Interview with YA fantasy author Kai Strand

Today
features an interview with YA fantasy author Kai Strand and her novel King of Bad.

During her
tour, Kai will be awarding a $25 Amazon
gift card plus a signed book mark to
a randomly drawn commenter (international). To be entered for a chance to win, use
the form below.
To increase your chances of winning, feel free to visit other tour stops and enter there, too.

Bio:

When 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 younger children Kai entertains children of all
ages, and their adults. Visit Kai’s website, www.kaistrand.com, to browse her
books, download companion materials or to find all her online haunts.
Welcome, Kai. Please tell us about
your current release.
Do you love
a bad boy? Jeff Mean is King of Bad.
Jeff is a
budding pyromaniac who also has a way with the ladies. He wears his bad boy
image like a favorite old hoodie. That is, until he is recruited by Super
Villain Academy – where you learn to be good at being bad. When your classmates
can do things like suck all the water out of your body or make you dance until
your feet bleed, bad takes on a whole new meaning. Jeff is bad, but is he bad
enough for SVA?
What inspired you to write this book?
It isn’t
uncommon to have an academy setting in young adult books. I’ve read Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins and Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead just to
name a couple. One morning I woke up with the question, “Who trains the bad
guys?” Suddenly, I wanted to know who trains people to be bad, to do bad things
for personal gain? Before I knew it, I needed to tell that side of the good vs
bad scenario.
Excerpt:
(Meeting
the crush)
“Source, who
is she?”
Source
followed Jeff’s line of vision. “Oh, that’s Oceanus. Don’t even think it, kid.
She’s already found a match.”
“What do you
mean?”
“See the guy
next to her?”
“The skinny
red head?” Jeff hoped.
“No, the
other one.”
“Oh, the
Adonis?” Jeff’s heart fell. He’d no hope to thwart the god-like S.V. seated
next to Oceanus.
“Not far
off. People call him Set. The God of chaos, storm, wind. He’s a great guy.”
Sarcasm wrapped around Source’s words. “Descended from a long line of super
villains Known he’s an S.V. his whole life so came to the school ready to rule
from what I hear. Real nasty character, even for an S.V. You don’t want to piss
him off.”
“Oh, I won’t
piss him off. I don’t go looking for trouble.” Jeff considered his life before
the academy and realized that looking for trouble was the only thing he used to
do. He amended his statement, saying, “Much.”
His stomach
knotted. Had the academy turned him into a coward?
Source
chuckled. “Don’t worry. You’ll get a name and things will settle into some sort
of normal. Once we figure out what your root ability is, I’ll help you develop
it. Though, after your hulk impersonation, I doubt anyone will dare taunt you.”
Jeff
felt the anxiety lift. Source was okay for a bad guy.
What exciting story are you working on
next?
The second
book in the Super Villain Academy series, Polar Opposites, will be
released next year. I just finished a contemporary young adult romance that has
jewel thieves and car chases and a lot of cheek fanning moments. And I’m
writing the third book in my middle grade Weaver Tales series. It is always fun
for me to visit The Tales, a village of Word Weavers (people who speak in
story.) I really get to stretch my storytelling muscles in my Weaver Tale
books.
When did you first consider yourself a
writer?
What a good
question. It’s funny how difficult it is to consider yourself a writer. The day
I was hired by a company as a Customer Service Rep, I immediately started
calling myself one, but it took me a long time to start telling people I’m a
Children’s Author. Even after my first book was published I stumbled over the
title. I don’t think it was until after my second book was under contract that
I felt comfortable saying it.
Do you write full-time? If so, what’s
your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find
time to write?
I am
currently writing full time. I start my day off with promotion and social
media. I like to share links to blogs I’m a guest of, or pass on links about my
friends’ books, or my favorite authors. I read and share articles about
writing, I write blog posts. Then I walk for about an hour. In the heat of
summer, those two might be reversed. After a refreshing shower I’ll either sit
down to write, or I’ll pack up the laptop and go write somewhere public (coffee
house, library, park.) I write for between two to four hours. Then family time
takes over. I really love being able to write fulltime.
What would you say is your interesting
writing quirk?
I consider
myself pretty quirk-less. I know that’s so boring and being a fiction writer I
could make something up, but I’m really honest too.
As a child, what did you want to be
when you grew up?
An
archeologist, until I found out about the bugs I’d encounter. A professional
ice skater, until the rink in our town closed and I could no longer skate all
the time. A rock and roll singer. That one is still an option!
Anything additional you want to share
with the readers?
If you like
a book, tell everybody you know. Not everybody will be interested in it and
many will ignore your recommendation, but even if one or two people buy it
based on your opinion, that is one or two more sales that author wouldn’t have
had otherwise. It is so difficult for authors to get the information about
their books in front of readers. If you want more books from that author, all
you have to do is talk about why you like their work.
You can
usually find me online on Facebook or Twitter.  

Buy the book! 
Add it to
Goodreads.
Thanks for having
me!
You’re welcome! Readers, don’t forget
about the giveaways!

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