Irene Brand (an author I admire) & Diogo Morgado Interviews (Love Finds You in Valentine)
Can’t find much on this author. So wanted to devote a page to her. Love her book Love Finds You in Valentine, and the movie made from it! My Silver Skies novels are like a blend between Love Finds You in Valentine & Lord of the Rings & book of Revelation (Bible). I’m writing an epic romantic Christian fantasy.
BRAND, Irene B. 1929-
PERSONAL: Born December 1, 1929, in Southside, WV; daughter of Jabez Clarence (a farmer) and Margaret (a homemaker; maiden name, Dalton) Beard; married Rodney Paul Brand (a bank officer), April 7, 1956. Ethnicity: “Caucasian.” Education: Marshall University, A.B., 1966; M.A., 1970. Politics: Republican. Religion: American Baptist. Hobbies and other interests: Travel (Europe, South America, Scandinavia, New Zealand).
ADDRESSES: Home—2770 U.S. Route 35, Southside, WV 25187. Agent—Knight Agency, P.O. Box 550648, Atlanta, GA 30355. E-mail—firstname.lastname@example.org.
CAREER: Point Pleasant Junior High School, Point Pleasant, WV, teacher of French and American history, 1966-89. Writer, 1977—; public speaker. Also served as church organist and choir director.
AWARDS, HONORS: Loving Cup Award of Excellence, inspirational romance category, Blue Ridge Christian Writer’s Conference, 1986, for Where Morning Dawns; Annual Koala Award, Christian Writers Fellowship, 1991, for The Hills Are Calling; Just Uncommonly Good Writing Award, West Virginia Writers, 1997; Celebrate Women Award, General Federation of Women’s Clubs of West Virginia, 2001.
A Change of Heart, Thomas Nelson, 1984, published in Romance Reader No. 2, Barbour Books (Uhrichsville, OH), 1990.
A Mighty Flame, Thomas Nelson, 1985, published in Romance Reader No. 2, Barbour Books (Uhrichsville, OH), 1990.
Where Morning Dawns, Zondervan (Grand Rapids, MI), 1986.
Come Gentle Spring, Zondervan (Grand Rapids, MI), 1987.
Love Is the Key, Zondervan (Grand Rapids, MI), 1988.
Freedom’s Call (first volume of a trilogy), Fleming H. Revell (Old Tappan, NJ), 1990.
The Hills Are Calling, Mountain State Press (Charleston, WV), 1990.
The Touchstone, Fleming H. Revell (Old Tappan, NJ), 1990.
Unbidden Secrets (second volume of a trilogy), Fleming H. Revell (Tarrytown, NY), 1991.
Golden Prospects (third volume of a trilogy), Fleming H. Revell (Tarrytown, NY), 1991.
Heartstrings, Heartstring Press, 1992.
In This Sign Conquer (in “The Legacies of Faith” series), Kregel Publications (Grand Rapids, MI), 1996.
Like a Burning Fire (in “The Legacies of Faith” series), Kregel Publications (Grand Rapids, MI), 1996.
Afterglow, Heartsong Presents, 1997.
Feud at Craigievar Castle (e-book), Mountain View Press, 1999.
The Sunset Sky (e-book), Mountain View Press, 1999.
“love inspired” series; romance fiction
Child of Her Heart, Steeple Hill, 1998.
Heiress, Steeple Hill, 1998.
To Love and Honor, Steeple Hill, 1999.
A Groom to Come Home To, Steeple Hill, 1999.
Tender Love, Steeple Hill, 2000.
The Test of Love, Steeple Hill, 2000.
Autumn’s Awakening, Steeple Hill, 2001.
Summer’s Promise, Steeple Hill, 2001.
Love Almost Lost, Steeple Hill, 2002.
Song of Her Heart, Steeple Hill, 2003.
History of the Fifth Avenue Baptist Church, privately printed (Huntington, WV), 1972.
Today’s Women, Standard Publishing (Cincinnati, OH), 1984.
Meet Mary and Martha, Standard Publishing (Cincinnati, OH), 1985.
Only a Clay Vessel (biography of Leota Campbell), McClain Printing, 1985.
Work represented in anthologies, including Once upon a Time: Four Modern Romance Stories with All the Enchantment of a Fairy Tale, Barbour Publishing (Uhrichsville, OH), 2000; and German Enchantment,Barbour Publishing (Uhrichsville, OH), 2002.
Contributor to books, including Missionary Program Builder No. 3, Lillenas Publishing (Kansas City, MO), 1980; Take It from Here, Lillenas Publishing (Kansas City, MO), 1980; Programs for Advent and Christmas,edited by Vincie Alessi, Judson, 1981; Special Events in the Church, Lillenas Publishing (Kansas City, MO), 1982; and Programs for Lent and Easter, edited by Vincie Alessi, Judson, 1983. Editor of the children’s series “The Caravan Club,” West Virginia Baptist Convention, 1998. Contributor to church publications and other periodicals, including Mature Living, Cross & Quill, Capper’s Weekly, Charleston Gazette, Panorama, Goldenseal, Wonderful West Virginia, West Virginia History, Daughters of the American Revolution,and Baptist Leader. Newsletter editor, West Virginia Baptist Historical Society, 1994-97.
