Nadine Brandes interviews Patrick Carr

Nadine Brandes, author of A Time to Die and the upcoming A Time to Speak, interviews Patrick W. Carr, the author of the Staff and the Sword series and the upcoming Darkwater Saga. The action is taking place in the comments. ;o)

Patrick will be giving away a copy of The Shock of Night to one lucky commenter! Squarespace keeps no record of the email of commenters, so to be eligible for a prize, either leave your email address (in spambot-proof format: yourname at whatever dot com) or safer still, subscribe to the comments by email, just above the comment box to the right.

Patrick W. Carr

Patrick W. Carr

Nadine Brandes

Nadine Brandes

Amazon links to Patrick's books:

Nadine's first question:

Why are you passionate about writing fantasy instead of some other genre?

I've pulled the comments up into the text again for easier reading. I left out a couple because they weren't entirely on-topic but you're free to scroll down to read them if you like. ;o)

Nadine Brandes
Hi Patrick! The above question has already been touched upon in some of the questions asked during your Q&A, but is there anything you’d like to add or go deeper about?

Patrick Carr
I think it's because it allows me the opportunity to really let my imagination fly. In school my teachers used to yell at me a lot for daydreaming. Ha! The joke's on them. I get paid to do it now.

Nadine Brandes
I'm assuming you don't tell that to all the daydreaming students you have in your math classes... ;-)

Patrick Carr
Actually, I have quite a few math students who really struggle. I remember one in particular who worked very hard and just barely passed. She came to me crying and apologizing. She credits me with giving her a very good piece of advice which was, "Find something you love and be really good at it."
Every now and then being a teacher has some amazing moments.

Nadine Brandes
That sounds very rewarding as well.

Nadine Brandes
You are a father, a high school math teacher, AND you were recently student, correct? I know you said in the Q&A that you write for an hour each morning (your commitment inspires me!), but do you ever have a chance to read and keep up on what’s happening in your genre? What do you tend to pick up if you have time to read?

Patrick Carr
I don't get to read nearly as much as I'd like. I'm so looking forward to retirement. Ha! When I do get the chance to read, I will read whatever's got a lot of buzz in the fantasy world. I want to see what the fuss is about and plus it's fun to see the masters at work. I've been meaning to read "The Way of Kings" forever and just haven't been able to block out the time. It's massive!

Nadine Brandes
Ah yes, Brandon Sanderson. I've heard his name over and over this past year so he's made it to my TBR list, but I haven't found the time to crack open one of his books yet. Do you have a favorite book he's written that you'd recommend?

Patrick Carr
He did a masterful job completing The Wheel of Time by Robert Jordan. A shorter work that won't dent your schedule too much would be "The Alloy of Law." I really enjoyed it. Flawless world-building.

Faith Song     
Brandon Sanderson did a very good job on Steelheart. I just read that, and I enjoyed it immensely.

Nadine Brandes
I've heard a lot about Steelheart. Haven't heard of "The Alloy of Law." Now I want to go read...

 Katie Grace
Ooh. My favorite book by Brandon Sanderson would have to be "The Rithmatist." I've also read "The Way of the Kings" (which was good, but became rather long and drawn out in parts) and "Steelheart." I just got Mistborn from the library and am excited to read it. I've heard SO many good things about it.

Nadine Brandes
Speaking of flawless world building...let's talk a bit about your writing and books. ;-)
I’ve heard you say a few times that The Hero’s Lot (book 2) is your favorite book from the Staff and Sword trilogy. Was it simply the plot that made it your favorite? Was it easier to write? Can you give us some insight on this?

Patrick Carr
That's is one of the nicest compliments I've ever gotten. I think The Hero's Lot is my favorite because I had a lot of the world-building settled and I could just let my characters and story lines run wild. I still had the third book to rein everything in so the second book was mostly about going deeper with the characters. Plus, there were scenes i'd been planning ever since starting the first book and now I was finally getting to write them! The whole book was one long adrenaline rush during the first draft.

