13 Random Facts About the Out of Time Series

A few weeks ago, you voted for what secrets you’d like me to blog about regarding the Out of Time Series for the launch of A Time to Rise. You all chose “15 Random Facts about the Out of Time Series.” I have been particularly excited to write this blog post, though I went with only 13 random facts because my brain totally mutinied of very good well-thought-out reasons.

So let’s get to it, shall we?


1. I first put pen to paper on October 20th, 2010

This is when it all started. The idea that wouldn’t let me do my grad-school homework. The research that did nothing for my studies in speech therapy. The days of picking up The New York Times and watching Ted Talks and reading about nanotechnology until I wanted to switch majors. 😛 Mid-month, mid-semester while in graduate school…A Time to Die took over my life. I couldn’t stop it. (Nor did I want to!)

2. Word counts:

For some reason, people want to know the word counts of my books. I totally get that. I always want to know the word counts of other people’s books. Here you are:

  • A Time to Die: 139,626
  • A Time to Speak: 133,050
  • A Time to Rise: 117,287

I’m the opposite of typical YA authors. Each book is getting shorter instead of longer! 😂 Maybe this is just to prepare me for writing novellas. 😉

3. Parvin never actually says Skelley Chase’s name in front of Jude.

I’d be surprised if anyone noticed this when reading through A Time to Die. But if Parvin had said Skelley’s name, Jude would have recognized it and then all of his decisions and actions would have changed. He would have put two-and-two together. By the time Parvin says “Skelley Chase” in front of Jude, he’s dealing with the pirate chip and doesn’t recognize it.

4. The first line is exactly the same as the one I wrote 6 years ago.

Yup. The first line somehow came out perfectly. 😛 I don’t expect that to happen again. But I kind of obsess over first lines. I had the first line to A Time to Rise planned out waaaaay before I started writing it.

5. I’d originally planned to have the main character as a MALE.

Yeah. That would have been awful. It was going to be triplet brothers aaaaand…that’s about as far as that idea went. 😛 At the time, male protagonists were the thing. My friend said, “Why can’t the main character be a female? The male protagonists are so overdone!” So I changed the main character to a girl (Parvin) and then the entire YA world exploded with female heroines. LOL. So much for going against the trend, eh? 😉

6. A Time to Die…a standalone?

When I first had the idea for this book, I planned it as a standalone. Just think about that for a second. And then slap me.

7. Skelley Chase’s name means “Storytelling hunter”.

Isn’t that perfect? Mwahaha.

8. I had to research the agriculture of the entire US to figure out what food would be rare or considered a luxury.

This. Was. So. Hard. I had to make sure that Unity Village had the new world’s version of “peasant food.” Then I had to remember and keep track of what they had and would probably sell instead of eat. Phew!This picture only covers a teensy tiny nanobit of the research I did.


9. My agent technically wrote the last lines in A Time to Die.

I tweaked them, of course. But originally the last line was going to be …invisible Numbers. If you read the last page of A Time to Die, you’ll see that’s not how I ended it. And good thing, too! I love, love, love the ending. But it took a second set of eyes to help me get it there.

10. The albinos arose from a terrorist following.

One of the most frequent questions I get is…where did the albinos come from? This may be too much backstory for you all, but you’ll notice in A Time to Die that there’s mention of a space-tech woman who directed two meteorites into Earth. She was an extreme environmentalist who wanted to force the world to start over, from scratch, and give nature a chance to resume its “place” on our earth. She had a significant following of people who–after the disaster–spread throughout the world and set up villages that were dedicated to serving nature. (They were not terrorists. Just passionate about her cause.) This is where the albinos came from.

11. How long did it take to write these books?

It took me 3 years to write A Time to Die, 11 months to write A Time to Speak, and 8 months to write A Time to Rise. (These faster writing times WERE NOT BY CHOICE. 😛 I was under deadline. But I survived.)

12. I first saw Parvin’s name on a street sign.

Truth. And Blackwater comes from the name of a river near the town in which I was living while writing. But even though I got these names from seemingly random places, they have much deeper meaning to them.

13. Why tightropes?

The Preacher actually thought up the idea of tightropes. He prized the idea of physical activity and remaining healthy and aware of one’s body. Because of this, the inhabitants of Ivanhoe stay fairly physically healthy.

*stepping out of the story for a moment* I was inspired to include the tightropes after watching the documentary on Philippe Petit the high-wire artist. (Several movies have been made about him.) He could walk a highwire while carrying items, giving people piggy back rides, etc. I wondered what culture would be like if tightrope walking was the norm. If you’re raised to know no different, then it becomes a basic skill like riding a bike, swimming, etc.

