Friday, March 1, 2013

Kai Strand, author of The Weaver



Author Bio:
Kai Strand writes fiction for kids and teens. Her debut novel, The Weaver, was a finalist in the 2012 EPIC eBook Awards. 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.


Title: The Weaver
Author: Kai Strand
ISBN: 978-1616331214
Page count: 94 pgs
Genre: juvenile fantasy
Price: softcover: $9.95, hardcover $19.95, electronic (pdf or Kindle) $.500

Tell us about your book:
In a town of word weavers, Mary suffers through her third year of Novice Word Weaving. Mary thinks her troubles are over when she meets a gnome-elf who grants her a wish.  But instead of weaving a better story, she's weaving strange yarn charms to accompany her still pathetic tales.

The Weaver was a finalist in the 2012 EPIC eBook Awards. It is a lyrical tale, filled with storytelling and a touch of magic. It is written for children 9 – 12 years old.

How long did it take to write the book?
I don’t know how long it took me. I wrote three quarters of it and then got stuck. I couldn’t figure out how to bridge from where I was in the book to the ending. I ended up writing a whole other novel before I finally went back to The Weaver. The funny thing was that the resolution to my own writing problem was the resolution to the main characters problem too. 

What inspired you to write the book?
I was sitting over my laptop one day casting around for unique story ideas. I had the web page open to my online critique group, Silver Web. I’m always so humbled by the talent of the critters in my group and I thought, “It would be so overwhelming to live in a town of talented critique partners. What if everyone around me told a good story?” Then looking at the pretty spider’s web logo for our group I thought, “We weave stories like a spider weaves a web.” It was only a matter of time before the setting and the character joined those thoughts to form a storyline in my head.

Talk about the writing process. Did you have a writing routine? Did you do any research, and if so, what did that involve?
When I wrote The Weaver I worked 28 hours per week and I still had four children in school. There was no routine what-so-ever. I wrote whenever I could and was happy when I could carve out the time to do so.

What do you hope your readers come away with after reading your book?
The key to this story is perseverance. It took perseverance to finish this book, edit this book (it was so messy when it was first completed), sell this manuscript. Even the main character, Mary, had to employ perseverance to solve her troubles. We live in a world of instant gratification and it is very easy to forget that some things worth doing will take many, many attempts before you figure out how to do them well.



Excerpt from book:
Chapter 1
A Mother’s Shadow

Given ample sun and water, a flower grows strong and blooms full
But grown in shade it is spindly, weak, and off color

Tucked in a lush valley between two snow-capped mountains was the village of The Tales. Those who lived in the village were known as Weavers. Each person in The Tales could tell stories about anything at anytime, and they often did. Prose, poetry, limericks or yarns; they told stories of all types and styles.

On a balmy spring morning, Mary Wordsmith and her mother, Abigail, made their weekly visit to the produce market.

Thumping an acorn squash, Abigail said, “At last, here’s one that isn’t going soft.” She handed the squash to Mary who absently dropped it in the basket on her arm.

“Mother, must I recite today?” Mary grimaced at the thought.

Abigail placed a bunch of fresh spring carrots in Mary’s basket and offered a reassuring smile before turning back to the vegetable displays.

“A child once stood at the side of Main Street watching carts and horses pass her by. On the far side of the street the front window of the candy shop gleamed and beckoned, and her pocket strained with the weight of coins.”

Mary blinked back tears and shifted behind Abigail, who scooped snap peas into a brown bag as she wove her story. A knot of shoppers stopped to listen.

“Yet, the child never ventured across the street for fear of the traffic. Her pocket eventually tore, its contents trampled, kicked and snatched away. And her tongue never knew the sweet salty taste of fresh pulled taffy.” Abigail placed the bag of pea pods in the basket and lovingly lifted Mary’s chin. “You can do it, dear.”

Mary felt sure her mother was oblivious to the appreciative murmurs of the dispersing crowd.



Where can we go to buy your book?
Request The Weaver from your local bookstore, or order from
Guardian Angel Publishing
Amazon
Barnes & Noble

Any other links or info you'd like to share?
I have companion documents (word search, charm craft, book club discussion questions) on my website. Plus readers can find my email and links to all of my virtual haunts like facebook and twitter. Just visit www.kaistrand.com


5 comments:

  1. Virginia, thanks for the spotlight. I'm really excited about the resource this blog will be for readers.

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  2. Very nice interview, Kai! It's always fun to hear more about the path to creating your wonderful story. I agree perseverance is key! Thanks, Indie & Debut Authors for spotlighting this talented author and The Weaver.

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  3. You're welcome Kai. I'm just happy to see authors having a place to share more about their work.

    Thank you Jo for stopping by and please everyone share this blog with fellow readers and writers.

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  4. I love the answer about your inspiration, Kai! I'm reading your book now... love it!

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  5. Thanks for stopping in, Jo, and for the kind words.

    Yes, Linda, you and our other critters continually inspire me. Enjoy The Weaver!

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