Darlene Foster's Blog

Kai Strand – Guest Author

Posted on: June 11, 2013

Today I am featuring guest author Kai Strand who has just launched a new book and is offering a wonderful give away as well. All you have to do is comment and you wil be included in the draw.

Holding the Reins Too Tight?
By Kai Strand

I realize it may seem counterproductive to tell you that giving up on my dream is what made it finally come true…but I promise there is a lesson to be learned.

I had been writing for over six years. It seemed like a long, long time to me. I’d been studying the craft, editing like crazy. As an active participant in critique groups, I saw so many things that were right and many things that were wrong in my writing and acted accordingly. I submitted, submitted, submitted. NOTHING. Occasionally I would receive what I thought was a personal rejection – some turned out to be nicely worded form rejections, but those were usually the carrot that kept me pulling the cart forward.

But one day I heard an acquaintance had sold a book to a publisher and it sent me spiraling into an ugly pit of jealousy and despair. I’d been writing so much longer than the other author. I was a better writer than the other author. (Told you it was ugly). That’s when I quit. I couldn’t bring myself to even open my computer. I concentrated on the kids, on my husband and on my job and decided I was no longer a writer.

However, prior to quitting I’d promised to attend a local author/illustrator event. Even though I no longer cared to become an author, I’d spent all those years studying the business and was excited to meet people from the industry (I live in the boonies.) So a few months after quitting, I went to the big Guardian Angel Publishing event. I met authors, artists, the publisher, publicists, and a few random spouses. Since I had nothing to pitch, I was relaxed and eager to ask the millions of questions I’d always wanted to ask. I spent a good deal of the evening talking with Lynda Burch, the publisher. She shared her forward thinking ideas and I loved to hear how she was implementing them. A couple of days later there was a big book signing at the local Barnes & Noble that my husband and kids attended with me. It was a lot of fun.

A couple months later (yes, months. I kid you NOT) a thought struck me out of the blue. The Weaver would be a really good fit for Guardian Angel Publishing. Crap. <– I thought that too. So I opened the computer, read the book aloud to the kids and made a few tweaks before submitting. While I waited for a response, I started writing again. Guardian Angel did publish The Weaver as well as my second novel, The Wishing Well: Another Weaver Tale.

That was three years ago. Now I’m here today to celebrate the publication of my fourth novel, BEWARE OF THE WHITE. I’m gobsmacked. How thrilling is that?

I know I just told you that I gave up – and I did. However I wouldn’t suggest anyone else do it that way. What I learned from my experience is that I needed to let go. I had the reins pulled back so tightly the poor horse couldn’t breath. When I loosened my grip a big huge breath of fresh air rushed in and I was able to sell my work and myself.

So, if you’re struggling to find your way into the industry, check the tautness on your reins to see if maybe it is time to let loose.

Beware of the White Final

About the book:

As is tradition, Terra learns on the Saturday past her twelfth birthday that she is a Natures Spirit. It is her legacy to serve in the peaceful underground city of Concord. Learning she is named in a prophecy and being threatened by the leader of the death tribe…that part breaks tradition.

The Trepidus are the death janitors of the Underworld, responsible for delivering fatalities with a smile and cleaning up after themselves until Blanco, recent leader of the Trepidus, decides the day of reckoning for his species is coming. He begins organizing the creatures and leads them toward an uprising. The prophecy says there is one person who can stop him. Terra.

With Spirit of Security, Frank, protecting her, Terra attempts to complete her training and discover her Spirit talents. Together, they go on a rogue investigation to learn how to defeat Blanco. In the end, it comes down to a battle of the minds. The future of Concord is at stake. Will Blanco, the older, more experienced being win? Or will Terra, the young, new Spirit earn back the peace of the city?