Nadine Brandes
That sounds awesome! Following this same vein of thinking: Which book has been the hardest for you to write? Not just out of the Staff and Sword series, but in general?

Patrick Carr
That's probably a toss-up between A Draw of Kings and the one I'm working on now, The Shattered Vigil. There are times, way more than I'd admit to, when my creativity well just dries up for a while. There's nothing to do for it, but keep writing. This summer I was 40,000 words into The Shattered Vigil and realized I was going to have to do a complete rewrite. The way I'd chosen to write about the plot line, was just NOT going to work. I think I moped around the house for 4 days doing nothing because I was so depressed by the prospect. But I'm feeling much better now. :-)

Nadine Brandes
Glad to hear you're doing better! I'm learning the pain of writing when uninspired, too. Ick.
Sometimes we need those four days of moping to recover and return further inspired. :-)

Do you ever notice a recurring theme or message throughout your writing, especially as you’re starting a new series? If so, what is it? What’s that one message/feeling/question you hope your reader takes away from the books?

Patrick Carr
It's something I keep coming back to because it's so important to me. Everybody's broken and our brokenness is often our greatest strength. A lot of times I have to rewrite scenes because I feel like I'm getting too heavy-handed with it, but there's no denying it's important to me. I'm not sure I can write a book without it in there.

Nadine Brandes
That's beautiful, and a great reminder for all of us. Watching Errol master his own struggles was very inspirational. I'm sure it resonates with every reader since we are all broken and have our own struggles to fight daily.

Kristine     
I loved your Staff and the Sword series, and am very much looking forward to this new series. This is the first I've heard about it, so can you give a brief synopsis of it? Does it tie in at all to the last series?

Patrick Carr
Kristine,
Thanks for dropping by. The new series is called "The Darkwater Saga." It has no connection to The Staff and the Sword. Think of Darkwater as a blend of Sherlock and The Screwtape Letters in a medieval setting. Along with that, my main character is suffering from PTSD. Tagline: "What if the clues to a crime that could destroy your world were hidden in your mind?"

Nadine Brandes
I'm SO excited for the Darkwater Saga!

Patrick Carr
Hopefully it won't stink up the joint. I'm in the middle of the final galleys now. Not my favorite part of the writing process.

Faith Song     
That sounds fascinating! I went to the page for The Shock of Night, and it sounds pretty epic.

Patrick Carr
Yes! Detective-suspense-epic-medieval-fantasy. Why write one genre when you can write them all?

Kristine den Boon
Thanks! Sounds intriguing!
Also, will By Divine Right be available in any other formats? Ie. book or from other ebook vendors such as Kobo?

Patrick Carr     
Kristine,
I don't know. I'm assuming it will be in other formats such as Nook. One thing I don know is that it's e-book only and perma-free. So that's a good thing.

Kristine den Boon
:-)

Nadine Brandes
Aside from Errol, who was your favorite character to write or get to know in your books? I’ve only read the first book so far (can’t wait to get to the next ones), but I really liked the side character Liam a lot.

Patrick Carr     
Hands down, Rokha is my favorite character. I hadn't really planned on using her for more than the first book, but she was too good not to. Aside from that I really enjoyed writing those scenes with Cruk and Waterson (3rd book). The cynical look at life makes them so much fun to write.
Liam was probably the toughest character to write: period. And I still try to figure out how I could have done him better. So far, I haven't come up with anything. I can't tell you why without giving away the rest of the story, but suffice to say, his characterization gave me a lot of trouble. I'm glad you like him; that makes me feel a little better.

Nadine Brandes
I think tonight might be a reading night for me when we're done. I've been aching to continue reading your series for months! And yes, Rokha was fantastic. She was one of those characters that became instantly in-depth the moment we met her. I love where you took her in book one.
This might be a trivial question but…what made you choose to have Errol master the staff? I can’t BEGIN to express how refreshing it was not to have to trudge through pages and pages of sword fight training!

Patrick Carr
Theology. The series is called The Staff and the Sword. Read the rest of the series with this in mind. When Jesus came the first time, he came as the shepherd. When he comes next, he comes as the conqueror. I always laugh when people say they like the series because it's not preachy. Beneath the surface, it's one of the most preachy things I've ever read.

