Meet the Nicest Person in the World…and Her Book

If you’ve ever wondered who the nicest person is in the world, look no further! Let me introduce you to…Ralene Burke.

This smile is the face I have every time I think of Ralene. 😀

I’m so excited to shout from the rooftops that RALENE’S BOOK IS OUT! Her fantasy novella, Bellanok, released the same day my book came out, but what’s even more fun is the sequels to Ralene’s book are coming very soon.

So, of course I jumped on the opportunity to interview the nicest person in the world. 😉 (Tweet this) And what did I discover? She’s not just nice, she’s fun, and geeky, and amazing! Take a look and see what I mean:

Okay, let’s start with a  serious question: what’s your go-to writing snack or drink? 

That is a serious question. I mean, what is a writer without their go-to snacks/drinks? I got out of the habit of snacking while I write because it was having a rather . . . adverse affect on my body. My go-to drink, though, is unsweet iced tea. I have to have a large, full glass to start!

I hear you! I had to take Oreos and Cheez-its off the grocery list. O.o What is the most difficult part of writing for you? 

The most difficult part of writing for me is just sitting down and getting started–day in and day out, rain or shine, regardless of life’s ups and downs. I am a perfectionist and would rather avoid anything that might not be perfect–like the first draft of a manuscript. 

Those first drafts are killers! But you’re a strong writer, so I bet they’re prettier than you think. 😉 Do you have someone in your life who’s been your writing mentor?

I’ve not really had a mentor, so-to-speak. But, over the years, the Lord has brought some special people into my life to encourage, inspire, and instruct me. My writing journey really has been a story of a family discovered through the bond of storytelling. 

Bellanok-Ralene-BurkeThat’s awesome! I love your heart for storytelling. So, what’s one thing you hope your readers will leave with after reading your book?

We all have a calling on our lives–and we don’t always realize what it is. Sometimes it takes special circumstances, lots of prayer and waiting, or a pretty blonde fairy to discover the hidden path.

Yes! And I love the pretty blonde fairy on your cover. 😉 How long have you been working on the entire Bellanok story? And when can we expect the continuation? 🙂

Well, Bellanok has actually been one of my shorter works time-wise. The idea came to me about a year and a half ago, and I wrote the original opening chapter. Then I went back to my WIP. It wasn’t until this past summer that I started working on Bellanok–it’s still not actually completed. Part 2 will be out in just a couple of weeks!

Squeee!!! I know you juggle family, working, being a wife…phew! When do you do most of your writing? Do you have a system?

I like to pretend I have a system. It makes me feel like I might actually be productive. 🙂 Seriously, I do have a schedule that I try to stick to when life isn’t happening. I have a slot scheduled in the morning and the evening–I usually use one for writing and one for editing.

What inspired you to get into the world of writing? And when, in that process, did you start editing? 

I’ve always been a writer. Yes, I know that’s kind of cliche, but it’s true. Although, it wasn’t until 2009 that I started taking it seriously in the sense of pursuing publication. 

I have taught myself to get the first draft done before I start any kind of editing! Unless there is some major plot change, I mostly make notes of anything that comes to mind to change until I’m ready to being the editing process. 

About Ralene:

Whether she’s wielding a fantasy writer’s pen, a freelance editor’s sword, or a social media wand, Ralene Burke always has her head in some dreamer’s world. And her goal is to make it SHINE! She spins fantastical tales to encourage people to SHINE BEYOND. She has worked for a variety of groups/companies, including Realm Makers, The Christian PEN, Kentucky Christian Writers Conference, and as an editor for a number of freelance clients. When her head’s not in the publishing world, she is wife to a veteran and homeschooling mama to their three kids. Her Pinterest board would have you believe she is a master chef, excellent seamstress, and all around crafty diva. If she only had the time . . .


Okay, now for some more “serious” questions. 😉 Legolas or Gimli? (Tweet this)

Uh–Legolas? I have a soft spot for elves–and Orlando Bloom. 🙂

Ah, don’t we all. 😉 So, aside from elves, what do you get geeky over?

Writing, grammar, and Doctor Who. And LotR. And Star Wars. And . . . 

What’s on your bucket list?

Take the kids to Disney World, which we’re doing in February! 

What are three things that people probably wouldn’t normally know about you?

Well, I’m allergic to coffee and beans. I am an introvert. And my nickname in high school and college was Rae-Rae, but people quit calling me that after I started dating my husband–Ray. 

Allergic to coffee?! Tragedy!! What are some of your favorite fantasy/scifi books?

I love Morgan Busse’s Follower of the Word Trilogy, and Serena Chase’s Eyes of E’veria series, and then there’s these really great books by this author named Nadine Brandes . . . 


Psssst! The first book — Daughter of Light — is free on Kindle!

