I recently had the pleasure of interviewing middle grade author Kai Strand, author of The Weaver from Guardian Angel Publishing.

The Weaver Overview:

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 offers a little magic and a lot of storytelling. Written for children 9 – 12 years old.

Robin Quinn: How did the idea for The Weaver first originate? Was there a specific message you wanted to convey?

Kai Strand: The idea developed when I was sitting in front of my laptop one day desperately trying to come up with an idea. I had the page to my online critique group on my laptop screen. The name of the group is Silver Web and one of the members made a great graphic of a web for our page. As I stared at the web I thought, “We weave stories like a spider weaves it’s web. They are complicated, but each strand has a purpose and supports the overall work.” From there I decided that I wanted to develop an entire village that spoke in stories and called themselves word weavers. It took me a few drafts to figure out what the message really was. In the end the true message is about perseverance.

Robin Quinn: When The Weaver was first published, how did you plan to market your book?

Kai Strand: This is a really fantastic question, because most of us are so clueless going into it. I was published with a small publisher so most of the marketing falls to me. I did A LOT of research on how to market, especially online and through social media. I don’t consider myself an expert, or even good at it for that matter, but it seems to me that the important thing is to keep yourself and your book in front of people. Interviews like this are GOLDEN! (So, thank you.) Virtual book tours expose your book to many new readers or rather buyers. Children’s and middle grade books are a bit tougher, because the reader isn’t the one with the money and they often aren’t online yet like young adult and adult readers are. Finding bloggers to review your book helps kick start that all important word of mouth that authors pray for.

Robin Quinn: Who are your favorite authors? Do they write similar genres as The Weaver?

Kai Strand: I’m not one to play favorites. There are so many different talented authors out already and new ones being published daily. I just love reading. However, I’m happy to recommend authors I’ve enjoyed and find produce reliable good reading. Middle grade: Judy Blume and Walter Farley are all time reliables, Kimberley Griffiths Little and Erin Dionne are a couple newer reliables. I also read a lot of young adult (since I write that too) and I love Maggie Stiefvater’s lyrical voice, Jonathan Stroud’s sense of humor, Suzanne Collins’ thrilling journey and my critique partner, Beverly Stowe McClure writes for all ages of children and I’ve really loved every one of her stories.

Robin Quinn: What might you think is interesting or unusual as an author?

Kai Strand: My favorite story to tell about being a published author is that I found The Weaver listed for sale on Amazon and shrieked and showed the family and then I got up to serve dinner. For most of us, life doesn’t change. There is no automatic glamour that comes along with publication. I’m considering buying myself a tiara to wear while I write just so I can feel more important. However, the pay off is hearing from readers via email or on my Facebook page or doing classroom visits. Sitting with kids and talking about writing is seriously fun stuff!

Robin Quinn: Thank you so much for sharing a bit about yourself and your new novel.

Kai Strand: Thank you, Robin, for inviting me to join you. This was so much fun!

The Weaver was a finalist in the Global eBook Awards in the category of children’s literature.
The Weaver is available in paperback, hardcover and eBook formats.

Buy your copy of, The Weaver, from:
Guardian Angel Publishing, where you can read an excerpt;
Amazon, where you can read some nice reviews.
Or Barnes & Noble, if you are a member.
Amazon offers a Kindle edition.
Fictionwise and Guardian Angel Publishing offers a pdf version.