Nadine Brandes
I love that your answer goes deeper than "I just like staffs more than swords." Very intentional...and eye opening. :-)

Athelas Hale
I really, really loved Waterson. Something about his quiet cynicism about everything, and yet he was also brave - even loyal, though it could take a little digging from what you first see to know that. I enjoyed having him in your books.

Julie Dick     
What was the last book you read that surprised you?

Patrick Carr
Unfortunately, the more I write, the less I'm surprised by other people's writing. It's really annoying not being able to just turn off the analyst and the editor. I read "The Lies of Locke Lamora" this summer and really enjoyed it (Language alert - if it was a movie it would be "R"). I really enjoyed the author's style and thee were some interesting plot twists. The most surprising fantasy book I ever read was "Tigana" by Guy Kay. The ending totally hit me between the eyes like a 2 by 4.

Nadine Brandes
I hope you have time to get to this question, simply to satisfy my curiosity...
How do your story ideas come to you? Character-first? Plot-first? Question-first? Storyworld-First?

Patrick Carr
Character-driven plot first. With my new series, Willet, my detective, came to me first with all his flaws and problems. The plot flowed from there.

Patrick Carr
Thanks for coming, everybody. I had fun! :-)

Nadine Brandes
Thanks for the interview, Patrick! it was fun and inspiring.

Janet Ursel interviews Nadine Brandes

Janet Ursel, whose Christian fantasy Disenchanted just released today, interviews Nadine Brandes, author of A Time to Die and the upcoming A Time to Speak . The action is taking place in the comments. ;o)

Nadine will be giving away a paperback copy of A Time to Die to one lucky commenter! Squarespace keeps no record of the email of commenters, so to be eligible for a prize, either leave your email address (in spambot-proof format: yourname at whatever dot com) or safer still, subscribe to the comments by email, just above the comment box to the right.

Nadine Brandes

Nadine Brandes

Janet Ursel

Janet Ursel

A Time to Die links:   Amazon   Barnes & Noble   Goodreads 

Janet's first question:

Please don't hate me for this... Although I haven't seen the movie, I did see the trailer for In Time in theaters, and so when I saw the premise for A Time to Die, I just had to know: Were you already working on your book when the movie came out, or did you get inspired to do something different with life clocks because of the movie?

I've moved the comments up into the main post, again for easier reading. The original comments are still below, for the purists.

Nadine Brandes
Ooh, I'm actually really glad you asked this question, Janet! Pulls out soap box
Yes, I was already working on my book when IN TIME came out. The first time I saw the trailer I had a full-out meltdown. Poor hubby had to figure out how to console. This was the first time I tackled the "Someone stole my idea!" syndrome. I think every writer goes through it at some point.
It was very growing and I soon realized that, though "time" was a main concept in the movie and my book, they were completely different stories. I went to watch the movie and actually left grouchy because I felt like they could have done so much more with the concept. Ha!
It didn't change my story at all, but it did grow me a lot as an author. Besides, now the people who liked the movie can turn to my books and find something similar (but not the same) to enjoy! :D

Janet Ursel
I think it illustrates really well how two different authors will do two entirely different things with the same idea. :o)
“They” say a first novel is autobiographical. To what extent is this true of yours?

Nadine Brandes
This is definitely true of mine. Parvin is a bit of a reflection of "teenage Nadine." We obviously have our differences, but I wanted her to ask all the same questions I asked when I was young -- "How do I communicate with God?" "What's the purpose of life?" "IS there a purpose to life?" etc. I figured, if I was asking those as a young 'un, then others probably were too.
This made the book much easier to write because it felt like a giant extension of my teenage journal.

Janet Ursel
So what about the other characters then? Are any of them pulled from your life?

Nadine Brandes
Not really. I can't think of any, actually, that reflect relationships in my life. I never had an older brother, my mom is the kindest most tender and sweetly emotional human on earth (unlike Parvin's mother) and I never dealt with bullies. LOL
I suppose that goes to show that people can have the same deep-rooted life questions even while in completely difference life circumstances.

