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Mymcbooks Interview with Author Kai Strand

Kai Strand writes fiction for children and young adults. Her debut title, The Weaver is a finalist in theEPICeBook Awards. Her second title, Save The Lemmings! will be released in 2012. She has published several short stories, a list of links to current stories can be found on her website. For more information about Kai and her writing, visit

 Kai Strand is the author of  The Weaver

I want to thank you for being my guest here on Mymcbooks Blog

What is the last book you read?

I just finished Ashes by Ilsa J. Bick. A young adult dystopian. Right before that was Liesl & Po by Lauren Oliver. A middle grade ghost story. It sounds like I read a lot of darker fiction, but that was just a fluke. I do read a lot though.

What was your favorite children’s book?

The Little Mermaid and The Steadfast Tin Soldier by Hans Christian Anderson were favorite picture books of mine. Blubber by Judy Blume was top on the tween list.

What were your earliest memories of writing?

“Blunder Day” was a class assignment for 5th grade. Mine was one of those chosen to be displayed in the hall during open house, complete with my school picture. That was when I fell in love with entertaining people with words. 

Were you encouraged to write or was it something that came natural?

I think storytelling comes naturally. My grandmother used to enthrall me with her stories and I always wanted to be that captivating. The craft of writing the stories is something I continually work to improve.

Are you working on a new book?

In the middle grade range I am working on a story of friendship and loss. It is very emotional and kind of personal. But I believe it will be a beautiful story when it is done. I also write young adult and I am currently working on the second book in a series about super villains. A very fun series to write.

What inspired you to writeThe Weaver and how did you come up with each character?

I belong to an online critique group called Silver Web. One day the name made me think, “We weave stories like a spider weaves a web.” And we are all good at it, which can be intimidating at times. So then I wondered, “What if we all lived in the same town and told stories well? What happens when one person isn’t as good as the rest?”

What was your reaction when you found out that The Weaver was a finalist in the EPIC eBook Award in the children’s category?

I was thrilled! It really is astounding for me to realize after reading all the entries, the judges chose to pass The Weaver through as a finalist. How incredible is that? 

What is the most difficult part of writing?

Editing my own story is the most difficult part for me. I absolutely love the creation phase and sometimes don’t mind the first pass of editing. But after that I tend to get caught up in the story and forget to pay attention to the work part. I have to do things like edit from the end of the story to the beginning and record myself reading it. I’m hopeless with punctuation!

Do you write full time or do you still have a day job?

I was laid off of my day job last year, so I’m writing fuller time while job hunting. In a perfect world my writing income will replace my wages and I’ll get to stay home. However, I’m realistic and know that doesn’t happen for most writers.

How do you react to a bad review and have you ever suffered from writer’s block?

There is a lot of negativity online. Mostly I’ve noticed it in the comments sections of blog posts or online articles. I try to value a person’s input without getting pulled into the snarkiness (I’m sure that’s a word!) If a review is respectful, but the reader simply didn’t connect with the story, I’m totally okay with that. I’m always sorry if someone didn’t enjoy my writing, but I know that is why there are SO many authors writing in varied genres. Because there are that many different readers, too.

I have suffered from writer’s block. One of the best cures (for me) is to read a book on the craft of writing. It inspires me to get those fingers limbered up and apply the technique.

What do you hope that readers will take away from your book?

First I hope they simply get swept into the story so that they don’t even realize there is a take away. But in the end, the take away is persistence. Accomplishments often follow a lot of hard work.

Who are some of your favorite authors you would love to dine with?

I’d love to dine with J.K. Rowling and pick her brain on how she manages to let her reader get to know a new character is one sentence. I’d love to discuss Bartimeaus with Jonathan Stroud. That djinn is the funniest character around. I’d love to discover how Maggie Stiefvater manages to write lyrically and with a contemporary voice at the same time. Plus, she’s cuter than a kitten, who wouldn’t love to dine with her?

What author inspires you the most and why?

There isn’t one author but an entire community that inspires me to continue writing. The children’s publishing industry is full of generous, caring, sharing individuals. Writers, illustrators, bloggers, editors, agents, publicists…you name it. They are there and they share. It’s remarkable really. I’m so proud of their successes and it inspires me to strive for more.

