Quick!

Quick! Go follow the wonderful people who have been a tremendous help with this launch. You’d be doing me a great favor. 🙂

Lena- https://readwritelaughdance.wordpress.com/

Emily- https://theherosinger.wordpress.com/

Annie- https://anniehawthorne.wordpress.com/

Blaise- https://thebookboulevard.wordpress.com/

Wendy- https://wendygreeneblogs.wordpress.com/

Hannah (H.M.)- http://plottingertwist.blogspot.com/

Brianna- http://briannadasilva.com/

 

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My Simple Writing Journey (thus far…)

When I was about 11 or 12 years old, my family bought an Xbox 360. One of the first games we got to play was Halo: Reach (not a good idea for crazy kid that I was). I remember being totally obsessed with it! I played for hours upon hours; it enthralled me.

I loved the characters, the story, the action, everything. It was the only video game I would ever need, it seemed.

But eventually, I needed more. Not more video games, more Halo: Reach. I could only play campaign so much! I wanted more of the characters, a new story. Obviously I wasn’t getting that anytime soon (the next Halo game didn’t come out for another 2 years!).

So I decided: I would create a new Halo story. Now, I was always reluctant to even write things for schoolwork; how could I possibly write a story? I didn’t think I could do it.

But I did it anyway. I didn’t care how much I loathed writing in school…the idea wouldn’t let me go. I had to write something.

So I sat at down at our dinosaur computer, scooted up to the desk, opened up a Word doc. It was happening.

My fingers found the keyboard, froze. No words came. Why? It couldn’t be that hard, could it? I sat there, thinking, for a good 5 minutes (I swear it was actually an hour).

Then it came. Words! A story idea! Characters!

My fingers pounded on the keys. The story poured onto the page. It was fun. The action, the characters, just writing in general.

It took me about 3 days to finish the story. 9 whole, shiny pages…

…That sucked. A lot.

Of course, I didn’t think so then. It was the best thing I’d ever read! I wanted the world to read it.

Thankfully, the world hasn’t to this day.

But after that day, after I’d finished a story and received the satisfaction thereof, I didn’t want it to end. So I kept writing. But not Halo fanfic anymore. My own ideas. My own stories, with my own characters…and now they suck a lot less. (But they can still suck when I’m not feeling it…thank God I discovered editing, LOL!)

And I love it.

I’ve been writing for 6 years now. Only a few have been finished, and new ideas never stop coming. It’s more frustrating than anything, but the journey is worth it. I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

Every time I sit down in front of a keyboard to pour words onto a page (whether dry or dripping with greatness), I’m brought back to that day, 6 years ago, as a naïve kid who only wanted more Halo goodness. And that’s my inspiration.

Funny how such simple, whimsical things can bring one so far. 🙂

An Interview With Nadine Brandes

When I was making preparations for the launch tonight, I was thinking I needed to feature someone with a name for themselves. Naturally the first person I thought of was Nadine Brandes, author of the fabulous A Time to Die (BUY THE BOOK HERE: http://www.amazon.com/Time-Die-Out-Book-ebook/dp/B00NDAJBTU/ref=sr_1_1_twi_kin_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1454208293&sr=1-1&keywords=nadine+brandes). Gracefully, she agreed to let me interview her, and boy oh boy, did it turn out great! 🙂 Let’s get to it, shall we?

 

Thank you so much for doing this, Nadine!! I can’t tell you how much it means to me!! 🙂

Nadine: Hi Zac! I’m super happy to do this!

1) What is your writing process like? Do you have any weird quirks or tendencies during the process?

Nadine: Well, my writing process changes pretty much every few months, LOL. I thrive off of change — it inspires me, which I think probably makes me weird. 😉 BUT, I try to write in the mornings (which, for me, really means “early afternoon”) and I brainstorm at night. I love writing in different forms. Writing a draft on the computer, or on a typewriter, or by hand, or outdoors. I have a music playlist for each book I’m writing and certain drinks I enjoy while editing (tea for editing and polishing, chai latte for first drafts! 😛 )

2) Can you briefly share your publishing journey with us?

Nadine: Briefly? Like a synopsis? Don’t you know that synopses ARE LIKE A GUILLOTINE TO A WRITER?! Fine…I’ll try. My publishing journey is not common. I didn’t get 807 rejection letters, I didn’t try agent after agent, I didn’t have to ditch nine manuscript until I found “the one.” In a nutshell:

God created me to be a writer. He made me wait until I was 24 before He gave me permission to pursue it full time. It was agony to be patient that long, but then when I was finally given a green light, God opened all the doors.
A Time to Die was the first book I ever pitched. I felt God direct me toward Enclave Publishing (Marcher Lord Press, at the time.) The publisher requested my book before it was even finished. I never even had to pitch it. Then he offered me a contract for the entire series.
I feel incredibly blessed to have such an “easy road” type of story, but my trial was in the waiting. Having to wait for years and years before God said, “Okay, write.” And I see His hand in every singe step.
3) How long did it take you to complete A Time to Die?
Nadine: Three years. Phew! That seems like such a luxury now! But I started writing it the same semester I started graduate school. Imagine studying for your Master’s Degree in a medical field and trying to write a dystopian YA at the same time. Yeah…uh….no. But hey, my chemistry class is what stimulated all the awesome tech in the Out of Time Series.
4) How long does it typically take you to draft a story?
Nadine: *barf* I mean, what? Writing first drafts? I love that. *grumble grumble* I don’t really know what my norm would be for writing the first draft of a story because I’m always on deadlines. I kind of have to finish the entire story (multiple drafts and all) in 8 months. So….I guess a first draft usually takes around 5 months. I’m trying to train myself to write them in 3. Yeah….that’s not going well. 😉
5) What are your favorite genres to read in?
Nadine: YA. YA. YA. Did I mention YA? I LOVE IT. I kind of obsess over new releases and fangirl all. the. time. But aside from YA, I enjoy adult speculative fiction (more fantasy than sci-fi), I like a good dystopian, but I’ve gotten rather picky. I also like some contemporary fiction.
6) I’m really curious…do you know how many books you own?
Nadine: Actually yes, because I’ve been downsizing my library. Yes, you’re allowed to scream. It’s hard. But it’s good. I’m not a huge book hoarder. I only like owning books that I know I can recommend, pass on to kids, are my favs for life, etc. I don’t like owning books I’ll never re-read. Currently, I think I own around 500. I just boxed up 130 to…sell or get rid of. *hides*
7) I love your bookshelves! How do you decorate and organize them?

Nadine: Thank you!! 😀 Reorganizing bookshelves is my sanity therapy! 😛 Each shelf has a different purpose. My giant shelf is organized by favorites from top to bottom. So usually shelves 1 and 2 are my ALL. TIME. FAVS. FANGIRL. OBSESSIVE. SIGNED COPIES. And then there’s a shelf of “I really liked these” and then….meh.

I have an entire shelf just for Christian speculative fiction and I’ll organize the books by height. Then I have a Middle Grade shelf because I love me some Middle Grade. (Fablehaven!!!!)
8) How many books do you read annually?
Nadine: I’m really trying to up this number. Last year I read 49, which was a new record. I’d like to at least get 50 a year, but prior to last year…I think I averaged around 25.
9) Coffee or tea?
Nadine: Need you ask?! 😉 Tea of course! Don’t get me wrong, I’m not anti-coffee. In fact, I’m a coffee snob (as in, I can make you the best tasting cup of coffee ever if you give me an espresso machine.) I was trained as a barista in England. Doesn’t that make me sound so snooty? 😛 But, sadly, coffee makes me sick. So I stick to tea and adore it. Besides, it makes me feel more like C. S. Lewis.
10) If you could only read one genre for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Nadine: YA fantasy. Easy peasy.
11) Dragons or Superheroes?
Nadine: This is tough. I’m more inclined to watch a superhero movie than a dragon movie, but I’m more inclined to pick up a dragon book than a superhero books.

I think….dragons win. (One word: SMAUG.)
12) What’s some of books you’ve read recently that you’ve enjoyed?
Nadine: The Lunar Chronicles, An Ember in the Ashes (Sabaa Tahir), Illuminae ( Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff), Storm Siren (Mary Weber), & Bloodheart (Steve Rzasa)
13) Favorite writing snack?
Nadine: Tea. 😛 I don’t snack when I write. I know…I’m weird. But I just can’t handle the messy keyboard!
14) What’s some of your favorite movies/TV shows?
Nadine: You had to ask. 😉 My top 5 favorite movies are:

Fiddler on the Roof
The Greatest Game Ever Played
LOTR (duh)
Harry Potter
Castle in the Sky
And my favorite TV shows are:
Merlin
Downton Abbey
You wouldn’t think I was a YA author by looking at these, would you? But I love movies and TV shows that capture culture.
15) Can you share what’s coming up next from you after the Out of Time series? Anything juicy?
Nadine: I have so many juicy tidbits I could open a smoothie store, my friend. But I must time them well, so I’m afraid all I can say for now is…..YA fantasy. It may or may not include a labyrinth. (Just so you know, this information can be found NOWHERE ELSE. Use this gold nugget well.) Oh, and I’m writing the book on a vintage 1936 typewriter.
***
WASN’T THAT THE FUNNEST? 😀 And isn’t Nadine the lovliest? I’m giving away a Kindle copy of her debut novel, A Time to Die! And she’s offered some swag to send with it (she’ll need an address).
To win the eCopy, comment and/or share this blog post! I’ll choose a winner next week. 🙂 Thanks again Nadine!
Nadine Brandes - Head Shot
Nadine Brandes writes stories about authentic faith, bold living, and worlds soaked in imagination. She lives in Idaho with her husband and works as a freelance editor. When she’s not writing, editing, or taste-testing a new chai, she is out pursuing adventures.
You can find Nadine over at http://nadinebrandes.com/

BLOG LAUNCH

Hello, one and all, and welcome to the official launch of my first blog, Of Bleeding and Pages! I’m glad you’ve made your way around. 🙂

To start us off, let me introduce myself. I’m Zac, a YA and MG writer of speculative fiction (i.e. fantasy, sci-fi, supernatural, steampunk, etc.). I’m an avid reader and traveler of worlds. I spend most of my time talking to imaginary people, riding my pet dragons, obsessing over all things weird, and adventuring into the unknown. I also love peanut butter and sometimes forget I’m not a kid anymore.

Now, don’t run off just yet. I don’t bite, and I’m usually friendly (but don’t mess with my dragons). And I have some fun planned for tonight, such as an interview with a very special author and two kindle eBooks being given away.

I’m going to share how I first came to be a writer, how this blog came to be, and some other shenanigans! 😉

So are you ready? LET’S GET STARTED!