Faith Song
This has always been a writerly fear for me... Or, worse, that after I finish a book, I'll find out that there's been something similar out for some time!

Janet Ursel
When you were writing A TIME TO DIE, did you intend all along for there to be a sequel? There are so many things I am still wondering...

Nadine Brandes
Another great question. NO! It was intended to be a standalone novel! And it was going to end completely differently. (No, you're not allowed to ask. Hehe.) But when I was about halfway through writing it, the story continued to blossom. It was like God was telling me, "This story is much bigger than you, Nadine." And bigger than Parvin expected, too. I think He kept this revelation from me in order to make Parvin more realistic (i.e. not expecting bigger things to happen.)
So, I grudgingly agreed to make it a two book series. Well...you can see where that's gotten me.... ;-) I'm currently writing the third (and confirmed LAST) book. :)

Janet Ursel
LOL! Well, I'm glad, because there were so many teases in the first one. Will we ever find out what was in Reid's journal?

Nadine Brandes
That is the question I get the most often. While there's not much more in the continuing books, I'll be writing up a short book of clips from his journal as a goodie for readers. :) Keep an eye out for it!

Janet Ursel
Hey, we HAVE to find out why he was so sure... Won't say more, for fear of spoilers.

Nadine Brandes
Oh, well THAT is revealed in book two. :P

Donna Garman
So grateful for your participation here this evening, it is exciting to read about your books, I certainly intend to pick up copies! You have wonderful reviews on Amazon for your In Time - inspiring on so many levels. I assume we can look forward to more in this series?

Nadine Brandes
Thank you Donna!
I hope you do pick up copies. I'd love to hear what you think of the book. :) And it's such a blessing to see God use it to affect the lives of others. There's power in fiction!
Yes, there are two more books to the series. A Time to Speak (book 2) releases this fall. Book three is in the works. :)

Janet Ursel
This is perhaps a trivial question, but is there any particular reason the Big City was named Ivanhoe?

Nadine Brandes
I read the book IVANHOE by Sir Walter Scott when I was a child and both my sister and I decided that "Ivanhoe" was the epitome of awesomeness (to my shame, I don't even remember half the story. Must re-read that sometime soon.) So it seemed to fit when giving a new enchanting city a name. I "borrowed" it and never looked back. ;)

Janet Ursel
Do you outline? Improvise? Bit of both?

Nadine Brandes
I outline in my head until I have a good idea of where the story is going. In my mind, once it's written down it's harder to change, so I rarely put plots on paper. Weird, I know. But recently I've been trying my hand at more plotting -- arranging it all in a graph of sorts. I like how it's been working with book three. I plan to try it with my net planned novel and, if it works, it might become the new normal.
So, in short: a bit of both. ;) (The phrase "bit o' both" makes me want to go re-watch Guardians of the Galaxy.)

Janet Ursel
I keep flip-flopping back between the two myself. And now for something completely different:
If you had to reduce your library to just a few books, which ones would you choose?

Nadine Brandes
I'm assuming the Bible is a given. ;-)
I hate these sorts of questions but...I'd want a dictionary because my vocabulary needs a LOT of work. (This is almost always my answer to the question, "If you were on a desert island with ONE book aside from the Bible...")
Next is the Harry Potter series. (Can we call a one-volume version as just one book?) I get seriously geeky over it.
The Mark of the Lion Series, by Francine Rivers.
Ooh, ooh, and probably some giant theology book (dictionary-length.) I figure that, if I'm only allowed to read a few books, I might as well be educating myself instead of just entertaining. ;)

Janet Ursel
Now you're making me feel guilty. I always have mostly fun things. At least I didn't force you to stick to one!

Nadine Brandes
LOL! Yes, I really appreciated that you let me pick more than one. :)

Janet Ursel
I can never do just one. That is pure torture.
Who are your writing heroes? And why?

