21 October 2010

Getting to know you Thursdays with Irene Brand

Today I welcome Irene Brand to my blog. I have recently finished her latest book with Anita Higman, Love finds you in Mistletoe. It is my pleasure to have Irene on my blog as I have been reading her books for many years starting with some of here Heartsong presents books.

1. Can you tell us a little about yourself? 
My husband, Rod and I live in West Virginia, within 5 miles of where I was born. My ancestors (both maternal and paternal) came here in the mid-1880's.  We don't have any children.  I'm very active in our local Baptist Church, where I teach a Sunday School class, play the piano for all services, direct the choir and participate in the Women's group.  I've been a member of this church since I was 11 years old.
 2. When you were a child did you have a favourite book or books?
I still have a copy of a Mother Goose book that I had as a child, so that must be it!  By the time I was 10-11, I was reading western books - written by Zane Grey, Harold Bell Wright, and other authors of that period.  (Jenny here when I was 7 I was given a book with 3 fairytales and I still have it and it was my favourite book its where I first read the Snow Queen)
3. Do you have a favourite Genre to both read and right write? 
I seldom read non-fiction books unless I'm studying for a certain purpose - teaching or researching.  I read fiction - averaging 2 books per week. We don't watch much TV, so my husband and I read during our times of relaxation.  My favorites are historical and suspense.  I don't read many contemporary stories. 

4. Did you have favourite authors growing up who have influenced you? 
I mentioned some of these in question 2.  We lived in the country and had no access to a public library.  We and our neighbors passed books around through the community.  I enjoyed reading historical westerns, and that encouraged me to write historical fiction. 

5. When did you know you wanted to be an author? 
As a child, the same year I became a Christian, I knew that I wanted to write.
6. How did you go about becoming an author? 
I graduated from high school when I was 15 years old.  There wan't a college closeby, so I had my first job when I was sixteen, where I worked for several years. I tried writing, but soon learned that I wasn't prepared to write for publication.  I started to college, and when I earned my AB and MA degree, and started teaching, I knew I was prepared to write.  Even at that, it was 10 years after I submitted my first manuscript before I sold a book. 

7. If you were not a writer what would you like to be? 
I taught History and Social Studies to 9th graders for 23 years.  I love to teach, but I took early retirement so I could have more time for writing. 

8. Outside reading and writing what do you like to do? 
My husband and I walk for health and pleasure.  We live in a rural area, and we try to walk 4-5 days a week, usually about 2 miles each time. We have just returned from a walk---we like to walk in the autumn.  The leaves are turning bright colors, some are drifting down for their long winter's sleep.  There are two small dogs along our walking route.  Every time, they watch us, going and coming, rarely making a sound.
I also like to go to church.  We're "there every time the church door is open," Christians.  

9. Do you have a place you love to visit or would love to visit? 
We've been to all 50 states and 35 foreign countries, so we've seen most of the places we want to see, except Australia and some areas along the Rhine River. Some of the places we've visited more than once.  We like the mountains, prairies, oceans, lakes. It's hard to choose a favorite place, but we particulary like the Smoky Mountains. the Grand Canyon, and Ireland. (Jenny Again, I hope you get to Australia one day)

10. If you could have a meal with 3 living people who would you choose and why? 
Billy Graham (I respect him. I believe he's still living.)  Laura Bush (she's an elegant lady)  Tom Brokaw. 

Finally can you tell us about your current books and/or any that will
be coming out soon. Also where we can find you on the web. 
My latest release was a novella, An Appalachian Christmas, with a setting in Mistletoe, Kentucky. 1946.  Anita Higman was my co-author, and her novella was Once Upon a Christmas Eve, contemporary setting in Noel, Missoui.  The two novellas were released by Summerside Press, September 2010 under the title, Love Finds you Under the Mistletoe.  These books can be ordered from online bookstores.  They are also available in Wal-Mart, Christian bookstores, and mall bookstores, such as Barnes & Noble, and Borders.  I have a website www.irenebrand.com.  If you'll go to the website, you will find a link to a FREE devotional book, which can be read on line or downloaded to your computer.  I encourage you to do this - I believe you'll receive a blessing by reading it.

(Jenny again, I posted a review of this book here)

Here are the covers of two other of Irene's books


Margaret @ Creative Madness Mama said...

Such good looking books! This was a great interview Jenny! Thank you Irene for sharing with us all. I look forward to reading your stories. :)

If you're not already aware, you might be interested in my new community for Christian Historical Fiction Readers and Authors alike. We'd love to have you there. (Thanks Jenny for already being there *wink*).

Jennifer said...

I have Valentine Nebraska! I need to find time to read it. Good interview!

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