I love super heroes and I like books set in a school setting, Harry Potter, Vampire Academy, Hex Hall, but all the characters seem to be learning how to be nice. One day I thought, “Who trains the bad guys? Super villains can’t just happen – knowing how to use their powers and how best to be baddies.” That got my mind whirring and soon I was writing a book about a school where kids learn to be good at being bad.
If you could have one super-power, what would it be, and why?
It’s funny that you ask this, because I’m taking a survey on my website (http://www.kaistrand.com/weigh-in.html) that asks this very question! If I had one power, I would want the ability to be in more than one place at a time. That way, I could keep writing while taking my kids to their after school activities, grocery shopping, doing school visits, helping ducklings safely cross the road, etc…
Once you have an idea, how does your writing take shape? Do you use an outline?
I’m a pantser (write by the seat of my pants). I’ve found that an outline kills my creativity. That doesn’t mean that I don’t think through an idea before I delve into it. I’ve usually given it a lot of thought before I start a new project. Then when I do start, I keep a separate document where I make note of things like names, relationships, eye/hair color, characteristics, etc. Especially helpful when writing a series. Other than that, I just sit and write, from beginning to end and then I edit the same way, again and again. I’ll also read aloud (usually to my kids, for their feedback) and I try to go through a manuscript backward at least once during the editing process. Both of those editing tactics help me to spot things I wouldn’t otherwise pick up on during the other editing passes, like sluggish pacing, awkward writing, missing words. Though I find editing tedious, it is a necessary evil.
What's your favorite thing to do when not writing?
Spending time outside. We live in Central Oregon, which is absolutely beautiful and I love to explore its desert, mountains, rivers, lakes, buttes, lava flows. My family and I hike, canoe, and geocache, on a regular basis.
Is there anything else you'd like to tell us?
I would love if when your visitors are filling out my Super survey, they take a little extra time to browse my website and familiarize themselves with my other books. I write both middle grade and young adult. If they visit my contact page, they’ll find all of my online haunts and they can sign up for my newsletter so they don’t miss book announcements, exclusive content and giveaways! Thanks for hosting me, Chris!
About the book:
The supers are balanced. All’s well in the super world. Right? When dogs drag Oceanus away, Jeff learns the supers are so balanced, they no longer care to get involved. The only one who seems to care is Oci’s ex-villain, ex-boyfriend, Set. With Jeff’s own powers unbalanced and spiraling out of control, he wonders if they will find Oci before he looses control completely, and if they’ll find her alive.
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About the author:
When her children were young and the electricity winked out, Kai Strand gathered her family around the fireplace and they told stories, one sentence at a time. Her boys were rather fond of the ending, “And then everybody died. The end.” Now an award winning children’s author, Kai crafts fiction for kids and teens to provide an escape hatch from their reality. With a selection of novels for young adult and middle grade readers and short stories for the younger ones, Kai entertains children of all ages, and their adults. Learn more about Kai and her books on her website, www.kaistrand.com.