Nadine Brandes
J. K. Rowling is one for many reasons. I think her Harry Potter series is one of the most perfectly wrapped up stories I've ever read. Also, her approach to being "famous" was very inspirational to me in my younger days.
Francine Rivers -- because she's not afraid to tackle the tough questions or the tough situations. While her books are gritty, they greatly inspired me to live more seriously for Christ.
Jeff Gerke is my writing hero when it comes to writing craft books. He isn't afraid to break or challenge the "writing rules" and he sees deeper into the art of writing speculative fiction than anyone else I know. Since that's my genre, I eat up any craft book he writes. :)

Janet Ursel
Worthy heroes! I've only read REDEEMING LOVE by Francine Rivers. It is probably the only romance I've ever read that I actually enjoyed. And passed on! That takes some skill!
I can't even begin to imagine how JK plotted that whole story out ahead of time. Oy!
I've got a book or two of Jeff's too...
And a question that is perhaps a bit bigger. Would you like to tell us the story of how A TIME TO DIE came to print? Did you have to knock on a lot of doors?

Nadine Brandes
Actually...I tell people that my "author story" was served on a golden platter. The hardest part of my journey was writing a quality book. But once God gave me the idea for A TIME TO DIE, he just lit up the next steps. The moment I heard about Enclave Publishing (formerly Marcher Lord Press) I knew that was the publisher for me. I felt as though God made me a promise that I'd be published through them. I just had to wait.
So I waited and perfected my writing. I never submitted to agents, I didn't submit to any other publishers. I established a relationship with Jeff Gerke (former owner) at a writing conference and after four years of writing conferences, he requested to see A TIME TO DIE. I hadn't even pitched it! And it wasn't even fully written! He said he'd wait.
So, almost two years later, I sent him the full manuscript. He read about 1/3 of it and then offered me a full series contract. The only rejection letter I received came from a different publisher on the same day I received Jeff's acceptance letter.
There's SO much more to my story, but it all revolves around praying and trusting in God's timing. And that's what I would encourage every author to do! Trust in Him and commit your writing to Him. :-)

Faith Song
This is amazing! I've always seen authors saying they got many, many rejection letters before being accepted. It would be nice to be published like this. :-P

Emerald Barnes
I hope it's okay to post a comment here. I'm not seeing a comment box on the reader questions. Seriously, my internet is AWFUL tonight.
Nadine, I saw that you were 28. Yay. Me too!
Who did your amazing covers! Every time I see them, I fall in love all over again! My friend, J.L. Mbewe posts about your books all the time, so I've been itching to get a hold of them. I love the premise of them, and I just love fantasies. How do you feel about creating a new world as opposed to a well known one. (Throwing the same question at you as I did Patrick.) :)

Nadine Brandes
I think the comment box disappeared once the hour for questions ended.
My covers were done by Kirk DouPonce at http://dogeareddesign.com He's amazing!!!! And I'd love for you to read my books! Then tell me what you think about them! :D
Well, my world is dystopian so it's a stretched futuristic version of the current world. I LOVED writing it!

 

Nadine Brandes takes your questions

Nadine Brandes, author of A Time to Die and the upcoming A Time to Speak, is here now to answer your questions. Please check out her website and get to know her work. Newbie questions are welcome! The action is taking place in the comments. ;o)

One lucky commenter will win an eBook of A Time to Die! Squarespace keeps no record of the email of commenters, so to be eligible for a prize, either leave your email address (in spambot-proof format: yourname at whatever dot com) or safer still, subscribe to the comments by email, just above the comment box to the right.

Nadine Brandes

Nadine Brandes

A Time to Die links:   Amazon   Barnes & Noble   Goodreads 

Edited to pull the comments up into the body of the post for easier reading. Lightly edited to remove comments that didn't fit in the conversation. They're still below if you absolutely want to read them... ;o)

Janet Ursel:
Hi Nadine! Thank you so much for joining us tonight!

Nadine Brandes:
It's my pleasure! :) Thank you for having me! :D

Guy L. Pace:
We'll try this again. How is everyone?

