Kai Strand writes fiction for middle grade and young adult readers. Her first book, The Weaver was a finalist in the 2012 EPIC eBook Awards. The Wishing Well: Another Weaver Tale, is set in the same storytelling village of The Tales. She is a (very lucky) wife and the mother of four amazing kids. The most common sound in her household is laughter. The second most common is, “Do your dishes!” She and her family hike, geocache, and canoe in beautiful Central Oregon, where they call home.
To find out more about Kai’s books, download companion documents, find links to her published short stories and discover all the places to find Kai both virtually and in person, visit her website: www.kaistrand.com. She loves to hear from readers, so feel free to send her an email or visit her facebook page: Kai Strand, Author.
When did you begin writing?
I really started in the fifth grade, but I didn’t take my writing seriously until about nine years ago when my third child went off to Kindergarten. I was left with only one child at home and all sorts of time. My oldest child and I were anxiously awaiting the release of the next Harry Potter novel and I thought to myself, “I can create an intriguing world of my own to tide me over.”
What is this book about?
In Save the Lemmings, 8th grade inventor, Natalie Isabelle Cailean Edwards is the N.I.C.E. girl who finishes last with the kids in school. Sappy inspirational phrases and monochromatic outfits have all but her best friends wrinkling their nose at her. When Natalie’s invention, the Texty-Talky, goes nationwide, she becomes an overnight sensation. Suddenly her days consist of photo shoots and interviews with little time left for her friends. A local reporter shatters her good-girl image by reporting a graffiti incident and the media launches into a smear campaign. It is so bad, even her friends start to believe the stories. Will Natalie be able to overcome the lies being printed about her? Will she SAVE THE LEMMINGS?
I made a last minute trip down to Northern California to meet up with my sisters and visit our dad. I crashed on the couch of the hotel suite my sister’s had rented. I woke very early one morning with this idea formed in my head about a young girl who became an overnight sensation and how the media twisted and warped her life story into something not-so-nice. Luckily I was alone in the living room. I powered up my laptop and typed out the outline of the idea before the sun even rose.
Who is your favorite character from the book?
The main character, Natalie, is my true hero in this book. She and I have been through quite a journey together. See, Natalie is an incurable priss. As a matter of fact, as charming as her inspiration phrases are, I think Natalie’s always sunny attitude would get on my nerves if I knew her in real life. However, I respect the heck out of the fact that she holds tight to who she is while everyone around her tries to change her. Kids at school don’t like her. The media wants to ruin her goody-goody image. Frankly, many agents and editors weren’t crazy about her either and wanted to change her clothing, her above grade level vocabulary or her old-fashioned respect for her elders. But Natalie and I teamed up to stand our ground and keep her the way she is, because that is the lesson in this book! If you like the you that you are – hold fast to it. EVERYBODY has a place in this world.
Was the road to publication smooth sailing or a bumpy ride?
I’d say bumpy. I worked in the corporate world for years. Even though I put in the hours and did the hard work, in retrospect I think success came to me more easily in that world. It was a bit of a shock when I had to dig deep to overcome yet another rejection. You learn a lot about your character when it is tested that way, especially if it hadn’t been previously. The path to publication has most certainly been an opportunity for growth. It seems the rocky, pitted path of marketing will prove to be a growing experience as well.
Where can readers purchase a copy of your book?
Readers can read an excerpt and order from my publisher’s website: http://www.featherweightpublishing.com/ShowBook.php?YA=KS_SAVE_LEMMINGS
What is up next for you?
I’m glad you asked! I’m super excited about the upcoming release of my young adult fantasy, KING OF BAD.
Blurb: Sixteen-year-old bad boy, Jeff Mean, has a way with the girls and their mothers. He’d rather be off setting fires than following rules or observing curfew. Jeff wears his bad boy image like a favorite old hoodie; that is until he’s recruited to Super Villain Academy — where you learn to be good at being bad. In a school where one kid can evaporate all the water from your body and the girl you hang around with can regularly perform psychic sex in your head, bad takes on a whole new meaning. Jeff wonders if he’s bad enough for SVA.
He may never find out. Abducted not once but twice, Jeff’s life is turned upside down and leaves him wondering who is good and who is bad. Worse yet, he’s horrified to admit that he is developing manners and alienating his fellow villains. To everyone’s surprise, his rescue is the climactic episode that balances good and evil. And the girl he’s been crushing on is the catalyst. But is that necessarily a good thing?
Coming in 2013!
Is there anything you would like to add?
I just want to thank you and your readers for visiting with me and my newest book, SAVE THE LEMMINGS! I love to hear from readers and hope they will take the time to visit with me on Facebook, send me an email or even post a review on Amazon. Readers are the reason we do this, after all!