(Q) I think it’s pretty safe to say that most writers love reading. What are some of the books that influenced you the most? Anything you’d like to recommend?
Between the fourth and fifth Harry Potter books I grew desperate for more Hogwarts and decided I should just create a world of my own while I waited. That’s how Beware of theWhite and the underground city of Concord were born, and when I started writing regularly.
I love Maggie Stiefvater’s lyrical writing in The Wolves of Mercy Falls series. It was a definite influence in the style and voice of my Weaver Tales.
The deep emotions experienced in ya books & series like Matched by Ally Condie, Divergent by Veronica Roth, If I Stay by Gayle Forman, influenced my Worth the Effort series.
(Q) What is your favorite part of the writing process? What about it makes you love it?
I really love the first draft. Getting to know the characters, discovering their journey, mucking up their lives and then giving them the tools to fix their problems, is all so much fun. The rise and fall of emotions, the joy and surprise of revelation is like the first read of a really good book. My next favorite is the editing process AFTER receiving some really insightful input from a critter or editor. That helps me to rediscover all of the above.
(Q) What’s your biggest pet-peeve when it comes to the writing world? Does anything get under your skin and itch?
I don’t if it makes my skin itch or not, but I’m not a fan of an omniscient narrator. I find it distracting to jump from one person’s head to the next and not very realistic/believable. I’d much rather discover what is going on through a character’s observations or via dialogue. I don’t mind multiple point of view books where we jump p.o.v. with a new chapter.
(Q) If you could meet any writer, living or dead, and pick their brain over coffee/tea/hot-chocolate, who would it be? What would be your first question?
I would ask JK Rowling about characterization. She says more about a person—their looks, personality, quirks—in the introductory sentence than many authors do in an entire book.
Thanks for hosting me, Meradeth!
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.
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