Nadine Brandes:
I'm doing great, how are you Guy? :)

Guy L. Pace:
Doing well, thanks! Just got Janet's book from Amazon (ebook). Looking forward to reading it. Glad she got you to participate in this party.

Nadine Brandes:
Ooh yay! Tell me what you think when you finish it! :D

Janet Ursel:
I know I'm going to be interviewing you later, but I want to ask a really dumb question: How old are you? And am I allowed to be jealous that you are starting your writing career so much younger than me?

Nadine Brandes:
LOL, that's not a dumb question! :D I'm 28 and honored that I get to start my writing career so young! And blessed to have a hubby who supports that. :D

Guy L. Pace:
Yeah, she's young, but very talented and wise. She also lives where she can see the Grand Tetons in all their glory all the time. Lucky lady. That's why she has that big smile all the time. ;-)

Nadine Brandes:
LOL, this is very true Guy. [grin] I often ask myself why God decided to give me such a unique and blessed life. That's God for you... :-)

Lydia Thomas:
Nadine, I know you get this question all of the time, but what was your inspiration for A Time to Die?

Nadine Brandes:
Hi Lydia!
The inspiration for A Time to Die actually came from the death of an acquaintance of mine. He was the same age as me and yet lived a very full and God-serving life before passing. It got me thinking about my own life at the time, and I asked myself "Would I live any differently if I knew when I'd die?" The answer was...YES. I'd live differently! So I started re-evaluating my life and that turned into the story behind A Time to Die to get other people thinking along the same lines. :D
Now, I'm happy to say I wouldn't change a thing on how I'm living. :)

Athelas Hale:
Hello, Nadine! Your book looks fantastic, though I haven't had a chance to read it yet. Thank you for taking the time to do this, and thank you, Janet! I do have a question. Where did the idea for your book first come from?

Nadine Brandes:
Hi Athelas! :D
I can't WAIT for you to read my book and tell me what you think of it! :D In answer to your question, I shared a little bit of that story above, but you can read the full story behind my inspiration for A Time to Die at this link: http://nadinebrandes.com/2014/07/15/my-author-story-part-3-a-time-to-die/
Overall, it was inspired by the death of an acquaintance who got me thinking about my own life. How would I live if I knew the day I'd die? How would YOU live? It was too intriguing of a question to leave alone. [grin]

Kiah:
Hi Nadine! I really want to ask you when "A Time to Speak" will be released, but I know that you will only be able to evade that question, so I'll have to settle for a less exciting one: What was your favorite part of your recent trip to Europe?

Nadine Brandes:
Hi Kiah!
I know, I know, the torment! Actually....I'll be sharing the release date in my August newsletter! If you're not signed up for the newsletter, you can sign up here: nadinebrandes.com/my-newsletter
My favorite part of my recent trip to Europe was seeing the different cultures. Even though all the countries I visited were in the same continent, each one had its own feel, its own architecture, and its own history. It was a delightful amount of inspiration for future novels!
As for the countries themselves, driving through the entire country of France is pretty hard to beat. I really enjoyed that part of the trip. :)

Kiah:
I am signed up for your newsletter already, so I'll be looking forward to seeing that in my inbox! EEK! Can't wait to read "A Time to Die."
Thanks for answering my question! I've never had a chance to leave the United States, but I'm sure all the different cultures are really amazing to be able to experience.

Kiah:
Woops... Meant to say that I can't wait to read "A Time to Speak." Those similar titles can get confusing. :)

Nadine Brandes:
LOL, I slip up with them too sometimes! Maybe that was a mistake... O.o
I look forward to you reading it, too! :D SO excited to hear what you think of the continued plot! EEE!

Athelas Hale:
Jumping in on your conversation here... I hope you don't mind!
I was actually thinking that I love the way your titles fit together so perfectly. I've seen some books in a series that seem disjointed because of their drastic difference in titles. This makes it flow nicely, and I would immediately know which series you meant.

