is publishing the genre more.

JR:  One question I regularly ask: Are you more of a structured plotter, or are you more of a blank pager? What are the implication s of this both for A Time To Die and for the Out of Time Trilogy as a whole?

  I’ve always been more of a blank pager with a rough plot/outline kept only in my mind. I think this has benefited the Out of Time trilogy because I’d originally planned it to be only one book. But since I was open, God adjusted the plot and showed me that it’s, indeed, a much vaster story than I ever imagined.

JR:  Since this is a trilogy, and you've just written the first one, I assume parts two and three will be in the future. Anything else in mind? Any chances of following a dystopian sci-fi series with a comedic historical romance?

Ha! I definitely have books planned for the future after the trilogy is complete. I have an alternate reality book in the works and a portal fantasy I’ve been wanting to write for ages. There may or may not be a dystopian sci-fi comedic historical romance on the horizon. [wink]

JR:  Thank you for your time. How can we keep up with what you're up to?

  Thank you so much for having me! You can find me on my website (, Facebook (, Goodreads ( or sign up for my newsletter to get monthly updates! (

A Time to Die is available on Amazon ( in e-book and paperback.

Jeff Reynolds to reader: It's time for the giveaway, the first on this blog (I believe) using Rafflecopter. In addition to leaving a comment, I'd like to ask what you would do if you knew you had only one year of life left.

<a class="rcptr" href="" rel="nofollow" data-raflid="2fb503a31" data-theme="classic" data-template="" id="rcwidget_4in0klrt">a Rafflecopter giveaway</a>
<script src="//"></script>

I'm trying Rafflecopter, but if it doesn't work, leave a comment along with a response to the above question, and include a way to contact you.


  1. If I had only one year left to live, I would make memories with my family by traveling to England, Disney world, Yellowstone, etc. . . I would read a lot. Something to think about.

  2. If I had a year left, I'd try to do something to leave a legacy. I don't have any kids for that, so I'd be prone to try to get my novel self-published (a traditional publisher would probably not want an author who'll die before the next book's out) or make a recording of songs I've written. I'll probably be more aggressive writing letters to the editor and blogs.

    And if there's an election between now and my expiration, I might run and say "If you elect my opponent, things will be so bad I won't survive his first year."

  3. Cnnamongirl(at)aol(dot)com
    If I had a year left to lve I would spend as much time as possible with my family making memories. I would also continue to do as much animal rescue as possible.

  4. If I had a year to live I'd give away what little money I have and communicate to everyone who is important to me.

  5. P.S. If the raffle-copter doesn't show up *on* the blog, you can still fill it out at this link -->