And there you have it, folks! A mix of “inside the book” (secret story snippets) and “outside the book” (secret author snippets). 😛 For those who need more than 13 random facts, I did a whole series of “inside the book” two years ago. It is filled with fun secret insights into the Out of Time Series characters and the world.

What fact did you like the most?

What facts did I leave out that you wished I’d included?



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.
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  1. This was sooo cool to read!!! 😀

    And, my brother (no … not by force) is going to be reading the Out of Time soon!!! Well, I’m going to be reading them to him, just in case I need to filter through some stuff on his soft little mind. And I love the books. And he isn’t allowed within a three feet radius of my bookshelf and my preciouses ( … I wanted it to be more, but apparently when the bookshelf is right by the front door, that doesn’t work).

    • LOL! I love the precious bubble of protectiveness around your bookshelf. I totally understand that.

      Also, I read books to my younger brother as well! I love that you are going to do that with my books! Bonding time! 😛

  2. I had to laugh at the fact that A Time to Die was originally a standalone! Boy, am I glad it isn’t! I have been inwardly dying as you’ve counted down to the third book because I am so excited for it. Must. Know. What. HAPPENS!

    It was super encouraging to hear that you started in 2010 as well! I started a book back in 2012 and have not finished the final draft of it yet. I was started to wonder if maybe I should just drop the project or move on to something else because everyone says I am taking too long on it, so that was super encouraging to hear you started it six years ago!

    Also, it blew me away that the first line never changed, that’s absolutely amazing!! :O

    • Writing books take time! My first ever book that I wrote (the one before A Time to Die that ended up being AWFUL, but hey….#neededgrowth) took me somewhere around 6 years jut to finish the first draft.

      You’ve got time. And every extra year it takes is an extra year of growth. Just remember that. 🙂 The process is where the growth happens. The final product is just a bonus. 😉 😉

  3. These are great! I didn’t catch on to Parvin not saying Skelley’s name in front of Jude or that Jude knew who he was.
    The albinos surprised me. I assumed at some time they were banished because of their genetic condition. I love their passion/religion. It brought an extra dimension to the story.

  4. Oooh. This is awesome. xD

    … Now I want to change my name to Skelley Chase. xP SUCH a perfect meaning.

    I actually DID notice that Parvin didn’t mention Skelley Chase’s name! xD I’m awesome. xD

    The first line never changed… Wow. o.o How did you do that?

    • That’s awesome that you noticed!!! *major applause* That makes me incredibly happy. 😀

      And I have no idea how the first line came out right. But opening lines inspire me the most with books and I think that one was formed right out the gate to set the tone for the entire story. (It’s also what got my publisher to ask for a full manuscript back before he contracted me. First line for the win!)

  5. How did you manage that with the first line?! Dang.

    I think I found the Albinos the most interesting… besides the nerdy stuff, of course, like word counts and how long it took you to write it. I adore that sort of thing XD

    So excited to get A Time to Rise! I don’t know if I should savor it and take two weeks to read it, (I doubt I’ll be able) or just devour it this weekend?

    Jeneca @ Jeniqua Writes

    • I, too, adore the nerdy things. 😉

      How about this: You devour A Time to Rise in a weekend, and then I use a pirate chip to erase it from your memory so you can read it all over again for the first time. 😉

  6. I really liked this post! You did such a good job with that first line because it really is as perfect as it could be.

  7. Emily Joy Drown

    AH. I love all of these! <3 Ridiculously excited for you to write and publish more books.

  8. I saw this on Twitter and got curious. It’s always interesting to see inside other writer’s processes. 🙂 I’m gonna have to read these books now, aren’t I? *adds all three to the TBR list which I’m pretty sure has life of its own now*

  9. Wow, it was so fun reading these! It’s so awesome to be able to get an inside your head and see how you were thinking and where some of your ideas came from. Thanks so much for wracking your brain and coming up with these fun facts!

  10. Ah, I knew that first book was ridiculously long. Nearly 140K wow. I really liked the meaning of Skelley Chase’s name. Rather fitting. Still can’t quite figure him out but ‘shrugs,”

    • I’m not sure Skelley Chase is the type of man who can be fully figured out. 😉 I know it’s infuriating for us but…*shrug* 😛

      Yeah, the first book was SUPER long.

  11. Loved reading all of these! I love how you came up with Parvin’s name *nods*.

  12. It was awesome to read through these facts! And the meaning to Skelley’s name fits perfectly. And I love how you came up with Parvin’s name! I will scavenge names from all sorts of places. XD Or make them up… Both works.
    There is one question I have unanswered… How did you come up with Solomon as a character? 😀 He is so cool!

  13. No. I didn’t squeal when I read this post. Nope.

I love hearing from you!