Ooh, what good taste you have! 😉 😉 What superpower would you want?

I’d want to be like The Flash. Seriously. One, I could get everything on my to-do list done in a day or 2. And two, if I burn all those calories, I could eat whatever I want, right? RIGHT? Mmm . . . chocolate.

Ooh, I like that choice. *Tries to figure out how to get struck by lightning* What books got you really hooked on reading?

I think it was a mix of The Chronicles of Narnia and Nancy Drew books that drew me into the world of fiction . . . I still enjoy both today!

I love Nancy Drew! 😀 What’s your favorite social media?

All of it! Okay, so I spend most of my time on Facebook and Twitter. Both are great for different reasons–and both are fun!

Thank you so much for letting me interview you, Ralene. You’re such a joy to know!

Thanks, Nadine!

About the Book:

Screen Shot 2015-11-10 at 11.12.55 PMBellanok is a haven for myths and legends . . . until evil discovers a way in. Now the fairy queen, Fauna, must journey from the island realm to the modern world to find the man the Creator appointed to save their kingdom. A man she has been dreaming of her whole life.

Brian is a down-on-his-luck pastor on the verge of giving up on God. He’s tired and frustrated–a failure. No sooner does he make a decision that jeopardizes his career than an unusual blonde woman shows up and tries to convince him he is some kind of savior.

Fauna must open Brian’s eyes to a different reality, and Brian needs to embrace the haven’s secrets. If neither of them succeeds, Bellanok will succumb to evil and the world will lose all trace of innocence.

While I have the nicest person in the world on my blog, what do you want to ask her? If you can’t think of anything, then just confess . . . what fantasy creature would you like to meet in real life?



About Nadine Brandes

Nadine Brandes is an adventurer, fusing authentic faith with bold imagination. She never received her Hogwarts letter, but rest assured she’s no Muggle (and would have been in Ravenclaw House, thank you very much.) This Harry Potter super-nerd has been known to eat an entire package of Oreos (family size) by herself, and watches Fiddler on the Roof at least once a year. She writes about brave living, finding purpose, and other worlds soaked in imagination. Her dystopian trilogy (The Out of Time Series) challenged her to pursue shalom, which is now her favorite word (followed closely by bumbershoot.) When Nadine’s not taste-testing a new chai or editing fantasy novels, she and her knight-in-shining armor (nickname: “hubby”) are out pursuing adventures.
Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Thank you for the so-fun interview , Nadine. You are such a blessing.

  2. Cool interview. I just started following Ralene on Twitter. i’d like to know the last three books she’s read? That’s my question 🙂 The fantasy creature I’d most like to meet would have to be a dragon. Or a unicorn. Hmmm, maybe a gryphon? I give up. There’s too many to choose from!

    • Ah, yes, Jebraun, I recognize you! 🙂 Dragons are pretty awesome, but I’m with you on the unicorn.

      The last three books I’ve read: Embers by Ronie Kendig, and A Time to Die & A Time to Die by our very own Nadine Brandes. (Took me long enough–hangs head in shame.) And the one before that was The Sunken Realm by Serena Chase.

  3. Ralene is SO much nicer than me and maybe you, Brandes! I learned a lot about her and tweeted some awesome tweets.

  4. Hi! 1st, a big thank you to Nadine for interviewing – and 2nd, a big applaud to Ralene Burke. It was so nice to meet you through this interview!
    I could ask you 10 questions, easy. But to be fair and not horde your time, I’ll settle for this:
    The movies and stories you’re geeky over – Star Wars or LOTR, ect – did those, or the leading characters in them, inspire you? Were you able to create your own heroes and villains after getting to know Lucas’ or Tolkien’s?
    Have a good night! 🙂

    P.S. The reason I ask this is, as an unpublished author 😉 , I am often inspired by movies, books, and music (sometimes even my silly dreams at night) and draw from all of those to create my story and people. 🙂

    • It’s nice to “meet” you, Anna!

      I don’t mind answering questions at all.

      To answer yours is kind of tricky. I knew Lucas’ characters long before I was a writer; but hadn’t actually read LotR before I saw the movies (and I was already writing at that point). Did the movies and characters inspire my stories? Without a doubt. Like you, I draw inspiration from books, movies, music–and even my dreams. Both have complicated plots and complicated characters. It’s nice to see how they weave together to produce something that transcends time and genre.

  5. hi Ralene! I’m with you on Orlando Bloom. Did you see him in Elizabethtown? One of my favorite movies! And last June, I *did* get sorta struck by lightening during a bad storm and I was closing the storm door when it hit and I got what the doctor called “mildly electrocuted” … but no super power has manifested, which is somewhat annoying since it HURT!! And I was pretty darn scared.

    Thanks for a fun interview, Nadine!

I love hearing from you!