Buy It:


Barnes & Noble



About the author

Kai Strand writes fiction for kids and teens. Her debut novel, The Weaver, was a finalist in the 2012 EPIC eBook Awards. She is a (very lucky) wife and the mother of four amazing kids. The most common sound in her household is laughter. The second most common is, “Do your dishes!” She and her family hike, geocache, and canoe in beautiful Central Oregon, where they call home.

To find out more about Kai’s books, download companion documents, find links to her published short stories and discover all the places to find Kai both virtually and in person, visit her website: www.kaistrand.com. She loves to hear from readers, so feel free to send her an email or visit her facebook page, Kai Strand, Author.

34 Responses to "Kai Strand – Guest Author"

It took a total upheaval of our family for me to get back on the track of things that matter most. Thanks for sharing your story!

Sometimes life has to hit us over the head to focus us, doesn’t it? Thanks for stopping in, Robin.

Thank you, Darlene, for letting me talk about my experiences today. I hope I can help a reader or two stay inspired in whatever dream they are pursuing.

My pleasure Kai. You know I am all about following your dreams. I also know the path is not straight, smooth and narrow. You put it so well.

I find that I need to keep reminding myself to write for the sheer enjoyment of it and not to get so caught up with the publishing angle. It’s hard, though

It is when you write for sheer enjoyment that it all comes together. But we all need to keep reminding ourselves about that. Thanks for stopping by my blog.

I agree! It is so easy to get caught up in the business end and forget the joy of creating or the joy you create for readers!

Thanks for visiting.

I remember the event and commented that you were smart to request the opportunity to meet the group. I thought it very courageous and smart! Not many aspiring wriers would recognize the opportunity and have the guts to go for it. Writing takes guts. The author is opening themselves up to criticism and admiration at the same time. It is like turning yourself inside out and baring it all.
Mary Jean Kelso
Author at GAP, Wings and WCP

I really do suggest that people network – in person when possible. That personal connection is so valuable. As an example, I LOVE that I know you personally! And that my kids met you. Love that!

Thanks for stopping by Mary (my WCP book comes out next month!)

That’s an inspiring story, thank you, and congratulations on your eventual success; some things really are worth waiting for.

It’s so very true, that some things are worth waiting for. Thanks for reading the post and for stopping by my blog! Good to meet you.

Kai, what a great story about your writing career. I think most of us can identify. Letting go is a way to move forward. And, to thiink that you now are publishing your fourth novel. Interesting plot.

Thanks, Patricia. I write contemporary fiction too, but I adore losing myself in a fantasy. Making up the world or creatures or powers…that really does it for me! So nice to meet you!

Patricia, you are the winner of the bookmark! Send me an email at kaistrand@yahoo.com so we can make arrangements for me to get that to you. Thanks for reading!

Congratulations Patricia!! The bookmark has found a good home.

I agree! Pursue your dreams to the ends of the earth! 🙂

Huzzah! You make it sound so much like a quest. I love a good quest! Thanks, Erin.

Thanks for stopping by and giving us a chance to know you better!


Thank you for reading, Nancy!

Don’t I just have the most amazing blog followers!!

I had no intention of reading the entire post (busy, busy), but as soon as I started I had to read every word. It’s obvious Kai is a wonderful writer.

What an amazing compliment, Barbara. Thank you!

What a great story!

Thanks kid! <–saying that made me strangely happy. Thanks for reading, Erik.

Thanks for sharing your motivational story, Kai. Beware of the White is on my “to read very soon” list. So hopefully I’ll be on it within a month.

I love that you rate your to-read lists. I never thought of doing that, though of course I actually DO it! Thanks so much, Eric. Enjoy the book. Can’t wait to hear what you think.

What a heartening and great tale. It is hard to keep going and heartbreaking when you don’t.

Yes, exactly! Thanks for reading, Plumtree.

Very inspiring! Moral: Never give up.

Even when you do, at least follow through with your commitments. (wink). Appreciate you visiting, Newfoundland.

Enjoyed reading your story, Kai. Best of luck with your new book. 🙂

Thanks much, Laura.

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