SIDELIGHTS: Irene B. Brand once told CA: “I wanted to write for as long as I can remember, and even as a child I tried my hand at a novel. I continued writing inconsequential things until [the 1970s] when I started to consider myself a writer. From the first, I was successful at writing articles, plays, and program materials, but not until 1984 did I publish a book. I’ve had several in print since that time.
I’m a firm believer that it’s necessary to write every day if one is to be successful as an author. While I don’t sit down at the computer and ‘type’ each day, I always have a book in progress—research, thought, or actual writing. It’s also important that an author read widely and consistently. The most difficult part of writing for me is the first draft. I like research, editing, and rewriting, but the initial writing takes all of my brain power.
The writing of inspirational romances seemed the opportunity to provide a choice for readers who don’t like sensual romances but still prefer light reading. All of my writing reflects my fundamental Christian beliefs and daily life, although none of my characters are autobiographical.
“My book A Mighty Flame, set in England, was influenced by my husband’s and my trips to Great Britain. Many of the incidents in the book were personal experiences. This is also true of the historical romances, as we’ve visited Roanoke Island, North Carolina, and have made several visits to Jamestown. My first romance, A Change of Heart, was set in Nebraska, my husband’s native state, which we visit each year.”
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Library Journal, November 1, 1996, Melissa Hudak, review of In This Sign Conquer, p. 52.
Romance Reader, January 15, 1999, review of To Love and Honor.
Irene B. Brand Home Page,http://www.irenebrand.com/ (July 15, 2003).*
We’re talking to another Summerside Press author, and you won’t want to miss this book. Welcome, Irene. Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.
My faith in Christ shows plainly in my characters as they live out their lives on the pages of my books. I’m also a very determined, disciplined person and many of my characters are like that.
What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
Flying in a helicopter over Niagara Falls. Also, taking a sailing boat ride with my husband during a storm when we were in Tahiti.
Sounds like you’ve lived an interesting life. When did you first discover you were a writer?
When I was eleven years old, I had my first nudge to be a writer. I’d read a book that appealed to me, and I remember wishing that I could do for readers what that author had done for me. The desire to write (fiction, in particular) has never left me from that day to this.
Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
My favorite subjects are suspense (think, Mary Higgins Clark or John Grisham), historical fiction (think Patricia Veryan), Regency and Georgian periods. I also like all phases of United States History from Colonial America through World War II. I like light mysteries, too. I read very little non-fiction, except when I’m doing research.
What other books have you written, whether published or not?
I’ve been a published author since 1984 when I published a non-fiction book (Today’s Women) with Standard Publishing, Cincinnati in July, and a launch title of Thomas Nelson’s Cherish romance series in August (A Change of Heart) The publication of Love Finds you in Valentine Nebraska, will mark my 46th book title in print. Only 4 of these were non-fiction.
I have no idea how many books I’ve written which haven’t been published.
How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
By putting first things first. My commitment as a follower of Christ is my first priority. I believe sincerely in His promise, “Seek ye first the kingdom of God and all these things shall be added unto you.” I interpret “these things” to be my family, my writing and other secular pursuits that benefit others. I hold several offices in the local church and attend regularly. I also claim another promise, “My peace I leave with you.”
How do you choose your characters’ names?
I have books of baby names. I scroll through the telephone directory. I look on an internet site and find names that were popular in various periods of time. If I use names of people I know, then I’m very careful that the personality of that person I know doesn’t come through in my books.
What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?
Perhaps the publishing of my first inspirational romance. I’d been trying for 10 years to have a book published, and when I got the first copy of A CHANGE OF HEART out of the mailbox, it was an exciting experience I’ve never forgotten.
If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?
I’d like to be a dog. In general, they’re good natured. They have a wide capacity to love others. They always seem glad to see their owners when they come home. They’re dependable.
What is your favorite food?
I don’t have one favorite food, so I’ll mention a menu that I often prepare when guests come. I’m a “from scratch,” cook. Baked steak in gravy, mashed potatoes, green beans, cole slaw, hot rolls, chocolate pie for dessert, and iced tea. I like all of those things.
I’d love to be a guest at a meal like that. What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?
I’m not an observant person by nature, and I’ve had to learn to take a lot of notes on people and places or I wouldn’t remember. I also notice descriptions in other people’s books
What advice would you give to an author just starting out?
“Success isn’t given to the talented; it’s taken by those who struggle, sacrifice and reach for it.”
This isn’t original with me. I read it in a writers’ magazine years ago, and the slogan has been on the bulletin board in my office since then. I think of it often.
I’ve read Love Finds You in Valentine, Nebraska, and loved it. What would you like to tell us about the featured book?
My contemporary book is Love Finds You in Valentine, Nebraska. It’s one of the easiest books I’ve ever written. Normally, the first draft of a book is very difficult for me, but it seemed as if the words formed in my mind as quickly as my hands would move on the computer keys. I personally believe that it’s one of my better books. I hope it will bring as much pleasure to my readers as I received in writing the book.
How can readers find you on the Internet?
I also prepare a bi-monthly newsletter which can be accessed from my website.
Irene, thank you for spending this time with us.
GREAT INTERVIEW WITH DIAGO MORGADO ABOUT HIS ROLE IN LOVE FINDS YOU IN VALENTINE: https://www.thechristianmail.com/son-of-god-actor-diogo-morgado-on-love-finds-you-in-valentine-spirituality/
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