Kiah:
Don't mind at all! :) I actually agree with you, Athelas. I think the similar titles are pretty clever and will make the series feel more cohesive. It's just that they can be a little hard to keep straight, as I've already demonstrated. :) But it's worth it, I think.

Nadine Brandes:
Thanks you two! I'm usually awful at coming up with titles, so these have been fun to see how they fit with the story. I'm glad you like them...even if we do mix them up here and there. ;)

Faith Song:
Hey, Nadine! Your book looks awesome. I know some authors who are opposed to using present tense in novels. What's your opinion on this?

Nadine Brandes:
When I started writing A Time to Die, present tense wasn't "the big thing" yet. I chose to write it because the book simply demanded to be written in present tense (rather, Parvin demanded it. :P ) I had actually started the first draft in first person past tense and it just didn't work. It was like I was fighting against Parvin's shouts to be heard. (Dorky author-ness coming out now.) It was tough for me to learn and I certainly had slip ups, but in the end past tense just felt too draggy. It made it feel like I wasn't in the story in that moment.
In my mind, past tense makes it feel like the character is telling a story that has already happened. Present tense makes the reader feel like they're living the story WITH the character. It's hard to do right, but I think it's worth trying.

Faith Song:
Thanks. :-) I know the feeling. A few of my characters have demanded to be written in first person, but not yet present tense. Present tense has always had a dream-like feeling in my head.

Nadine Brandes:
Dream-like is a good way to put it. First person always feels very immersive to me. And that's my favorite way to read. :)

Kiah:
How long ago did you first have the idea for the Out of Time Series?
Also, what is your favorite season/time of year?

Nadine Brandes:
I started writing A Time to Die in October 2010. I was in the middle of grad school and had NO time to write, but it built up in my brain like a demanding flood until I finally just HAD to let it out. Then it gushed out on paper and voila! The series began. [grin]

Athelas Hale:
Okay, important questions...
What is your necessary writing environment? Any music that you listen to when you write? Drinks that you have whenever you're working on a project (TEA, right? xD)? What's your least favorite part of the writing process? (Bonus: Do you enjoy having questions thrown at you so quickly?)

Nadine Brandes:
LOL, I'm totally up for all these questions. I'm quite good in a batting cage, actually. [wink]
My necessary writing environment changes daily depending on if my writing room is clean or not. :P When it IS clean (a must) then I spend time there. I HAVE to be by a window, whether I'm writing in my work room or at a coffee shop or in an airplane. The outside is a gush of inspiration for me. I need to be able to see it...and stare off into space for hours without accidentally staring at someONE. :P
Now, as for the atmosphere, tea (Yorkshire, if you please) is a requirement. I put together a playlist for every book I write, so I'll usually put that on. I even have a special lotion and perfume I use ONLY when writing, so that the smell will inspire me. (Dorky? Cool? Not sure yet. Hehe)
My least favorite part of the writing process is deadlines, because that means I have to write even if I'm not in the mood. My writing comes out very shabby when I do that, making editing all the more difficult.
Any other question? ;-)

Amanda Gawthorpe:
What are your writing habits/routines? Do you write daily?

Nadine Brandes:
Hi Amanda!
sigh This is an ongoing struggle for me. When I'm not traveling, I'm able to maintain a routine. I try to write 1,000 words a day Mon-Fri. This is a new habit for me and I've managed to maintain it for a few weeks. I'm optimistic. I have a few friends with whom I will word war with a couple times a week. That helps a lot, too.
Time management is my current dragon to slay. I also work as a freelance editor, so I tend to try and get writing in before I do any editing, otherwise my brain doesn't separate the two very well.

Amanda Gawthorpe:
I have the same struggle. I also edit and find NO time to do my own writing. I like the idea of getting my own writing done before doing any editing! I have been doing things the other way around and my writing never gets done. Thanks for the inspiration :)

Nadine Brandes:
You're welcome! May it serve you well! :) Randy Ingermanson inspired me to try writing one day and only editing on another day. That worked for a time, too, but I didn't test it out long enough. Just another thing you could try. ;) If you find the magic answer to time-juggling, tell me! LOL