What discipline do you impose on yourself regarding schedules, goals, etc.?

Two things, really.

1) Just do the hard work.

2) If you’re going to do it, always do your best. Otherwise it’s a waste of your time.

What advice would you give parents on selecting the right books for their children to read?

Just like with a child’s social life, a parent should be involved. Get to know more about the authors they are reading by visiting their websites or facebook pages. Best of all, read the books yourself. Educate your child on what content is appropriate so that they can make good decisions when you aren’t available. I LOVE when my kids’ friends tell me they aren’t allowed to watch PG13 movies or read books with teenaged themes like serious dating. 

What advice would you give to new writers?

1) Love what you do. Know the business end of writing, but don’t forget the passion that inspired you to start.

2) Don’t write in a box. Critique groups or partners are crucial to growing your writing skill and keeping your sanity.

Is there anything else you would like to share with our readers?

I’m excited about my next book release, SAVE THE LEMMINGS! Scheduled to release in March.

When Natalie’s Texty-Talky invention makes her an overnight sensation, the media digs until they find a way to smear her goody-goody image. When her best friends start believing what they read, Natalie’s sunny spirit is pushed to its limits. How will Natalie stop the lies and win her friends back? And who will SAVE THE LEMMINGS?

I hope your readers will visit my website, to learn more about my writing, download fun The Weaver related goodies and find where they can visit me online.

Thank you for this interview

Thanks for having me!



January 28, 2012 - Posted by | Meet the Author | , , , , ,


  1. Hi Kai,
    First I love your name. 🙂 The Weaver sounds like a book my 10 year old grand daughter would love. Congratulations on being a finalist in the EPICeBook Awards. I enjoyed getting to know you here and your work.
    Carol L
    Lucky4750 (at) aol (dot) com

    Comment by Carol L. | January 28, 2012 | Reply

    • Carol, thanks for compliment on my name. For the record it’s pronounced like the letter K (most people expect it to be with a long i). 10 years old is a great age for The Weaver. Be sure to enter for your chance to win a copy on the review post.

      Comment by Kai Strand | January 30, 2012 | Reply

  2. Hi Ella, thanks for hosting Kai and her terrific book. (She has also been on my blog, Stories a la Mode).

    Hi Kai, it’s nice to read more and different things about you. It’s interesting the way your book came about and how the inspiration just kept growing.

    Comment by barbarabockman | January 28, 2012 | Reply

    • Thanks for stopping in Barbara!

      Comment by Kai Strand | January 30, 2012 | Reply

  3. I like her comment about “just do the hard work” — isn’t that what we all need to do?

    Comment by domestic diva | January 29, 2012 | Reply

    • It is easier said than done sometimes. But almost always more rewarding when we buckle down to do it. Thanks for reading and for the comment.

      Comment by Kai Strand | January 30, 2012 | Reply

  4. You added a new word to my vocabulary: dystopian.
    I look forward to sharing The Weaver with my grandchildren. It’s interesting to read about the craft behind the finished product.

    tmyoung at rochester dot rr dot com

    Comment by Teresa Young | January 29, 2012 | Reply

    • Teresa, I hope you’ve left a comment on the review for your chance to win a copy. Thanks for stopping in.

      Comment by Kai Strand | January 30, 2012 | Reply

  5. I appreciate your words about doing your best, otherwise it’s a waste of time. That is so true and a good reminder for me today. I love the premise of your book and hoping I will be a lucky winner! Congratulations on it being an Epic ebook finalist!

    Comment by Marci | January 30, 2012 | Reply

  6. Great stuff here, Kai! Particularly your explanation of how you were inspired to write “The Weaver”. I like learning how others find their ideas, it’s always interesting!

    Comment by Kevin Doyle | February 8, 2012 | Reply

  7. Congratulations on your fine book, Kai. It was a pleasure reading your interview and the inspiration behind the story. Thanks for all the hard work you do to inspire and engage young readers.

    Comment by Kristen Zajac | February 9, 2012 | Reply

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