Wednesday, January 12, 2011
Children's Author Interview with Kai Strand
DMc: When did you decide you wanted to become an author? Do you have another job besides writing?
KS: Like most authors, I’ve always written, but I decided to pursue publication seven years ago. My third child had just started Kindergarten and I’d written a middle grade novel (for my personal entertainment, actually). I was a full-time Mom at that point. Then I realized that if I was going to spend time writing, I should at least try to get paid for it.
I work part-time at the local Habitat for Humanity affiliate. I celebrated my five year employment anniversary with them this month. I’m the Operations Manager which means I make sure the policies and procedures and resources are in place so that everyone else can do what they need to do in order to build affordable housing in our community. A behind the scenes job for a worthwhile cause.
DMc: Were you an avid reader as a child? What type of books did you enjoy reading?
KS: I was an avid reader. I read lots of Judy Blume, all the Little House on the Prairie books and most of the Black Stallion books. I also read lots of Henry David Thoreau. This is all very meaningful, because now I write fantasy (which I didn’t read then) and I can’t write poetry to save my life (which I did read then).
KS: The Weaver is a lyrical story with a little bit of magic and a lot of storytelling. It has an old fashioned feel with a timeless theme.
About the 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.
One day I was searching the cobwebs in my head for my next story idea. I was sitting in front of my computer, where I compose my stories, and I had the website up for my online critique group, Silver Web. The idea of a spider building its web slowly twisted into weaving a web of words together to build a story. That was the nugget that eventually developed into The Weaver.
DMc: How would you describe your creative process while writing this book? Was it stream-of-consciousness writing, or did you first write an outline?
KS: My writing is always unscripted. This book had a very stuttered composition. I wrote just over half of it and then stopped. I didn’t touch it for a very long time. I don’t really know why either. I guess those who outline would suggest that my lack of a direction is why I lost my way, but I worked on other projects in the meantime and did think about The Weaver now and then. One day I gave myself a good talking to. “You have this perfectly good manuscript doing nothing on your hard drive. It wouldn’t take much to finish it and you’d have a marketable story. So open it up and get to work!” Good thing I listened, huh?
DMc: From the moment you conceived the idea for the story, to the published book, how long did it take?
KS: I honestly don’t know. I don’t remember when I started it and it sat around, unfinished, for so long. I’m sure I’d blush if I realized how long it took.
DMc: A signature request I like to ask every author, illustrator, editor, etc., I interview is for the individual to share with us a tidbit form their lives that the reader will find either humorous or surprising. Kai, can you please share one with us?
KS: I am frequently NOT recognized. I tend to wear my hair differently from day to day. Sometimes I have glasses, sometimes I don’t. I don’t know why else, but my entire life I’ve had to re-introduce myself to people I’ve met previously. I’m actually surprised when someone does recognize me the second time they see me.
Donna, I’d like to thank you for taking the time to interview me and for your interest in The Weaver. It has been a pleasure visiting with you and your readers.
Kai, it was as pleasure interviewing and getting to know you better. Visitors please stop back tomorrow when I share with you my book review of The Weaver.
Visit Kai at her blog – Strands of Thought http://cleanwriter.livejournal.com/
Donna M. McDine
Award-winning Children's Author
The Golden Pathway ~ August 2010 ~ Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc.